UVA protection in foundation


Clara Le Berre
Oriflame Research and Development Ltd, Bray, Ireland


Launched between 2013 and 2016, only 12% of foundations claiming a SPF contain UVA filters. This paper describes the benefit of a balanced protection, the challenges in formulation with some guideline to help the formulator during the development of a foundation with SPF/UVA PF and the limitation of the in-vitro SPF testing for foundation.

In colour cosmetics, the increasing numbers of hybrid products with a sun protection claim, alongside nourishing and moisturizing claim are linked to the growing consumer awareness that everyday exposures to the sun over years has an impact on the skin’s health and on its appearance. It’s the responsibility of the formulator to provide a safe and balanced protection.  The aim of this article is to help the formulator with some guiding principles to optimise the effectiveness of a balanced protection in foundation.


UVA rays comprise 95% of the total ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth’s surface and are not blocked by clouds or the ozone layer. UVA is divided into two wave ranges, UVA I, which measures 340-400 nanometres (nm) and UVA II which extends from 320-340 nm. Due to its longer wavelength, UVA rays can penetrate the skin deeper than UVB, causing extracellular matrix breakdown, generating premature skin-ageing and photocarcinogenesis (1). UVA protection is also closely linked to air pollution. There is evidence that exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) might potentiate the harmful effects of air-borne particles on human skin. Ozone, long UVA rays, cigarette smoke and other major pollutant factors are able to boost the oxidization of squalene. Peroxidized squalene leads to comedogenesis, contributes to the development of inflammatory acne and possibly speeds up the skin ageing process (2). For those reasons, daily care and colour cosmetic product claiming SPF protection should offer full UV spectral coverage or broad spectrum protection. In Europe, Colipa recommends that the UVA Protection Factor (UVAPF) of a sunscre ...