14 September 2008

In the US, recently approved sunscreen chemicals lists 16 UV filters :
  • 14 of which are organic UV filters (absorb UV rays)
  • 2 inorganic particulates (absorb and reflect UV rays)
SunscreenMaximum Allowable Dose (%)Spectral maxExtinction Coefficient
Organic Filters


UV B


Cinoxate3305
11,000
Ensulizole431026,000
Homosalate153064300
Octocrylene1030312,600
Ocinoxate7.531023,300
Octisalate53074900
Padimate-O830727,300
PABA (paraaminobenzoic acid)1529014,000
Trolamine salicylate122983000
UV B/partial UV A


Dioxybenzone3327
10,440
Meradimate53365600
Oxybenzone63259400
Sulisobenzone103248400
UV A I


Avobenzone335730,500
UV A II


None


Inorganic Particulates


Zinc Oxide25Broad Spectrum
Tianium Dioxide25Broad Spectrum
Source : From Shaat, N., Ed., The Chemistry of Sunscreens in Sunscreen,3rd ed., Taylor & Francis, NewYork, 2005.

Outside the US, there are many other available sunscreens that are more powerful. Some of these are Tinasorb and mexoryl that absorb strongly in the UV A II region. Tinasorb has been submitted as a Time and Extent Application and is currently going through the regulatory process in the US for approval in a few years.
TypeINCI NameTrade NameSpectral MaxApproval Status
UV B




EHTUnivul T 150314Europe, TEA application US

DBTUvasorb HEB312Europe

BMPParsol SLX312Europe
UV A II




TDSAMexoryl SX345Europe, NDA application

DPDINeo Heliopan AP334Europe

DHHBUnivul A Plus354Europe
UV A and UV B




DTSMexoryl XL303 and 341Europe, Japan, TEA application US

MBBTTinosorb M305 and 360Europe, Australia , TEA application US

BEMTTinosorb S310 and 343Europe, TEA application US
Source: Tuchinda, C. et al., Dermatol. Clin., 2006

Some of the filters approved outside the US and the maximum wavelength at which they absorb UV light. Most of these filters posses a very high extinction coefficient and are very broad and, in fact, absorb at two different wavelengths. Sunscreens effective in prevention of polymorphic light eruption in photosensitive patients and in those patients with lupus erythematosis.

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