• Lisa Codespot

Sunscreen Trends in 2021

We are now well into summer which means consumers are making decisions on which sunscreens to purchase. Our personal care team is observing two interesting trends in the industry. First, the performance of sunscreen sticks which are increasing in popularity in the market, and secondly the tendency of high SPF sunblock to leave a white residue on the user’s skin.


Most sunscreen formulas on the market apply in degrees of whiteness on the skin before turning clear. The whitening may be zinc oxide, an ingredient used to protect the skin, or other ingredients which create a whitening that helps to cover all exposed areas of the skin during application. While this attribute may signal efficacy to consumers, it can also drive some level of dissatisfaction because it doesn't blend with all skin tones or makeup. When looking at the stick delivery system, we have noted that stick products require more pressure to spread on the skin in addition to leaving a white residue. Finding a way to manage these sensory attributes will be critical for developers and brand managers.


Our team has looked at the sensory properties of a few sunscreens on the market and made some notes about their qualities below!



Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Lotion


APPLICATION: The product is easy to spread across skin and rubs in quickly on application. The skin feels oily and greasy during application with the product leaving a thick, slightly white residue on the skin.


IMMEDIATE: Immediate residue feels waxy on the skin, then dries down to a clear plastic coating that is lightweight and feels close to untreated skin.


FRAGRANCE: Aroma/scent is low intensity, characteristic of green botanicals/floral.





Coppertone Pure & Simple Hypoallergenic Lotion


APPLICATION: Somewhat hard to spread across the skin, requiring substantial rubbing to absorb. The skin feels oily and greasy during application, and the product leaves a thick white residue on the skin.


IMMEDIATE: This product initially leaves a waxy/greasy residue on the skin after application, then dries down to a thick, clear, waxy/greasy coating on the skin.


AROMA: The scent reflects the base product, no fragrance is detectable.

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Stick


APPLICATION: The stick spreads easily across the skin, leaving a pearly white residue. The skin feels greasy and waxy on application, with the product leaving a moderate amount of white residue on the skin.


IMMEDIATE: The product leaves a residue that feels sticky and greasy on the skin then dries down to a greasy, silicone coating.


AROMA: The scent is very earthy, characteristic of mushrooms, woody and seedy.

All Good SPF 50 Sunscreen Butter


APPLICATION: Like the Aveeno, this product requires more pressure to spread on the skin and leaves an iridescent whitening on the skin. The residue during application feels greasy and waxy.


IMMEDIATE: The residue feels greasy and waxy with moderate stickiness on the skin then dries down to a thin, slick, waxy coating on the skin.


AROMA: The scent is low intensity, characteristic of salted wheat dough.