Oxonica pushes boundaries of UVA protection

Related tags Optisol uv absorber Titanium dioxide

UK company Oxonica says that it is expecting a newly developed UV
absorber incorporating nano-sized titanium dioxide powder that
helps to increase UVA protection to appear in sunscreen products
next year. Simon Pitman.

Optisol UV Absorber has been in the development stages for five years now and was commercially launched at the end of last month, following a supply agreement with metals manufacture Umicore.

The company says that the development of the UV absorber, should help to feed the needs of cosmetics companies throughout the world, who are currently looking to enhance the balance of both UVA and UVB screening. This is being driven by consumers, who are becoming increasingly aware of the need of multi-functional sun screen products that help to provide maximum protection for a variety of conditions and skin types.

"The recent introduction of the Boots Star System by British chemist Boots has done a lot to improve consumers awareness of the varying effectiveness of sunscreen products,"​ said Gareth Wakefield, vice president of research for Oxonica. "This scheme determines which specific products fair better than others and it is expected that products using Optisol UV Absorber will prove to be market leaders, particularly in the high protection sector."

Wakefield went on to explain that the ingredient, developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford, helps to counter balance the skin damage created by UVA rays. With many sun screen products, he explained, the problem is that UVB absorbance is often sufficient, but absorption of the equally damaging UVA rays often decreases the longer the exposure is.

The titatanium oxide acts as a physical barrier to prevent the depletion of the UVA filter and to help prevent the depletion of UVA protection.

"Although titanium oxide has been used for years in sun screen products, the nano technology we have employed to develop this ingredient helps to keep free radicals at bay and to maintain the effectiveness of the protection,"​ Wakefield said. "Ultimately this will help to cut down on the incidence of skin ageing and cell damage, as well as helping in the fight to prevent skin cancer."

Oxonica​ says that it is in talks with a number of leading sun screen manufacturers and that and that the first agreement could see Optisol UV Absorber included in products as early as next summer.

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