WHAT IS THE SUN PROTECTION FACTOR (SPF)?
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is an internationally-recognised index that determines the protection provided by a product against ultraviolet B radiation.
SPF works by multiplying the time the skin can be exposed to the sun: an unprotected person would get sunburn in ten minutes normally so a product with an SPF of 30 would enable the user to be exposed to the sun for 300 minutes before getting burned.
Cosmetic products that include a sun protection factor therefore increase the skin’s protection against exposure for an additional time, which will vary depending on the SPF displayed.
There are different protection factors in cosmetic products and each one is adapted to the needs of the type of skin and the time it will be exposed to the sun. The most common protection factors are 15, 30 and 50 which is determined in the laboratory using standardised testing on each of the ingredients in the product.
ANALYSING THE DEGREE OF SPF
SPF testing involves determining whether a cosmetic product offers protection against UVB and UVA radiation, the two types of solar radiation that affect the skin the most.
- Determination of the SPF (against UVB rays)
This is an “in vivo” test on human subjects according to ISO 24444: 2019. The SPF is defined by the difference between the skin of treated and untreated subjects.
- Determination of UVA-PF (against UVA rays)
The test is conducted according to ISO 24443: 2012. It consists of evaluating UV transmission on a rough surface that has been previously coated with sunscreen.
“AITEX has advanced equipment for both “in vivo” and “in vitro” measurements of the sun protection factor of solar products.”
- Usage test
The usage test is carried out with a panel of volunteers in a blind test. The volunteers give their opinions on the packaging, colour, smell, absorption, etc.
- Labelling and composition
The SPF is verified to be in accordance with the approved indicator, instructions for use, product composition, and warnings on the use, range and efficacy.
LEADING LABORATORY IN SPF MEASUREMENT
AITEX is Spain’s pioneer laboratory in the determination of SPF in cosmetic products, in compliance with ISO 24444:2019 and ISO 24443: 2012 standards.
The equipment enables high-throughput SPF testing and dermatological studies; multiple tests can be performed simultaneously in a short period of time.
The simulators comply with the latest spectral irradiation standards, such as: ISO – International Organization for Standardization, FDA – Food and Drug Administration, JCIA – Japan Cosmetic Industry Association and COLIPA – The European Cosmetic and Perfumery Association.
In addition, the systems are fully integrated for fast, efficient and accurate UV transmittance analysis of sunscreens, liquids, lotions, creams, textiles, sprays, gels, powders, emulsions, etc.