UV rays are part of the non-visible portion of sunlight and are split into two categories based on their wavelengths. The longer wavelength UVA spans from 320 to 400 nanometers, and the shorter wavelength UVB spans from 280 to 320 nanometers.
UVA is mainly responsible for skin tanning, but also penetrates deep into the skin causing damage associated with skin wrinkles as well as increasing the risk of skin cancer. The effects of UVB can cause skin inflammation in a short exposure time known as erythema, which is commonly referred to as a sun burn. Long UVB exposure can also lead to a higher risk of skin cancer.
"In order to create sun protection cosmetics which have both high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and high UVA protection, it is necessary to combine different types of UV filters and formulation expertise to achieve broad spectrum performance with high transparency on the skin," said a Shiseido spokesperson. "In joint development of new UV protection materials with BASF, Shiseido aims not only to enhance performance and effectiveness of existing cosmetics products, but also to develop novel product concepts enabled by the new technology."
"We're combining our respective strengths, Shiseido's powder modification technology and BASF's expertise in UV filters to create a revolutionary new UV protection technology," said a BASF Cosmetic Ingredients spokesperson. "We will use our broad knowledge of organic as well as nano-inorganic UV filters like Z-COTE micronized zinc oxide to help achieve this collaborative innovation goal with Shiseido."
Zinc oxide has proved a highly popular and effective ingredient for high protection sun screens in recent years. Further to this, micronized zinc oxide is said to avoid the white streaking effect that unrefined zinc oxide often causes and also helps to enable a more even coverage of the cream. The combination of this type of ingredient with the powder modification technology to optimize the functionality and efficacy of sun screen products.
Currently Shiseido sun protection products contain a dual protection system that combines UVA/UVB defense with skin care benefits. Currently its range includes very high protection skin care lines that give up to SPF 50 protection for the face.
In addition, Shiseido and BASF have announced that they have reached a licensing agreement under BASF's sunscreen patents in the United States, Europe and Australia regarding micronized zinc oxide-based cosmetic formulations in Shiseido sun protection products.