ISO launches new standard to identify UVA protection levels for sun care products

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ultraviolet

A new ISO certification has been launched aimed at helping research labs and sunscreen makers to measure the specific performance of formulations with respect to UVA rays.

Ultimately aiming to enable consumers to better protect themselves against the harmful effects of sun exposure, ISO 24443:2012, Determination of sunscreen UVA photoprotection in vitro, gives formulators and developers specific guidelines for an in vitro procedure to characterise the extend of UVA protection.

The latest ISO standard builds on previous standards and regulations governing sunscreen protection that had previously only favoured the testing and regulation of UVB rays.

Spectral absorbance characteristics

The new standard enables the determination of the spectral absorbance characteristics of UVA protection in a reproducible manner to help manufacturers and testing laboratories, ISO claims.

It has been developed by an ISO technical committee dedicated to cosmetic sun protection testing methods and the standard can be arranged through ISO national member institutes, as well as the ISO Central headquarters in Switzerland and the online ISO Store.

“The trade in cosmetics between different countries is increasing. ISO 24443:2012 will be an important tool in improving the quality and safety of sunscreen products and facilitating their global trade,”​ said Pr. Philippe Masson, Chair of the ISO group of experts that developed the standards.

“It will also help manufacturers to better respond to local requirements for sunscreen products and give better information to consumers.”

Identifying both UVA and UVB protection

In recent years, scientific studies have pointed to the fact that sunscreen products should provide protection against the spectrum of UV rays, given the proven dangers from exposure to both UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays have a different intensity to UVB, which is why they were initially thought to be less damaging than UVB rays. However, scientific studies have shown that UVA rays can penetrate the dermal layer even deeper, leading to wrinkling and event genetic changes in the DNA that can lead to the onset of skin cancer.

Last month ISO introduced another new standard aimed at evaluating antimicrobial protection of cosmetic products.

ISO 11930:2012, Cosmetics – Microbiology – Evaluation of the antimicrobial protection of a cosmetic product, will help test their effectiveness in safeguarding consumers.

The standard highlights protecting cosmetics through chemical preservation, inherent characteristics of the formulation, package design and the manufacturing process.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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