English Top>News Releases>2001>Nano-Particle UV-Shielding Material for Cosmetics

News Releases

Nano-Particle UV-Shielding Material for Cosmetics

December 11, 2001

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has developed very-fine-particle ultraviolet shielding materials maxlight FTS and Maxlight ZS for use in sunscreen cream and foundation.

SDK uses very-fine titanium oxide particles and zinc oxide particles having diameters of 30 nanometers (nm: one billionth of a meter) and 20 nm, respectively, produced by one of its consolidated subsidiaries Showa Titanium Co., Ltd. The surfaces of those nano-particles are coated evenly with thin film of silica to reduce the surface activity, thereby increasing transparency and UV-shielding performance.

Maxlight FTS is characterized by high dispersion of nano-particles and excellent shielding performance in the UV-B region (UV wavelength: 280-320 nm). Addition of a small amount of Maxlight FTS results in high sun protection factor (SPF) values. It also ensures high transparency after application to the skin.

Meanwhile, Maxlight ZS provides excellent shielding performance in the UV-A region (UV wavelength: 320-400 nm) and high transparency. We have removed restrictions regarding the use of zinc in cosmetic preparations due to elution of zinc ion.

Furthermore, these new products have enabled the production of an oil/water type cream that holds emulsified oil in moisture content. When Maxlight FTS and Maxlight ZS are used together, the cosmetic preparation can shield UV of all wavelengths reaching the earth's surface. Annual sales of Maxlight series of nano-particle products are expected to reach ¥1 billion in four years' time.

Under the medium-term consolidated business plan, SDK is expanding the specialty chemicals business as a business with high-growth potential for the personal care/environment markets. Since late 1980s, SDK has been developing innovative cosmetic materials, centering on Ascorbyl Phosphate Mg and Ascorbyl Phosphate S: stabilized vitamin C derivatives that are highly effective at ensuring fair complexion, against acne and inflammation, and as sunscreen.

SDK is also proceeding with R&D of several items in this area, in addition to the recently announced development of biosurfactant Aminofect. SDK aims at achieving annual sales of ¥5 billion for those innovative cosmetic raw materials in five years' time.