DSM scientists address the question of sun protection labeling
Since the first sunscreens were commercially produced in the 1930s, products to protect the skin against sun damage have changed substantially. While the earliest products offered UVB protection only, a growing awareness of harmful UVA rays later led to the development of broad spectrum sunscreens. Today, products are not only available in a wide range of SPFs, they offer protection against UVA, UVB, IR and DNA and pigmentation damage. Moreover, sun protection has become an integral part of people’s skin care routine through its incorporation into moisturizers, foundations, refreshing facial sprays and many more.
Most recently the spotlight has fallen on high-energy visible light, also known as blue light.
Getting the message across
Skin today is increasingly exposed to stress from many sources. Blue light from screens is an added, as yet relatively unknown potential stressor. According to recent market research, only a handful of skin and sun care products address this issue, and then only in the context of several factors that make protection necessary.
However, a growing number of people have already encountered the adverse effects of blue light on their eyes, for example, and are beginning to ask questions about consequences for the skin and overall beauty. There is therefore clearly a need for more information on this topic – information which needs to be readily accessible to consumers. Scientists at DSM have been addressing the point and the question that keeps coming up is: “Do we need a new label or seal for a Blue light Protection Factor – BPF?”
BPF – a helpful tool in the differentiation for blue light protection?
Both SPF labeling and UVA protection are globally regulated claims, and although surveys have shown that many consumers have only an imprecise idea of what they actually refer to, most people find them helpful. Generally, labeling reinforces the message that sun protection is vitally important if you want to reduce the risk of serious damage to your skin – not to mention premature skin aging. And everyone can work out that higher numbers mean more protection: hence labeling provides at the very least a guide as to which products are appropriate for people’s particular needs.
So – would an additional claim or seal relating to BPF provide greater transparency for consumers, or might it just confuse them?