Well known for its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, as well as an inhibitor of melanin production by blocking tyrosinase activity, ferulic acid is already used in wide array of cosmetic applications. More recently, several studies have explored the possibility of using it in the fight against photo-induced aging, in particular as a plant-based UV absorber. A study published in 2018 demonstrated its ability to boost the sun protection factor (SPF) of several anti-UV formulations . Toutefois, selon Tsuno Group, a pioneer in large-scale production of ferulic acid, the stability and solubility of this substance have proven to be complex at high concentrations.
A 100% natural UV filter
To overcome these hurdles, Tsuno Group has partnered with cosmetic ingredients producer Matsumoto Trading to pioneer an innovative technology utilizing a high concentration of ferulic acid in a solid stick formulation.
According to the two companies, the new technology has made it possible to develop a sunscreen with SPF 50+ and PA++ (tested in vitro), using ferulic acid extracted from rice bran by Tsuno Group as the sole UV filter.
“This unique formulation eliminates the need for other commonly used UV protective ingredients, while maintaining high sun protection effectiveness. Patent pending,” said Tsuno Group in a statement.
An alternative to petrochemical filters
A patent application has been filed for this new formulation solution which could make it possible to use ferulic acid as a natural alternative to various UV filters.
According to Tsuno Group, ferulic acid can absorb UV rays in a similar range of the spectrum as octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC). This characteristic makes it a potential eco-friendly alternative to various filters of petrochemical origin, including ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC).
Indeed, recent studies have shown the negative impact of EHMC (also known as octyl methoxycinnamate or octinoxate) on the aquatic environment, and its role in coral bleaching .
Amidst growing global concerns about environmental sustainability, ferulic acid has the potential to gain increased recognition as a natural and effective sunscreen ingredient. It holds significant potential for application in a wide range of cosmetic products.
“We, as a leading company in rice & bran chemistry in the world, have been developing a number of functional products with tremendous efforts through accumulating technologies, have also researched their safe levels and effects to be well accepted in pharma, food, feed and cosmetic industries. Now we have launched a technology of using ferulic acid from rice bran as a natural antioxidant and UV absorber, which is the first innovation ever in the world. We are confident that you shall discover this product as unique and impactful to contribute not only to the human health and beauty but the circular economy for the world,” said Fumi Tsuno, President of Tsuno Group Co., Ltd.
Established in 1947, Tsuno Rice Fine Chemicals manufactures various ingredients from by-products generated in the process of refining rice bran oil, which can be used for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, functional foods, food additives, feedstock, and industrial chemicals. In addition, they are also engaged in the manufacture of cosmetics under their own brand that incorporate these ingredients.
** “Toxicological effects of two organic ultraviolet filters and a related commercial sunscreen product in adult corals”, Tangtian He, Mirabelle Mei Po Tsui, Chih Jui Tan, Chui Ying Ma, Sam King Fung Yiu, Li Hsueh Wan, Te Hao Chen, Tung Yung Fan, Paul Kwan Sing Lam, Margaret Burkhardt Murphy, in Environmental Pollution Volume 245, February 2019, Pages 462-471 (doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.11.029)