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DSM in Personal Care & Aroma Ingredients

Finding the ideal sunscreen formulation for men

DSM’s Bi My Buddy sunscreen formulation concept – inspired by men for men

There were more than 280,000 cases of skin melanoma worldwide in 2018. Over 150,000 cases were in meni, and this figure continues to rise in most countriesii. Despite these statistics, men are less likely than women to connect with skin melanoma awareness and prevention campaignsiii: Men want to fix problems rather than prevent them, while women are more likely to check their skin and visit the doctor for regular check-ups.iv
Bi my buddy sunscreen formulation concept by DSM

DSM’s consumer insights study

To investigate the barriers men face when buying sunscreen, understand their perspective and develop appropriate solutions, DSM set up focus groups in four regions with men who use personal care cosmetic products but no SPF protection. We conducted both quantitative and qualitative consumer study to analyze men’s beauty routines and understand their barriers to using SPF products. We found that men tend to focus on the short-term view rather than the long term. They want beauty products to be fast, simple and contain multiple benefitsv, such as hydrating, soothing and calming ingredientsvi.

The study also revealed men have a basic understanding of SPF and are not aware of products offering SPF protection beyond traditional sunscreensvii. They know being in the sun is risky, but they would rather deal with any unwanted consequences later. Negative experiences with sunscreen in childhood have also left a lasting impression: Men associate sunscreen with greasy and oily product feel, unabsorbant properties, and multiple reapplicationsviii. Packaging can also be a barrier, as it is sometimes perceived as childish and cheapix.

DSM’s three winning concepts for sun care formulations

We asked for feedback on various sunscreen formulation concepts for the beach and daily usage. We asked for opinions on the products’ positioning and the look and feel of the packaging. There were three winning concepts that our application experts translated into efficient suncare formulations:

  • Bi MY Buddy! SPF 30, an innovative sun care formulation with a non-greasy, refreshing sensation. The light texture bi-phase lotion was perceived as very pleasant to use.
  • 3-in-1 Aftershave & Face Moisturizer with SPF 30, a light formula that soothes and moisturizes the skin. The multiple skin benefits and the added SPF protection to prevent sun exposure damage, including the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots, were really appealing to the focus groupsx.
  • Xpress Sun Defense Essence SPF 30, a lightweight, no oily sun care formulation with high sun protection. The format and practical packaging, which can be used on-the-go, were praised, and the men were confident it would not feel greasy or leave white marks.

Shifting mindsets through education and appealing sunscreens

DSM has a responsibility toward the planet and people – this includes skin cancer prevention and education campaigns. We aim to shift mindsets toward prevention through education and the availability of SPF products with an appealing sensation that consumers like to use. Men need to see real short- and long-term benefits in using SPF – such as prevention towards premature aging – as sun protection alone will not suffice. The only way to achieve this is through clear messaging and reassurance regarding the feel on the skin. Contact us for more information on these concepts.