Stick-based skin care is one of the most popular trends emerging from the K Beauty movement. This trend has driven leading manufacturers like Sunjin Beauty Science to improve its formulations, including sunscreens.
Sun protection products have evolved from basic creams and emulsions, to gels, sprays and more recently stick formats which allow for quick, easy application. The latest sunscreen sticks are even more sophisticated and incorporate innovative technology for enhanced efficacy and greater skin care benefits.
Generations of stick formulations
According to Botanichem, the South African agent of the Korean ingredient manufacturer, Sunjin Beauty Science, the first generation of stick formulations were made using only oils. These solid-format skin care products left a sticky residue on skin making them uncomfortable to use.
The next generation was also mainly oil-based but contained water-soluble ingredients in the form of microbeads, which were added to the formulation to give it extra properties such as a mattifying effect.
The third generation of sticks saw the development of the first two-phase water-in-oil emulsion stick. This formulation incorporated sodium stearate – an aqueous gelling agent traditionally used in solid deodorants and fragrance sticks. Although this generation was an improvement on previous stick products, there were foaming and hardening issues, mainly due to the softness of the sodium stearate. The pH for hardening should be in the range of 8 to 10 which is too high for a facial product.
Hectorite technology with ceramides
The latest generation of sunscreen sticks developed by Sunjin Beauty Science are true emulsion sticks formulated with MLB. This ingredient is a special blend of an extremely stable water/oil emulsifier containing plolyglyceryl-4 isostearate, coco-/caprylate/caprate, disteadimonium hectorite, polyglyceryl -3 polyrincinoleate and sorbitan isostearate.
Robyn Brown of Botanichem says that emulsion sticks which use water are more economical. They are also offer increased hydration as opposed to sticks which only use oils and waxes. They are considerably less tacky and water resistant.
“To impart even more hydration and moisturisation in a stick formulation, Sunjin has developed a hectorite blend containing ceramides. Ceramides are the ‘glue’ that hold together skin’s cells and help to reduce TEWL. They also help maintain good barrier function and skin’s moisture content,” explains Brown. “Ceraplex contains squalene, ceramides and phytosterols to help repair very dry and damaged skin. As the ceramides are part of the hectorite technology, they are fully stabilised. Hectorites also help stabilise formulations as well as impart a beautiful skin feel.”
These fourth-generation skin care sticks are incredibly versatile and can be used in various applications, including lipsticks, moisture sticks, BB sticks as well as sunscreen sticks.