Launches of new sunscreens claiming use with wet skin have grown dramatically, from fewer than five launches in 2005 to nearly 40 in 2014. Real, significant growth began in 2011 and keeps rising. It’s no wonder—wet skin sunscreens give consumers more unique application environments, reduce application steps and simplify beach and pool experiences (particularly for children who spend a significant amount of time in water). A major multinational corporation sought to produce an innovative wet skin sunscreen with unique benefits to gain an edge in this growing segment.
Sunscreen reapplication is highly recommended every 40-80 minutes. The time between applications is dependent, however, on factors such as sun exposure, water exposure and time of year. Using sunscreens after water exposure can be difficult in terms of both application and discoloration. The ideal solution would be a new sunscreen that can be evenly applied to wet skin while still going on clear. However, the process of sunscreen formulation is exceptionally difficult and many solutions have already been patent protected.
Hallstar’s custom formulated solution approach resulted in a patented discovery: an entirely new, unique sunscreen that can be applied to wet-skin and also maintain clarity (non-whitening). The successful process combined Hallstar’s photostability expertise, lab capabilities, formulation know-how and quick turnaround. Specifically, the process involved a lotion uniquely constructed with a balance of oil phase and water phase; a dispersion of oil aided by a liquid, low-HLB emulsifier which helped avoid whitening issues on wet skin; and a water phase gelled through neutralization of one or more polymers of acrylic acid to create a stable composition without whitening.
While many sunscreen providers were asked to participate in developing new technology, Hallstar’s formulation was selected for its superior application, aesthetics and performance, which surpass current sunscreen offerings and solve the customer’s specific challenges. The strategic alliance with Hallstar enabled the customer to launch a product with a unique wet sunscreen claim ideal for today’s active customers. These customers want to reduce the complexity of applying sunscreen, especially for children, when they are in beach and pool situations—but still retain broad-spectrum protection and a non whitening effect.
The formulation also gives the brand easy processing and a platform customizable for regional SPF requirements and compatibility with all common UV filters and esters. The company will be able to launch the product simultaneously to clients in the U.S. and European Union. Thanks to Hallstar’s focus on joint cooperation and collaboration, the company was also able to reduce their R&D spend and bring their product to market faster.