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Sun protection is very popular and in demand these days as women associate UV light with ageing and look for sun protection for their faces all year round. However when it comes to developing a beauty product that has a sun protection factor things get more complicated, especially if you are keen on organic cosmetic formulations. In fact not many green beauty brands have a sun block or SPF product in their range. Let’s see why it is not so straight forward

Sun protection formulation

Suncare product development is quite complex because:

  • UV filters performance very much depends on the individual cosmetic formulation. Adding a certain percentage of UV filter does not guarantee the right protection because every ingredient in the formulation contribute to the UV filter performance
  • there is only one natural/mineral UV filter approved by the European authorities, i.e. Titanium dioxide nano and non nano. Most organic certification bodies do not approve the use of nano Titanium dioxide and non nano Titanium may create a whitening effect on the skin
  • people with sensitive skin tend to react to chemical UV filters

Product development costs

In order to claim a beauty product has a UVB sun protection factor of 15, 20 or whatever, it is required by law to prove it passes the required protocol. Because the required protocol requires the use of human volunteers and expensive equipment, the cost of such a test is quite high. It is also important to have a product that provides the same level of UVB as well as UVA protection, and an additional test needs to be down to evaluate the UVA protection factor.


Given the complexity of sun protection cosmetic formulations as well as the costs think twice if you really want an SPF factor in your natural or organic cosmetic.