June 13, 2016 Dossiers

Sunscreens: the dossier

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Essential to protect our skins from the harmful effects of UV radiation, be it on the beach in summertime or in the mountains in winter, sunscreens are, nevertheless, questioned as per their efficiency or their safety. Quite often, debates resurface about the allergenic risks of synthetic filters, the harmfulness of nano-screens, on the reality of their SPF… What can one think of all these pieces of information? In the end, what is the best choice, what is the best formula? CosmeticOBS-L’Observatoire des Cosmétiques updates this dossier.

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©Fotaolia/CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
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Skin and sun: Ten Questions/Answers for the right protection

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March 5, 2015 Scientific publications
UV damage skin several hours after exposure

According to a new study by researchers from Yale University (US), much of the damage that ultraviolet radiation (UV) does to skin occurs hours after sun exposure. This discovery raises the possibility of developing future cosmetics products to protect the skin in a new way. [Read more ]

© 123rf
May 29, 2014 Choosing your cosmetics well
How to choose your sun cream?

This has been true for a few years now: a whole series of questions arises when choosing our sunscreen products. Are synthetic anti-UV filters harmful to health? Do organic sunscreens contain nanoparticles? Is the cream SPF really as high as what is claimed on the label? How can we recognize the... [Read more ]

©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
November 30, 2012 Cosmetics news
Sunscreens efficiency: an answer by the cosmetic industry

The debate has been renewed last summer, in August, by a paper released in the French daily Libération. Laurence Coiffard, a researcher-lecturer in the Nantes (Brittany, France) University, fingered out misleading SPFs, overrated, that could, then, lead to increased risks of skin cancers.... [Read more ]

@ fotolia
May 31, 2009 Using your cosmetics well
Sun, my sunscreen and I

Springtime: one looks for the mild first sunrays to make long stays in the cafés terraces, while waiting for even better days in plain summer, when it is at last possible to benefit from its warm caress on the beach. Beware; even the best of sunscreens is not enough to protect your skin... [Read more ]

© Dave Broberg/Thinkstock ? L?Observatoire des Cosmétiques
July 6, 2011 ANSM
Use sunscreens the right way ? by the French Afssaps

There are some concerns about the true efficiency of sunscreens, the relevance of the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) stated on labels, the potential toxicity of filters and screens used in their formula… Selecting the best product is not enough; using it the right way is necessary for... [Read more ]

© Thinkstock/L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
July 30, 2015 Scientific publications
Should we put on sunscreen indoors?

We all know how useful it is to protect ourselves from sun rays outdoors. But should we also put on sunscreen indoors? This is what a study conducted by Brazilian researchers suggests. But why? UV rays get through our windows, and the lamps we use to get light also emit some. And although it is... [Read more ]

May 22, 2013 Scientific publications
Sunscreens (almost) as protective as clothes

Sun damage is the most important environmental factor associated with malignant melanoma. To address the health threat, as well as the economic burden, primary prevention and early detection are crucial. Sunscreen vs. a physical barrier: Spanish researchers have tried to find out which were most... [Read more ]

© Christian Wheatley -
July 29, 2015 Choosing your cosmetics well
Anti-UV filters and sunscreens

The protection against sunrays comes from synthetic filters and/or mineral screens. It must be efficient against both the UVB (given as the SPF: Sun Protection Factor) and the UVA, in a ratio UVB/UVA lower than, or equal to 3, as per the sanitary authorities. [Read more ]

©Thinkstock/L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
June 15, 2011 ANSM
Nanoparticles in cosmetic products: a first assessment by the French Afssaps

An issue arose some years ago about the potential toxicity of nanomaterials for human health, especially when they are in cosmetic products. They are suspected to be a cause of harmful effects on human tissues or cells: stress due to oxidants, production of free radicals and cytokine, which is a... [Read more ]

February 21, 2012 Scientific publications
Nano-ingredients toxicity: studies and convergences

Obviously, some topics are more topical than others. Nano-ingredients are but an example. As a proof, several studies have been recently released, all detailing the potential toxicity of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, used mainly in sunscreens. All the conclusions are in line... [Read more ]

March 15, 2013 Scientific publications
Two studies on nano-zinc

One of them is to be classified in the exculpatory file, while the other will support the incriminatory documents: nano-zinc is, again, questioned. The proceedings of its trial are going on, every time a scientific study is released on this topic. The two latest ones come, for the first, from... [Read more ]

©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
October 5, 2012 European Commission
Europe: nano zinc explained to customers

Nanoparticles are the topic of the moment, even in the cosmetic world. They raise concerns and lead to recurrent controversies, especially those based on zinc oxide, used in sunscreens. The issues they raise led the European Commission to publish a document that contains pieces of information,... [Read more ]

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August 14, 2013 European Commission
Europe: nano-zinc explained to consumers (2nd time)

It is a habit now for the European Commission, especially when “sensitive” or “topical” cosmetic ingredients are involved: soon after the release of the opinions from the scientific committees, it publishes an explanation understandable by the public at large, prior to... [Read more ]

©CEA-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
October 31, 2011 Scientific publications
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles: a danger for the brain

Titanium Dioxide nanoparticles are used in consumer goods such as paints, self-cleaning coatings, medicines or cosmetics. They are often present in sunscreens, but also in toothpastes, face care creams… Researchers have found that they alter an essential physiological barrier that... [Read more ]

October 11, 2012 Scientific publications
Sunscreen's unintended consequence: skin-harming oxidants

Chlorine in swimming pools can strip the coating off titanium dioxide nanoparticles in sunscreens that protect against UV radiation, leaving them able to react with water and form compounds that can contribute to skin damage and cancer. This is the conclusion of a study by U.S. researchers... [Read more ]

©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
December 4, 2012 Scientific publications
Sunlight May Enhance Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles skin penetration

The majority of scientific studies on Titanium Dioxide nanoparticles, used in cosmetic products and especially in sunscreens, conclude that they remain on the surface of the epidermis and do not penetrate the skin barrier. A recent study found that natural sunlight enhances their disaggregation... [Read more ]

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June 27, 2014 European Commission
Sunscreens and nano-titanium dioxide: health risks?

Following the opinion of the SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety), the European Commission published a fact sheet about the safety of sunscreens with titanium dioxide as nanoparticles. A document purporting to be informative... but also reassuring. [Read more ]

September 5, 2014 Scientific publications
Nano UV-filters: a hazard to sea life

A study by Spanish researchers, published over the summer in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology, raises an alert on the potential of nanoparticulate sunscreen ingredients (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) to cause damage to marine environments. They affect... [Read more ]

October 29, 2014 Scientific publications
Nano or not: TiO2 is toxic for the environment

The report was published by the Umwelt Bundesamt, the German Federal Environment Agency. It presents the results of a study on the environmental impact of three titanium dioxides, including two nano-sized ones. The conclusion? Nano or not, under the effect of UV radiation, TiO2 (which is widely... [Read more ]

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
May 19, 2016 Scientific publications
The subtle effects of nanoparticles on oxidative stress genes

A nanoparticle can have subtle effects on the activity of genes expressing enzymes that address oxidative stress inside two types of cells, although they are commonly used in food, cosmetics, sunscreen and other products. For example, according to a new study, while the titanium dioxide (TiO2)... [Read more ]

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
June 15, 2016 Scientific publications
Sunscreens: a scientific paper in favour of nanos

The report, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, is authored by Paul Wright of RMIT University in Melbourne and funded by the public National Health and Medical Research Council. It analyses the risks and benefits of nanomaterial usage in sunscreens and how these are perceived by the... [Read more ]

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May 29, 2014 Cosmetics news
Nanos in organic suncare products? Yes! Wait – no! Well, actually...

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© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
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An additional information in the the safety assessment of benzophenone-based UV filter, this study by Chinese researchers has recently been published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. [Read more ]

©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
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©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
April 8, 2012 ANSM
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: safe for use, says Afssaps

Widely used in sunscreens, in daily anti-ageing cares with SPF, but also in lip’s balms, shower-gels and body care oils, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, an anti-UV filter, had been evaluated by the French Agency for the Safety of sanitary products (Afssaps). Its conclusion (which comes with... [Read more ]

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MBBT: an exceptional, but contradictory UV-filter

MBBT, Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol in INCI lists of ingredients, is a very specific UV protective agent. It is both a filter and a screen, and efficient against UVBs and UVAs. It is synthetic, but in the nanoparticle form, and considered safe for use in Europe… with... [Read more ]

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All articles [7]
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November 22, 2017 Dossiers
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