No more white cast: This groundbreaking mineral sunscreen looks invisible on every skin tone
Most mineral sunscreens have a major problem: They leave behind a white cast on many skin tones.
The white cast is caused by the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide used in mineral sunscreens, which physically block dangerous sun rays before they have a chance to touch your skin. And it’s even more noticeable on darker skin tones.
It’s an issue that Frank Sun, manager of skin health research and development at Kenvue, is all too familiar with — and it’s the issue Kenvue scientists sought to solve with a new product, Neutrogena® Purescreen+™ Mineral UV Tint Face Liquid Sunscreen.
“The one segment of the population we struggle to reach are people of the Fitzpatrick 4, 5 and 6 skin tones, medium to darker skin tones, people who sometimes feel like they don’t even need to wear sunscreen,” says Sun.
And yet the American Academy of Dermatology is quick to warn that people of all colors get skin cancer, even if you never sunburn. More dangerously, they say, when skin cancer develops in people of color, it’s often not diagnosed until a late stage, which can be difficult to treat or even deadly.
“We asked ourselves, why aren’t people with darker skin tones wearing sunscreen?” Sun remembers. “The common complaint was: It leaves my skin looking white.”
And that’s a real problem: A 2022 study from Boston Medical Center found that there just aren’t as many good sunscreen options for all skin tones, which can leave consumers feeling left out of the market and discourage them from using sunscreen altogether.
“Diversity and inclusion are hugely important to us,” says Anne-Sophie Brillouet, senior director of research and development at Kenvue. “We know the best sunscreen is the sunscreen you want to wear every day.”
It was clear to the Kenvue team that solving the white cast problem was paramount. How could scientists create a mineral sunscreen that truly appeared invisible on all skin tones?
Finding a solution took a diverse 14-person group of Kenvue researchers of various ethnicities and skin tones.
“Our team covered every conceivable skin tone,” Sun says, “and each member weighed in with their own unique insights to help create the prototype.
The researchers were steadfast about true sun protection and committed to not changing the level of protection already offered by the Purescreen+™ line just to eliminate the cast. Instead, they found another solution: Adding tint to counteract the cast and create a mineral sunscreen that appears invisible.
Brillouet says the result is a product that cuts no corners: Neutrogena® Purescreen+™ Mineral UV Tint Liquid Sunscreen offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection — and solves the cast conundrum.
“We could have the made product appear less white on the skin by providing less protection, but we didn’t,” Brillouet says. “This is a mineral product that offers the great protection but leaves no white residue.”
Purescreen+™ is also made from naturally sourced sunscreen ingredients and is clinically proven to be gentle on the skin’s surface. Neutrogena® sunscreens with Purescreen+™ Technology have also been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, which recognizes products for use by persons with severe sensitive-skin conditions.
The Kenvue team also made sure the formula was non-greasy and easy to spread — delivering on two other common complaints around mineral sunscreen.
“We designed the whole experience to be as easy and delightful as possible,” says Brillouet. “It’s a formula that you can comfortably wear all day, every day.”
The new Purescreen+™ line is further proof of Kenvue’s commitment to ensuring our innovation meets the needs of all consumers. Kenvue’s BAND-AID Brand OURTONE™ bandages, which launched in 2021, come in three distinct shades to help ensure that people of color have more options in the first-aid aisle. The team is hoping Purescreen+™ will do the same for sun care.
“We just did our bootcamp at the American Academy of Dermatology, and we’ve been letting lots of people try it out,” Sun says. “They were incredibly pleased to see that the product was available in a shade that matched their skin tone. I think that’s our main difference in the sun aisle. This product is a testament to our focus on innovating for inclusivity.”
Find Neutrogena® Purescreen+ Mineral UV Tint Face Liquid Sunscreen
at leading retailers or online at Neutrogena.com.