Botaneco Demonstrates Reliable SPF Testing Method for Sun Care Formulas Containing Natural Ingredients


Lambertville, NJ - March 5, 2018
Spectrophotometric measurement of sun protection factor (SPF) for oleosome-based sun care products correlates with US FDA guidance for in vivo SPF testing.

Botaneco is studying new approaches to evaluate the SPF of sun care products containing natural ingredients, such as oleosomes. That's because current in vitro SPF screening methods often show less reliability than emerging assays, mainly spectrophotometrics.

"Our goal is to find a simple, faster, more reliable in vitro method to verify the SPF of formulas containing organic UV filters and natural ingredients", said Soo In Yang, Research Scientist, Botaneco. "Whatever assay is adopted in the laboratory must be reproducible with the US FDA in vivo protocol. One such test method involves spectrophotometrics, the quantitative measurement of the reflection or transmission properties of a material."

A study, now available in a peer-reviewed cosmetic dermatology journal, shows how spectrophotometric measurement of organic UV filters, embeded within an all-natural safflower oleosome, correlates with in vivo SPF testing [1]. Specifically, Yang and others on the study team observed a high correlation for SPF 30 product models. They compared the spectrophotometric observation to a 2-subject in vivo clinical measurement, the results of which were further supported by a follow-up 10-person in vivo SPF study.

"The average value of the in vivo SPF test was SPF 31.98., where the spectrophotometric method provided an equivalent SPF average of 31.19. This demonstrates that the mean SPF values from the in vivo and spectrophotometric measurements are statistically identical, confirming the spectrophotometric method is reliable and comparable to in vivo SPF testing results," said Yang.

The complex functionality of natural ingredients
An on-going shift toward natural ingredients is changing the way products function. Natural ingredients often behave much differently in formulations than synthetic ingredients, and that may impact traditional testing standards and protocols.

"Certain types of testing may not accurately capture the intricate functionality of natural ingredients, like oilseeds that store oil in small encapsulation vehicles called oleosomes," said Kathy Mish, Marketing Manager, Botaneco. "Alternative in vitro testing protocols, such as spectrophotometrics, illustrate the unique functionality that complex natural ingredients bring to personal care."

For more information about the study, and to request sun care formulas containing oleosomes, visit Botaneco on the web at

  1. Reliable and simple spectrophotometric determination of sun protection factor: A case study using organic UV filter-based sunscreen products. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017; 00:1-5

About Botaneco
Botaneco, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, adds performance and value to personal care products with highly functional components of oilseeds. Through a proprietary, gentle extraction process that alleviates the need for conventional crushing, heat, and chemicals, Botaneco sustainably harnesses the oleosomes and proteins of safflower and canola to provide products in their original, natural state. The company’s new Sustainability Center of Excellence in New Jersey (USA) serves as a resource to optimize sustainable technologies in personal care.

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