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University of Arizona develops truly topical sunscreen

By Deanna Utroske

06-Sep-2017
Last updated on 06-Sep-2017 at 14:04 GMT2017-09-06T14:04:27Z

University of Arizona develops truly topical sunscreen

Researchers Stephanie Tolbert and Douglas Loy have created a UV blocking sun care formulation that won’t pass through the skin. The two believe that this will alleviate a pain point for consumers concerned about skin care safety. And, they’ve just licensed the new tech for commercial production.

UA researchers Stephanie Tolbert and Douglas Loy had already collaborated with NovaMex subsidiary MexiAloe on this project, so the Mexican-branded consumer goods company was an obvious partner when it came to licensing their new technology for commercial use.  

NovaMex, a French company that makes home and personal care products for the Mexican market, has good reason to believe the new sun screen tech has potential in today’s market.  “Personal care consumers are connecting the dots between health, environmental sustainability and natural ingredients; this trend is shaping the future of the natural personal care category,” Luis Fernandez, CEO of Novamex, is quoted as saying in an item on the UA Tech Launch site . “With these licensed patents from UA, we are looking forward to provide innovative solutions for consumers that now more than ever are looking for natural and functional sunscreens.”

Novel formulation

“Stephanie wanted to improve cosmetics by introducing sunscreens that wouldn’t pass through the skin,” Loy tells Paul Tumarkin of Tech Launch, adding that, “in addition to being nonhazardous, we made the sunscreens last longer so they wouldn’t have to be reapplied as frequently.”

The two developed a sunscreen that blocks oxybenzone from being absorbed into the skin. In their formulation, the ingredient remains encapsulated. The chemical then stays on top of the skin. “Essentially we’ve been able to provide the protection from a UV-absorbing sunscreen, but without the intrusion into our bodies,” Loy tells Sara Hammond of Arizona Public Media .

Before and after sun

NovaMex owns MexiAloe Laboratories. And according to Tech Launch, that subsidiary is among the top suppliers of aloe vera in North America. Beyond that, “Novamex, is one of the largest distributors of Mexican products in the United States,” notes Tumarkin.

MexiAloe will likely refine and adjust the formulation Tolbert and Loy innovated. And, adding a sun care product to their portfolio, one that consumers will perceive as safer, will only expand the company’s share of the sun care market.

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