PARIS — L’Oréal has made the group’s largest breakthrough in sun care innovation in the last three decades.
The world’s largest beauty-maker just started introducing what it says is the first sun filter to protect skin effectively against ultra-long UVA rays, which are the most insidious and can cause deep skin damage — a major public health concern.
“It started with research,” explained Françoise Bernard, L’Oréal research and innovation fellow, director of light and pigmentation laboratory, advanced research. “The first panel of research is all the knowledge around UVA rays, and their role in all the clinical consequences of sun exposure.
“So we and other academic teams in the past 10 years discovered all the impact — and especially the harmful impact — of such long UVA rays,” she continued.
Bernard said the next step was to search for and develop a new UV filter “in order to be able to filter very efficiently these wavelengths and to have at the end full coverage of the total UV spectrum.”
That became Mexoryl 400, a patented sun filter that protects skin against the 30 percent of solar rays that up until now have not been sufficiently filtered. These represent 20 nanometers, or nm.
Ultra-long UVA rays, which measure between 380 and 400 nm, penetrate the epidermis and are the among the primary causes of skin aging. These — along with other UVA and UBA rays — can contribute to DNA lesions, which may lead to skin cancer’s development, as well.
Mexoryl 400 follows L’Oréal’s 1982 launch of Mexoryl SX, which works against short UVA rays. Three years later, the company launched Parsol 1789, able to filter UVA rays of up to 360 nm. Mexoryl XL, debuted in 1989, was capable of absorbing UVB and short UVA rays, and boosting other filters’ effectiveness.
Mexoryl 400 has so far been featured in six scientific publications. L’Oréal said tests show that it is sound environmentally and presents no toxicity to marine ecosystems.
Mexoryl 400 has been combined with a filtering system to create UVMune 400, a technology billed to provide broad photoprotection across the whole UV spectrum.
“In UVMune, the name, you have ‘mune’ like ‘immunity,’” explained Laetitia Toupet, global brand president of La Roche-Posay. That nods to how this product can work for people with skin issues, such as eczema, acne or allergies. It also is effective for all skin phototypes.
UVMune 400 has first been added to the Anthelios franchise from La Roche-Posay, the number-one ranked dermatologist-recommended skin care brand worldwide.
Its effects are widespread, according to Toupet, who said with UVMune’s use, “on the short term, you’re preventing pigmentation; on the mid-term, you’re preventing allergies, and on the long-term, you’re preventing wrinkles — and even cancer.”
“So it’s really a protection that is complete in terms of the full UV range, but also the full spectrum of biological and clinical effects of solar UV rays,” Bernard continued.
Anthelios UVMune 400 began its introduction in French pharmacies in March. It exists in two formats: Invisible Fluid SPF50+ and Hydrating Cream SPF50+.
“Then, we’re going to extend it to other textures around the world,” Toupet said.
L’Oréal held an event with dermatologists to introduce them to the new products. Toupet shared that doctors present there said: “You have brought a revolution to better protect our patients,” and “This is the end of SPF,” referring to the amount of solar energy required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin.
“On La Roche-Posay, it’s how we go beyond the products also to educate more people in this health mission we have with dermatologists,” she said. In other words, that sun care should become daily or a corrective care.
That syncs with L’Oréal’s goals.
“This launch is fully in line with the group’s approach of providing answers to public health issues, such as the risks linked to skin exposure to UV radiation,” said Barbara Lavernos, deputy chief executive officer in charge of research, innovation and technology at L’Oréal, in a statement.
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