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Amerchol Introduces UV Protection Booster for Sun Care Products


SolTerra™ Boost Dramatically Increases Full-Spectrum Protection, Maintains Aesthetics

Midland, MI - Amerchol, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”), announced today that it will introduce a new family of ultraviolet (UV) protection-boosting polymers at the upcoming In-Cosmetics Asia trade show. Compatible with both inorganic UV absorbers and inorganic/organic blends, the polymers will be marketed as SolTerra™ Boost. SolTerra Boost enables formulators to meet key consumer demands, by dramatically increase the sun protection factor (SPF) and persistent pigment darkening protection (UVA rating) of skin care products containing inorganic UV filters, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The first of its kind, SolTerra Boost is derived from cellulose and enhances protection against both UVB rays, which can cause sunburn, and UVA rays, which can lead to premature aging and long-term skin damage.

“The introduction of SolTerra Boost is another exciting example of our ability to bring innovative new products to the personal care industry that meet changing market needs,” commented Denise Elias-Costrini, global marketing manager for Amerchol. “We are confident that this will become an effective solution for formulators and brand owners to enhance their formulations, especially in response to consumers’ increasing awareness of and demand for products that provide better UVA coverage.”

According to Jim Gall, sun care market development manager for Amerchol, SolTerra™ Boost will give formulators a head start in the race for higher UVA and UVB protection ratings. “Among FDA-approved actives, zinc oxide has the broadest range of UV coverage,” said Gall. “With the boost provided by SolTerra Boost, formulators will now be able to achieve very high SPF (SPF 50+) formulations with all zinc oxide or all inorganic sunscreen filters. This eliminates the need to use oily, sticky and tacky organic sunscreen filters, which are potentially irritating to the skin.”

SolTerra Boost also creates an opportunity to reduce the active ingredient load without sacrificing SPF. “This can reduce formulation cost, by removing organic filters and making it easier to add other beneficial ingredients in multifunctional products. For example, formulators can use SolTerra Boost to reduce the active load but maintain an SPF 15 level. Or, formulators can choose to boost an SPF 15 product to provide SPF 30,” notes Gall.

Why Boost UV Protection?

Fueled by increasing concerns over sun exposure and its effect on premature aging and long-term skin damage, sun care is one of the fastest growing segments of the personal care market. Consumers are demanding better sun protection in more than just beach wear products; they look for it in many parts of their daily regimen, including moisturizers, foundations, and lip balms. Adding pressure to the mix is a proposed FDA monograph that would expand sunscreen product labeling to include the amount of protection from both UVA and UVB rays. However, most UV absorbers provide protection from the spectrum of UVB rays, and provide little UVA coverage. Besides zinc oxide, avobenzone is the only other UVA absorber currently approved for use by the FDA, and its use is limited to three percent. Formulators have turned to other UV boosters to help address the imbalance, but still struggle with the limited effectiveness of avobenzone and its tendency to degrade.

“Inorganic UV absorbers such as zinc oxide are much more effective at providing coverage across the full UV spectrum,” said Gall. “By combining SolTerra Boost with a product like our ZinClear™ IM Zinc Oxide Dispersions, formulators can more easily achieve full-spectrum protection at higher levels, while maintaining the aesthetics needed for lipsticks, foundations and daily moisturizers.”

What Makes SolTerra™ Boost Different?

SolTerra Boost is not an active ingredient, but helps to improve the efficacy and performance of inorganic UV filters and inorganic/organic filter blends. Its performance exceeds that of other SPF boosters in several ways:

* Broader spectrum of activity. SolTerra Boost increases both UVA and UVB protection ratings.
* Higher UV boost. SolTerra Boost can increase SPF ratings by more than 100 percent.
* Lower recommended load rate. At one to five percent of the total formulation, the recommended load rate of SolTerra Boost is significantly less than other boosters. Other products require load rates of ten percent or more.
* Greater formulation flexibility. SolTerra Boost doesn’t negatively impact viscosity or aesthetics, providing formulators with greater formulation flexibility to add other beneficial or performance-enhancing ingredients.
* Greater compatibility. The booster is also compatible with blends of inorganic and organic filters and other active ingredients commonly used in sunless tanners, anti-aging products and after-sun healing lotions.

Amerchol will formally introduce SolTerra Boost at the In-Cosmetics Asia trade show, to be held November 4-6, 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand. “This is our first product to be launched in Asia, ahead of other geographic markets,” said Elias-Costrini. “This strategic decision was made in recognition of the growing importance of the Asian personal care market. SolTerra Boost will be available globally to meet formulators’ preference for inorganic sunscreens, which are safe, effective, and have a low potential for skin irritation.”

About SPF and the new UVA monograph

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is one of the single most important considerations when consumers choose a sun care product. SPF indicates the level of protection against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which are primarily responsible for skin erythema (reddening or “burning” of the skin). Sun care product labels in the United States currently do not list the level of protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which penetrate deeper into the skin and can contribute to long-term skin damage, such as premature aging, as well as more serious health effects. To help consumers make more informed decisions, The United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) has proposed a ”four-star” UVA rating system, that would require that over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens disclose both UVA and UVB protection on product labels by 2010.

About Amerchol

Amerchol, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated affiliates, is a global manufacturer and marketer of performance ingredients for use in personal care product applications. These ingredients are primarily emollients, moisturizers, deposition aids, conditioners, and thickeners and find the majority of their uses in consumer skin care and hair care products. Amerchol is dedicated to providing solutions based on sustainable chemistry, and is able to leverage the technologies and capabilities of the Company to the personal care industry. For more information, please visit the web at

About Dow

With annual sales of $54 billion and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the “ Human Element ” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

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