Ingredients That Add Sizzle to Sun Care Products

Sun Care Products

Sun care products took an understandable dip in 2020, with global sales declining by 18.2 percent during the pandemic. Lockdowns and restrictions kept most people indoors for much of the year. Even those who did soak up the sun in summer might have skipped the sunscreen, not realizing how potentially lifesaving it can be in the long term and how vulnerable to dangerous sunburns they were coming out of quarantine.

Between the seasonality of sun care, the need to educate consumers about sun protection and the impact of the pandemic on the market, sun care brands undoubtedly have a lot to overcome. But the future is still bright, thanks to trends like mineral-based, ocean-friendly, waterless, clean beauty, hybrid care and other unique sunscreens. Sensient is enabling innovation in the sun care space with natural ingredients backed with testing results and powerful formulations. Take a look:

Fluid Sunscreen SCT6249

Sun Protection Cream SCT6246

Mineral Filters

Are we entering the age of mineral sunscreens? Nearly 16 percent of sunscreens launched in 2020 were mineral based, according to Mintel. Mineral sunscreen taps into formulas that include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as opposed to formulas with chemical ingredients, to reduce harmful ingredients, skin irritation and on a large scale, environmental impact.

Paired with dispersion, Sensient’s pure mineral filters create sun protection by absorbing and scattering UV energy. Natpure® Screen TWG, a dispersion of ultrafine titanium dioxide, is a convenient and effective solution for formulators seeking to enter the mineral sunscreen market. It gives greater control over sunscreen active ingredients and helps to ensure consistent UV protection.

Surface Treatments

Surface Treatment

The right viscosity is a sensory must for sunscreen. How do chemists maintain low viscosity for smooth application? By coating the pigment with what is called a surface treatment. Experts in surface treatment technology, Sensient has developed various surface treatments that enhance dispersion and improve dispersibility. The result is a better sensorial experience with improved water resistance, greater SPF value, and less whitening on the skin. Our Unipure BA (Botanical Avocado), for example, is a natural hydrophobic surface treatment with a soft and lightweight feel despite its high pigment load.

Surface Treatment In-Vivo SPF Testing

Surface Treatment Whitening Testing


Sensient has also developed expertise in pigment dispersions, which simplify formulation by eliminating the need for powders along with the equipment investments and labor requirements they bring. Simplicity aside, dispersions have many technical advantages, including higher transparency with no sedimentation, no re- agglomeration, and a two-year shelf life.


For both an SPF and sensory boost, beads deliver a combination of light reflection properties and sensorial impact. Sensibead® SI 175 and Covabead® Crystal are two popular bead solutions from Sensient that are globally compliant. Whether formulated with mineral or organic filters, these beads enhance SPF while achieving optimal water and oil absorption. Covabead® Crystal also adds blue light protection.

Film Formers

Sun Care Film Former Infographic

In addition of using surface treatments, water and shear resistance in sunscreen come from film formers. Sensient makes a wide range of transparent film formers, including natural film former like our Natpure® Film AP. Natpure® Film AP is a sugar-based film forming agent coated with acacia gum for extra flexibility and suppleness.


A dispersant is a superior wetting agent: achieve high concentration of mineral filters with low viscosity increase which helps improve overall performance and aesthetics. Natpure® Feel-M Eco is an excellent natural emollient that acts as a non-volatile silicone replacement that nourishes the skin and offer low viscosity with any untreated and treated mineral filter.

Dispersant Testing

In any sun care product, consumers want safe ingredients, proven protection, reliable performance, and sensory experience. Mix, match and achieve all of the above with Sensient’s complete sun care portfolio and a la carte sun care program. Contact us to learn more.

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