Protection + pigments: Beiersdorf files US patent on ‘aesthetically pleasing’ sunscreens

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

The sunscreen formulations contained a range of pigment combinations to offer a soft shine, luster, sparkle and even metallic effect in some cases [Getty Images]
The sunscreen formulations contained a range of pigment combinations to offer a soft shine, luster, sparkle and even metallic effect in some cases [Getty Images]

Related tags Beiersdorf Patent Sunscreen protective beauty Spf Aesthetics Us North america

European personal care major Beiersdorf has developed a range of sunscreen formulas for the US market that provide protection but also offer aesthetically pleasing visual effects to the skin.

Writing in its US patent​, Beiersdorf said the formulas combined organic filters with special effect pigments to provide “aesthetically pleasing visual effects to the skin” ​such as a soft shine, satin luster, sparkle effect or metallic appearance.

The company said the formulas could be used to develop sunscreen lotions and creams, predominantly for the skin, but also variants that offered protection for the scalp and hair.

Importance placed on aesthetics and product feel

“In some embodiments, the compositions, when applied on skin, have attractive shimmer and glow effects that provide a product mass tone that disappears on the skin. For example, in one variation, the composition imparts a golden, rosy, coppery, bronzed or rose gold, shimmering effect on the skin,” ​Beiersdorf wrote in its patent filing.

Importantly, the company said the products could be applied to “all skin types”​ without altering skin tone or creating an ash or chalk effect.

Beyond aesthetics, it said the formulas could also be designed to provide a “cooling”​ and “light feel”​ that resembled a moisturiser rather than a sunscreen. This, it said, was achieved via a “quick break effect” ​whereby upon application there was an instant water release providing a cooling effect on the skin.

Designed around restrictions for US market

Beiersdorf said it had developed several formulation variations using different pigments, and in some cases layered substrates, to avoid ingredients that were either prohibited in US cosmetics market or restricted. Silver powder, for example, had been avoided altogether and so had titanium dioxide because it could not be used in combination with avobenzone.

Suitable layered-substrate pigments, it said, included glass, silica and mica. Suitable colorants included metal oxides, metal salts and organic pigments. In any combination, Beiersdorf said the pigment part of the composition had to be between 1%-25% by weight of the total product.

Other active agents were also integrated into the formulas to offer SFP protection, alongside additional benefits like anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle, oily skin treatment and even insect repellent properties.

“It is typical to use combinations of two or more skin care active agents in a formulation,”​ Beiersdorf said, though any combination had to align with FDA guidelines and restrictions from other governing US bodies.

The company said all formulations had been developed to adhere to a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15, 30 or 50, with some also offering UVA Protection Factor. The formulas could also be developed to have strong water resistance and be tear-free.


WIPO International Patent No. US/2022/0133610
Published on: May 5, 2022. Filed on: January 30, 2020.
Title: “Sunscreen compositions”
Inventors: Beiersdorf – Y. Zhang and SJ. Backman

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