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Efforts to develop new efficacy of cosmetics

Japan Cosmetic Industry Association (JCIA) is acting to let more people know the efficacy of cosmetics. We study the efficacy of cosmetics from a scientific perspective and strive to help many consumers understand the efficacy of cosmetics and enjoy cosmetics in consumers' life.
Currently, we are working to acquire the authorization on efficacy of “long-term and continuous use of sunscreens for prevention of photoaging (described below)”.

Acquiring new claims of efficacy of cosmetics

In Japan, only 55 efficacy claims were legally authorized as cosmetic efficacy. In 2011, “to make fine winkles caused by dryness less noticeable” was added as a new range of efficacy that can be displayed on cosmetics. JCIA requested Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) for authorization of this efficacy claim, which is now legally authorized to be displayed on products by conducting experiments based on the Guidelines for Evaluation of Cosmetic Functions developed by the Japanese Cosmetic Science Society.

Test method for sunscreen efficacy

The evaluation method for the efficacy of sunscreens in Japan is currently formulated as a voluntary standard of JCIA in accordance with the international standards issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This voluntary standard is recognized by MHLW and the Consumer Affairs Agency. JCIA requests that all sunscreen products sold in Japan should be compliant to this standard, so that consumers in Japan can correctly choose sunscreens.
The Photoprotection Subcommittee of JCIA Science & Technology Committee has joined ISO TC217 as one of the project leaders and has been actively working on the establishment of international standards. In 2021, standards for water resistance testing methods and labeling methods for UV protection effects were added, making it easier for more consumers to choose water-resistant products.

Photoaging prevention efficacy of sunscreens

Acute skin reactions caused by UVA and UVB are recovered after a certain period of time, but repeated exposure to UV rays induces wrinkles, pigment spots and skin cancer. Over a long period of time, quantitative and qualitative degeneration of the dermal matrix and changes in the epidermis occur, resulting in deep wrinkles on the skin surface and epidermal thickening (acanthosis). With generation and uneven accumulation of melanin pigments, the skin becomes yellowish and pigment spots appear. Such changes in the skin caused by long-term exposure to UV rays are called “photoaging”. They are distinguished from age-related skin changes (intrinsic aging) because of their obvious differences. Photoaging can be prevented differrently from intrinsic aging. Reportedly, sunlight is responsible for 80% of facial aging.

For this reason, in order to prevent photoaging, it is effective to protect the skin from UV rays not only during leisure time when skin is exposed to strong UV rays, but also during the times of everyday life. It is also effective to cover the skin with a hat or clothing, and to continuously use sunscreens on the face and other exposed areas to avoid direct exposure to UV rays. Scientific evidence has also been reported on the effect of long-term use of sunscreens on prevention of photoaging and skin cancer.

JCIA is taking actions so that the effect of sunscreens to prevent photoaging can be used as an efficacy claim of the cosmetics products.

The 46th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cosmetic Science Society (Panel Discussion)

June 26, 2021


Importance and substantiation of a new efficacy claim of sunscreens to prevent “Photo-aging” induced by UV -Thoughts from industry, government and academia-

Fujiwara, R., et.al., (2022)
The Effect of On-Site Application Density on the UV Protection Efficacy of Sunscreens. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed, 38, 259-265