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3 Reasons Why You Should Participate in Sunscreen Testing

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CPT Labs

Each sunscreen product must be rigorously tested to ensure correct efficacy and maximum safety. From the initial formulation of a new sunscreen product to the finished product, sunscreen testing is a key element in ensuring the public health.

The Importance of Sunscreen

Skin cancer is a significant concern. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. Unfortunately, by the age of 70, this means that one in five Americans will have developed some form of cancer.

Of those diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers, approximately 90 percent of cases are believed to have been caused by exposure to excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Melanoma skin cancer is more dangerous.  One person dies every hour from melanoma. In the past decade alone, the number of new cases diagnosed annually has increased by 53 percent. Once again, the vast majority of these cases are believed to be caused by excessive UV radiation.

Shielding your skin from UV will reduce your risk of cancer and reduce signs of premature aging.  It will also reduce painful sunburns.

How Is Sunscreen Developed?

The sun gives off two types of UV radiation that reach the surface of the earth, UVA and UVB. Both can trigger dangerous changes in your skin. While about 95 percent of the UV rays that reach the earth’s surface are UVA, UVB radiation is more energetic and does more harm.

To combat UVB and UVA radiation, manufacturers develop sunscreen products that prevent the UVB and UVA radiation from reaching viable tissue.

The testing process begins during product development.  Generally, this is an iterative process in which some formulation work is completed followed by some testing.  The knowledge from the testing is poured back into formulation work, and the new formulations are tested.  This iterative process continues until the formulation goals are met.

The most important claim of a sunscreen product is the sun protection factor (SPF). This value, a ratio, represents the amount of exposure necessary for a consumer’s protected skin to redden divided by the amount of exposure necessary for a consumer’s unprotected skin to redden.  This ratio, the SPF of a product, indicates the ability of the product to protect the skin from UV-induced reddening.

As technology evolves to meet new needs, new sunscreen products are continuously being developed. Some sunscreen products have been developed for athletes, focusing on sweatproof properties. Some other sunscreen products have been developed for snow skiers, focusing on UVA protection. Sunscreens may focus on sand resistance, rub off potential, the safety, and more.

Three Reasons Why You Should Become a Sunscreen Tester

As the sunscreen product is being developed, it needs to be tested in clinical trials. Panelists and select volunteers are then invited to come into the testing facility to test the sunscreen product. This allows the manufacturers to access real, honest feedback based on the product’s quality and efficacy.

Overall, you can benefit by:

  1. Giving back to the public, as your opinion could contribute to key improvements — which could help product development.
  2. Gaining access to a unique opportunity based on the latest in technology and scientific resources — while being compensated for your participation.
  3. Being able to test the latest in sunscreen products before anyone else in the marketplace.

If you’d like to become a panelist, there are sunscreen studies that are in need people just like you. Want to get involved in sunscreen testing? Get started now!