Sunscreen formulation – The formulator point of view

Broad spectrum skin protection

An optimum sunscreen formula should first and foremost provide broad spectrum skin photoprotection against the detrimental effects of sun exposure. However, as a cosmetics product, it should also hold sensorial appeal at an affordable price to the consumer. 

Blending various UV filters 

Sunscreen can be classified depending on their mode of action, primary protective elements - UV filters absorb, reflect or scatter harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin. Blending of various UV filters at low percentages is often preferred over a combination of 2 or 3 of them at high dosage, for reasons of safety and to achieve synergistic effect for wider spectrum protection.

Processing oily-soluble UV filters into a stable fine emulsion, dictates the use of a higher dosage of solubilizers and humectants, resulting in a significantly higher oily-phase formula. 

While cosmetic emulsions are composed of both polar and non polar phases evenly dispersed in one another, in sunscreen emulsions the non-polar phase has a bigger organic share (UV-filters, organic boosters, organic solvent) and a smaller aqueous share as a polar phase. Click here to learn more about how polarity affects sunscreen preservation.

Sensitive balance is a key

The use of components such as antioxidants & osmolytes, provides a secondary protective factor to counteract the inherent photochemical processes triggered by UV-penetration, that can induce DNA damage in the skin cell. The essence of assembling a successful sunscreen formula lays in the sensitive balance of such complexity.


Julie Soffer - Technical Support & Regional Sales Manager, Sharon Laboratories


To learn more about SharoSUN™ focused preservative solution for sunscreen formulations  >> click here 


To learn more about the challenges of antimicrobial protection of sunscreen products  >> click here


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