World’s first*1 Micro Defense formula
On February 9, 2019, Kao Corporation (Michitaka Sawada, President) will be releasing new, improved versions of Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel, two water-based sunscreens that combine strong UV protection with light-to-the-touch texture.

Kao has developed a Micro Defense formula that uses a capsule packed with a UV protection agent. When applied to a cream, it covers the whole body like a layer of skin. The formula evens the application of sunscreen by forming a fine veil on the skin and spreading into micro crevices. A light application will protect the defenseless skin against UV effects with fresh sensations free from any hints of stress. The new sunscreens are positioned in the Bioré UV range, the top-selling sun protection products for twelve years running*2.

• * 1 A unique sunscreen formula exclusively produced by Kao Corp. The formula incorporates capsules with a UV protection agent consisting of amphiphilic ingredients with hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties including glyceryl behenate and sorbitan distearate. (Based on a survey of prior technology and a survey conducted in July 2018 by Kao Corporation inside the Mintel Japan database.)
• * 2 Sales levels by brand in the sunscreen market between September 2006 and August 2018 according to Intage SRI.
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Ultraviolet rays in sunlight can lead to long-term skin damages such as dark spots, freckles, dryness, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. Daily sunscreens protect the skin from those damages by shielding the skin from UV.
In a Kao survey of women sunscreen users conducted in 2016, more than 90 percent of the survey respondents replied that they had experienced sunburn symptoms even when wearing sunscreen.

This can occur when sunscreen is applied too little or not evenly. Sweat, water and rubbing may also chafe the sunscreen away. In observations using a UV microscope especially developed in the Kao laboratories, researchers have shown that*3 conventional water-base sunscreens (Kao products) sometimes disperse unevenly over the skin. With uneven application, micron-scale crevices may visibly appear when the sunscreen is spread on the skin.

Kao’s water-based sunscreens, a range of products widely loved for their fresh textures, do not volatilize their oil phase including the UV protection ingredients, but plenty of the aqueous phase. This can result in the formation of crevices on the skin. When using a water-soluble UV protection agent in the aqueous phase, the UV protection effect likely comes off with perspiration and sebum on account of it being soluble in water.

Kao researchers solved this problem by applying their own unique technology to develop a submicron-scale capsule packed with an oil-soluble UV protection agent composed of an amphiphilic ingredient with affinity for both water and oil. When these water and perspiration resistant capsules are scattered throughout aqueous phase, they stay on the skin surface even when the aqueous phase volatilizes. Kao’s unique Micro Defense formula ensures a full, even coverage down to micro level crevices invisible to the naked eye.

Despite the robust protection they provide against UV, these new sunscreens feel as light as water on the skin. The airy, vibrant sensation never disappears, no matter how often the sunscreens are reapplied. They evenly cover the body with a fine veil just like a second skin and prevent uneven spreading on the micro level. Daily protection against UV becomes easier than ever.

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