An answer to BBC calls for better testing of skin protection products

29 August 2008

Following the BBC’s calls for accurate labeling and testing of skincare products, UCL Business is able to announce the first verifiable, quantitative assessment of the effects of UVA, UVB and visible light on the skin, allowing more accurate testing of products protecting against the sun’s ageing and carcinogenic effects.

Against the background of increased media focus, an exponential growth in fatal skin cancers, increasing calls for harmonised standards in the grading of skin-protection products, and a new initiative by the EU to introduce more stringent product labelling, this breakthrough product testing process comes at exactly the right moment.

RAFT, a medical research charity, has developed a testing process that measures UV-induced free radicals in skin, providing quantifiable, comparative data, based on highly-controlled laboratory-condition tests, and moving far beyond the current user-testing standards that prevail within the cosmetics industry. Utilising skin samples, the RAFT technique provides accurate data that allows meaningful grading of product efficacy.

In particular, RAFT’s technique has revealed that current filters, labelling and even usage of skin protection creams, often minimise their practical protection against free-radicals induced by UVA, a factor that was not understood even by product manufacturers. The technique also brings into sharp focus the very damaging potential of UVA exposure, not readily acknowledged within current skincare labelling, where SPF factors refer only to UVB protection.

It is thought that this new testing process will continue to reveal valuable data that will increase our understanding of the effects of prolonged sun exposure, and be instrumental in the development of a new generation of more effective sun creams.

RAFT is now participating in the development of new EU standards for sun protection product labelling, and welcomes enquiries through UCL Business (who has partnered with RAFT to commercialise this breakthrough) from companies that would like to find out more about the process.

The Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust (RAFT) is a medical research charity established in 1988 by a small group of Consultant Plastic Surgeons based in Middlesex, UK, with a desire to produce ‘translational research’ i.e. designed to marry clinical need with scientific research thus moving from scientific theory to the clinical setting and giving hope to countless patients whose lives have been devastated by burns, accidents, cancers, trauma or birth defects.

Visit the RAFT website here.

Further Information
For further information contact Alexa Smith, Senior Business Manager, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000, (a.smith@uclb.com).