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Colorescience - Sun Protection

Colorescience - Sun ProtectionSee the Products Sunforgettable (SPF30) - All Clear by Colorescience !!! This decade should bring major changes in the way we perceive and use sunscreens. Look for new and better sunscreens that prevent both skin aging and skin cancer caused by ultraviolet light exposure.

Most sunscreens are not completely protecting consumers’ skin from sun damage. Current sunscreens certainly protect the skin from sunburn by absorbing UVB rays while other forms of ultraviolet light like UVA can continue to contribute to skin aging and skin cancer. These rays are not completely or may be only partially blocked by sunscreen.

Natotechnology offers a new medium for applying sunscreens. It is being introduced to minimize the drawbacks currently associated with traditional sunscreens. This medium is powder. Powder can easily be brushed and washed off, giving instant full spectrum sun protection does not have to be reapplied even after perspiring and swimming. Powder, properly formulated, is inert is not absorbed into the skin and does not produce free radical damage. This means it is safe for all ages.

The new technology relies on the reflective and refractive properties of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Both ingredients have been widely used in sunscreens for years but the they clump together, reducing their ability to reflect light and leaving a pasty white film on the skin. New formulations can be mostly clear. The new technology also had made the formulation process easier and more effective.


Most people, including estheticians, are unclear on what the terms organic and inorganic sunscreens actually mean. Sunscreens are either organic or inorganic. Inorganic sunscreens. Organic does NOT mean the sunscreens are naturally produced. Rather, an organic sunscreen is one that composed of carbon and hydrogen (among other things).


1. Organic sunscreens are absorbed into the skin to some extent. Most organic sunscreens block only UVB rays. The exception is Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) which blocks only UVA, but is reported to be stable on the skin in the sunlight for as little as one hour.
2. Organic sunscreens absorb the radiation and the body must get rid of it. They regenerate UV radiation as heat retransmitted as infrared. In other words, they absorb light energy and then release it in the form of heat energy (infrared). Organics get rid of UV by creating free radicals. Free radicals can also damage DNA, create spots and wrinkles and depress the immune system, increasing the risk of skin cancer. Antioxidants help stop free radical damage.
3. Some studies suggest that organic sunscreen chemicals pass through the skin and mimic the effects of estrogen, which may disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s natural hormones.


1. Inorganic (aka physical sunscreens) contain inery, microscoptic solid and particulate minerals – the most common bring zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Most physical sunscreens are now micro fine and with particles so small they are almost clear (unlike the thick white paste of past lifeguard fame).
2. Zinc oxide is generally considered very safe and very rarely causes allergic reactions and zinc oxide blocks more UVR than any other single ingredient.
3. Titanium dioxide blocks some UVA and most UVB.
4. Zinc Oxide and TitaniumDioxide lie on top of the skin and are not absorbed. They work by reflecting and refracting the ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) rays away from the skin. They do not absorb into the body and create the opportunity for free radical scavengers.


Most of us now rely on sunscreens for protection. New user friendly SPF inorganic powders are odor free, clear on the skin, waterproof and perspiration proof, won’t stain clothing and will wash off with soap and water. A new generation of sunscreen ingredients are hitting the market, relying on a revolutionary process that uses a powder so fine that each particle is smaller than the wavelength of visible light.

When spread on the skin they reflect and refract almost all-dangerous ultraviolet rays. And they do this on the surface of the skin preventing free radical damage. They will not burn the eyes when perspiring and are practically weightless, as if you are wearing nothing at all. One application can last for all day protection. The future is nanopowders.

Nanopowders are solid and particulate so they will not clog pores. Most are fragrance can actually cause a chemical burn on the skin when they come into contact with the sun. The simplicity of the formulation also has additional of the formulated properly, there is no need to add any chemical additives to ensure stability in the formula. The challenge is to improve the delivery.


Power sun protection is a very recent medium used to deliver sun care and skin care benefits. The active ingredients used to formulate powder sunscreens are zinc and titanium dioxide. Carriers like iron oxide, oat, rice, mica, silicone powders, marine algae and even talc may be used as inactive ingredients

Powder offers several advantages:
1. It is easy to apply. It has good flowability, glides easily over an irregular surface (the skin).
2. Actual film thickness of the actives is thicker than that with lotion, which dilutes the pigment.
3. Powders can be layered for more protection, like clothing.
4. Waterproof, Perspiration Proof and Rub Proof.
5. Powders can be brushed on and washed off at the end of the day without leaving chemicals in the body and create the opportunity for free radical damage.
6. Powders are inorganic and offer full spectrum (UVA, UVB, and infrared protection).
7. Perfectly clear protection is available.
8. Colored or sparkly powders are also an option to help insure that the product is easy to see if an area of the skin has been missed in the application process.
9. Powder feels weightless and nongreasy.
10. Protection is instant so a fifteen to twenty minute wait is not necessary.
11. Physical sun protection in the form of powder can be effective even after erythema has occurred.

One down side of cream sunscreen formulas is that they can be washed off or rubbed off easily. This can be remedied by formulation in a dry power medium or in a silicone medium. This means they can be applied in the morning and will protect all say even with swimming and perspiration.


Micronized minerals are one example of nanopowders. They were introduced into the market in the 1977 and were marketed as natural sun protection for the face. In the early 1990’s, micronized minerals were officially rated SPF 15 when micronized titanium dioxide was recognized by the FDA and an OTC (Over-The-Counter-Drug).

In the mid nineties, zinc oxide was micronized and also recognized as an OTC. This led to minerals offering and SPF 20 rating. The minerals offering and SPF 20 rating. The minerals worked well but had a few limitations. They were primarily used on the face, not the body. The colors inhibited use by men and children. The color would transfer onto clothing. The delivery system was traditional ( in pots) and could be awkward and messy. Today, self dispensing brushes make application a breeze.

The Best powdered sunscreen should be formulated with more than one active and variety of inactives with differing molecular sizes. In doing so, this offers even more assurance that all areas of the skin are protected. Note the billiard ball theory.

Pretend to fill a billiard table full of balls. Now climb up on an imaginary ladder and look down on the table. You will see the green felt surface between the balls. Similarly, some areas of the skin may be exposed if only one size molecule is used for sun protection. On the other hand, layer different size molecules as shown in the billiard ball drawing to insure complete protection.


It is generally agreed that the skin of infants had the potential to absorb a greater proportion of chemicals than that of adults. This has led to concern about the use of organic sunscreens on babies under the age of months. At this age, it has also been suggested that the lives may be slightly less able to metabolize some of the absorbed organic sunscreen chemicals than the liver of an adult. The University of Maryland Medicine had suggested that organic sunscreen use be limited to children over the age of six months. This also would suggested that organic sunscreen use be limited to children over the age of six months. This also would suggest that pregnant women not use organic sunscreen. Physical sunscreens are not absorbed into the skin, so it should be safe for babies and pregnant women. Zinc has been classified as an FDA Category I Skin Protecant and diaperrash treatment.

Another new powder ingredient on the market today is “pigmentary titanium dioxide” which is a 1000 micron material, as opposed to a 40 micron micronized titanium dioxide material. The particle size is at least 25 times larger than micronized titanium it is difficult to produce, so it is very expensive. Yet research substantiates that pigmentary titanium is much more effective at blocking IR (infrared) radiation. This ingredient keeps the heat level on the skin to a minimum and even produces a cooling sensation. This is extremely significant for dermatologists who are dealing with skin problems like rosacia, cancer eczema and possibly hyper and hypo pigmentation which are exacerbated by heat. Physical sun protection can be applied to skin that has already reached erythema to experience a cooling effect. Titanium dioxide is very sticky and helps the formula stay on the skin to prevent rubbing or wearing off.

It is important to note that neither organic formulas nor inorganic micro fine oxides protect against visible light, which is a problem for people who have light sensitive skin conditions, including actinic prurigo, prophyria and chronic actinic dermatitis. Iron oxide pigment powders can be beneficial here as they do absorb different parts of visible light, but not much UVB.

It would seem that the best sun protection on the market at this time should be formulated with micro fine zinc (for UVA & UVB), pigmentary titanium with a particle size up to 1000 microns (for infrared) and iron oxide (for visible light) and a combination of vitamins, especially C, E, and B5, and antioxidant serums applied before the powder formulations can be a very effective combination for good skin and sun care.


New user-friendly SPF inorganic powders are odor free, clear on the skin, waterproof and perspiration proof. They will not stain clothing and will wash off with soap and water. A new generation of sunscreen ingredients is hitting the market, relying on a revolutionary process that uses a powder so fine that each particle is smaller than a wavelength of visible light. When spread on the skin, they will reflect and refract almost all dangerous ultraviolet rays. And they do this on the surface of the skin preventing free radical damage.

If you use an organic sunscreen, choose one that provides a combination of chemicals that protect from both UVA and UVB and are formulated with vitamins and anti-oxidants, especially vitamin c, B5 and E. Avoid using organic sunscreens on pregnant women and children under six months of age.

There will always be a requirement for UVB (sunburn) protection. And for sun care at least, SPF ( the UVB factor) will remain the prime consumer motivator for purchase decision. But there is a strong and growing requirement for increased levels of UVA protection in sun care, skin care and decorative products. New technology and unique product formulations will offer better and more user-friendly ways to make sun protection a part of our everyday life, and will hopefully help in the diminution of skin cancer.

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