In order to comply with the European Commission recommendation that all sunscreens now carry protection against UVA rays, BASF has developed a filter called Uvinul A Plus. The filter is said to 'efficiently intercept UVA radiation and therefore considerably reduce the formation of free radicals in the skin' and can be used across all cosmetic and sun care products. Sun worshippers have long been aware of the harmful damage UVB rays can do. However, the long-term damage of UVA rays has been somewhat overshadowed due to the lack of immediate effects. UVA rays are thought to cause chronic damage to connective tissue, whilst also over stimulating the body's natural breakdown of connective tissue and fibers, consisting of collagen and elastin and therefore prompting early signs of ageing. In order to counteract the effects of UVA rays the Uvinul A Plus filter is said to absorb the incident radiation, converting it into harmless heat. High active anti-oxidants such as vitamin C and E deactivate free radicals, whilst active agents derived from chamomile and the provitamin B5 'simultaneously exert anti-inflammatory and conditioning effects'. Dr Heike Flober-Muller, sun protection expert of BASF's technical support cosmetic solutions said, "UV filters are increasingly being used in daily skin care and decorative cosmetics". "In these applications special emphasis should be placed on providing reliable protection against free radicals and premature skin ageing, both of which are caused mainly by deep penetrating UVA rays" he said. With many manufacturers urging consumers to use skin care and cosmetic applications that incorporate sun protection as a day-to-day preventative measure, there is a growing awareness amongst consumers to stop anti-ageing signs before they appear, rather than 'fixing' the problem with products such as anti-wrinkle creams. And with the consumer desire for youthful looking skin being a key driver for the anti-ageing market, industry insiders are now predicting that the use of sun cream in skin care products will grow by 5 to 6 per cent in the coming years. The Germany based company has created Uvinul A Plus filter in a bid to capitalise on this market, stating that it will be instrumental in ensuring long lasting protection from the damaging UVA rays.
BASF fine chemicals is targeting the sun care market in a bid to strengthen knowledge on the harmful effects of UVA rays and the damage it can do to the skin - introducing a new generation of UV filters.