UV Protection

Between the seasonality of sun care, the need to educate consumers about sun protection and the impact of the pandemic on the market, sun care brands undoubtedly have a lot to overcome. But the future is still bright, thanks to trends like mineral-based, ocean-friendly, waterless, clean beauty, hybrid care and other unique sunscreens. Sensient is enabling innovation in the sun care space with natural ingredients backed with testing results and powerful formulations.

Mineral Filters

Are we entering the age of mineral sunscreens? Nearly 16 percent of sunscreens launched in 2020 were mineral based, according to Mintel. Mineral sunscreen taps into formulas that include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as opposed to formulas with chemical ingredients, to reduce harmful ingredients, skin irritation and on a large scale, environmental impact. 

Paired with dispersion, Sensient’s pure mineral filters create sun protection by absorbing and scattering UV energy. Natpure® Screen TWG, a dispersion of ultrafine titanium dioxide, is a convenient and effective solution for formulators seeking to enter the mineral sunscreen market. It gives greater control over sunscreen active ingredients and helps to ensure consistent UV protection. 


Surface Treatments

The right viscosity is a sensory must for sunscreen. How do chemists maintain low viscosity for smooth application? By coating the pigment with what is called a surface treatment. Experts in surface treatment technology, Sensient has developed various surface treatments that: 

  1. Improve dispersibility 
    • More stable, homogenous and performing formula 
    • Easier to incorporate in formula at high pigment load
  2. Better sensorial experience 
    • Nicer texture in masse, easy application on skin 
  3. More transparency on skin 
    • Less whitening on skin for a more natural look 
  4. Better SPF protection 

Technical properties: 

  • High hydrophobicity 
  • Improved water resistance 
  • Easy dispersibility 
  • Better SPF value 
  • Photocatalytic stable 
  • In-vivo data available 

Cosmetic benefits: 

  • Improved SPF  
  • Easier spreadibility 
  • Less whitening 


Sensient has also developed expertise in pigment dispersions, which simplify formulation by eliminating the need for powders along with the equipment investments and labor requirements they bring. Simplicity aside, dispersions have many technical advantages, including higher transparency with no sedimentation, no re- agglomeration, and a two-year shelf life. 


For both an SPF and sensory boost, beads deliver a combination of light reflection properties and sensorial impact. Sensibead® SI 175 and Covabead® Crystal are two popular bead solutions from Sensient that are globally compliant. Whether formulated with mineral or organic filters, these beads enhance SPF while achieving optimal water and oil absorption. Covabead® Crystal also adds blue light protection. 

Sensibead® SI 175 

Technical properties: 

  • Good oil and water absorption 
  • SPF Boosting with mineral and organic filter 

Cosmetic benefits: 

  • Absorb excess oil and water 
  • Mattifying effect with blurring effect 
  • Powdery skin feel 

Covabead® Crystal 

Technical properties: 

  • Low water and oil absorption 
  • Light reflection properties 
  • SPF Boosting with mineral and organic filter 

Cosmetic benefits: 

  • Blue Light protection 

Sensisorb Biomim

Technical properties: 

  • SPF booster
  • UVA & UVB Absorption
  • Color & Fragrance protection
  • Free of OMC & BHT

Cosmetic benefits: 

  • Increase skin protection
  • Improve the color stability of your cosmetic products

Film Formers 

In addition of using surface treatments, water and shear resistance in sunscreen come from film formers. Sensient makes a wide range of transparent film formers, including natural film former like our Natpure® Film AP. Natpure® Film AP is a sugar-based film forming agent coated with acacia gum for extra flexibility and suppleness. Find out more here.


A dispersant is a superior wetting agent: achieve high concentration of mineral filters with low viscosity increase which helps improve overall performance and aesthetics. Natpure® Feel-M Eco is an excellent natural emollient that acts as a non-volatile silicone replacement that nourishes the skin and offer low viscosity with any untreated and treated mineral filter. 


Speak to our experts

Want to find out more about our solutions? Got a regulatory question? Need help formulating?