OEM Skincare Tips – Sunscreen selection for Asian Skin

Before the brand owner kick starts the project with OEM Skincare manufacturers, they should have known some basic knowledge on the products. For instance, sunscreen is essential for skin care, especially for Asian skin. To select a suitable sunscreen for the target market specifically for Asians, there is a list to be considered. 

According to Dr. Jenelle Kim (doctor of Chinese medicine), Asian skin are different from the other ethnicities, that Asians have a thinner layer of stratum corneum. Due to these natural facts, Asian skin tends to be weaker and easily expose to scarring, and will take a longer time to heal. Therefore, Asian skin needs extra skincare protection particularly in selecting the right sunscreen. 

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First of all, we have to understand the term UV radiation and how do they affect our skin. UV radiation comes in three wavelengths, UVA, UVB, and UVC, however, only UVA and UVB are related to our skin where UVC does not enter the earth’s atmosphere.  So, the real culprits are the UVA and UVB that cause skin damage and aging.

UVA or ultraviolet A has longer wavelengths, which can penetrate into the deeper layer of the skin which accelerates the skin aging process. According to Healthline, there are about 95% of the UV rays that reach the ground as the UVA are not absorbed by the ozone layer. Again, unfortunately, UVA can penetrate through windows anytime anywhere. As a result, you get immediate tanning effects, and visible wrinkles in the long term especially for Asian skin.

UVB or ultraviolet B has shorter wavelengths, which can only damage the surface layer of the skin but can cause skin cancers and some minor skin aging issues. According to Healthline, most of the UVB is absorbed by the ozone layers, but there are about 5% of UVB can reach the grounds. Overexposure to UVB could cause severe sunburn and skin damage. Fortunately, UVB does not penetrate through windows, they are mostly blocked by clouds or other objects.

To conclude, the sunscreen is required to have the “broad spectrum” protection to protect skin from UVA and UVB rays. The OEM skincare manufacturer has to ensure the sunscreen go through the laboratory tests before it can be labelled with “broad spectrum”. By understanding the basic knowledge about UVA & UVB, you can decide which sunscreen is suitable for your OEM Skincare projects that are targeted for Asian skin.

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Physical Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen

According to Dr. Tyler Hollmig, there are two types of sunscreen base, it is physical sunscreen (Mineral sunscreen) or chemical sunscreen. Not sure which to select for Asian skin? Usually, the OEM skincare manufacturer can suggest you a suitable type of sunscreen that match your project, but it is not too bad if you have some understanding before further discussion with the OEM skincare manufacturer.

Physical Sunscreen or sunblock acts like the protecting shield, reflect and scatter the ultraviolet ray off from your skin. The texture is often thick and sticky as it contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as its main ingredients. Physical sunscreen frequently creates a white cast on its finishing skin surface. However, if the OEM skincare manufacturer does use nanotechnology to change the size of particles, the white cast residue issue can be solved. Physical sunscreen is usually claimed as “natural” because the process is not involved with synthetic chemicalsChemical sunscreen acts like an absorbent to absorb ultraviolet rays instead of reflects them away. The texture is much lighter, easier to blend in with skin, and minimize the white cast finishing. Their main ingredients contain oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate and so on.

To conclude, both physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen perform the same function to overcome sun damages to the skin, minimize the risk of skin cancer, but there are differences between them. Do talk to the OEM skincare manufacturer to get more details before deciding for the Asian market.

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Sun Protection Factor (SPF) vs Protection Grade of UV-A (PA+++)

Often, we see there are these two terms on the sunscreen label, but what are they? As a brand owner, you have to understand these basics before dealing with an OEM skincare manufacturer. To simplify, SPF provides protection against UVB rays while PA indicates protection against UVA rays.

SPF or sun protection factor indicates their protection level by numbers such as SPF 15, SPF 30, or SPF 50.  The higher number of SPF symbolizes better protection, but sunscreen cannot protect your skin completely. Based on Cancer.org, SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, and lastly SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%. Again, the FDA mentioned for any sunscreen SPF less than 15, is unable to protect against skin aging but only manage to prevent sunburn.

Take into the scenario, the number of SPF also shows the time your skin getting sunburn if exposed to the sunlight. Refer to the colorescience report, the person’s skin starts to feel burning after exposure to sunlight for more than 10 minutes on average.  To understand further, an SPF 20 sunscreen can protect the skin from getting burnt for approximately 200 to 400 minutes. Nonetheless, sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 to 4 hours to ensure its functionality, especially if the person is sweating or in touch with water.

PA or Protection Grade of UV-A on the other way round, focus on the protection from UVA rays instead of UVB rays. PA protection efficacy is rated by the “+” symbols. The more “+” symbols indicate stronger protection efficacies. In common, SPF value and PA rating are correlated, the higher the SPF value, the PA value is higher as well. Ordinarily, we see PA ratings on color cosmetics, skincare, and sunscreens products.

The PA rating system was started in Japan, which was adapted from the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) method. PA scores from PA+ to PA+++, showing the level of protection against UVA is increasing. To understand further, you can refer to the scoring chart at colorescience. At this point in time, there are only 5 countries practicing UVA testing, namely are Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, and Australia.

In conclusion, these are the important points to discuss with your OEM skincare manufacturer at the initial stage of the project to ensure your requirements are fulfilled for your target market especially for Asian skin. Understand which sunscreen is suitable for Asian skin is the key before starting the project with the OEM skincare manufacturer.

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Earnest Chin 

Project Manager & Customer Relation

As a detail oriented, laser focus & resourceful strategist, Earnest has spearheaded many innovative projects that helped the company to operate more efficiently & also creating a better service experience for our customer.  He is working towards speaking Italiano fluently & enjoys doing CrossFit. 

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Foong Foong 

Senior Research & Innovation Lead Chemist, Skin Care & Cosmetic

A very detailed and determined individual who enjoys reading for leisure. Foong is very passionate in science and has dedicated a huge part of her life to acquiring knowledge in it while also being responsible as a chemist in the workplace. As a person who appreciate science, she takes comfort in supernatural, science fiction and psychological genre movies. 

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Bee Ann 

Senior Research & Innovation Chemist, Skin Care & Cosmetic

As someone who sees her dedication as her strengths, Ann is also an idealist that will make the best of every situation where she deems fit. Considering that she is someone who is reticent but very easy-goingshe very much enjoys anything that could bring her great amusement and could possibly crack her up. 

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