Sun protection and stains on clothing

At Clarins, we have always made our consumers aware of the importance of protecting the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. We offer protective formulas which are safe and provide effective protection certified by independent laboratories. While skin is protected, sun care protection products can occasionally leave persistent stains on fabrics. Let us explain why and how to limit them.

1. What is sun protection?

Essential for protecting the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays, sun care protection products contain complex cosmetic formulas. Their protective efficacy against UV rays is the result of a balance between the level of solar filters (either mineral or chemical) and the formulation (lotion, milk, oil, fluid, cream, etc.) designed to spread the filters evenly over the skin’s surface and sometimes provide high resistance to water and sweat.

For a high SPF, a considerable amount of filters is required. Made from mineral, solar filters are particles that must become completely soluble in the formula to provide effective, uniform protection for the skin. When they are made from chemicals, solar filters are in a large majority of naturally oily compounds known as lipophilics.

Products resistant to water and sweat contain ingredients specially selected for their “incompatibility” with water and sweat, which are generally lipophilic.

As such, a high level of mineral or chemical filters and a formula specially designed to be resistant on the skin make sun care protection products sources of potential staining on clothes.

2. Why can stains appear on clothing after applying sun protection?

Sun care formulas are formulas designed to be tough in order to effectively protect the skin against UV rays: the level of solar filters, oily substances and water-resistant ingredients make sun care products persistent on the skin.

As for clothing, depending on the kind of fabric, the organisation of the fibres can cause the product to stain.

As such, when used, and if applied just before getting dressed or on clothing, sun care products are susceptible to leaving stubborn stains on fabrics.

3. How can you avoid and get rid of stains on clothes?

To avoid the appearance of stains from sun care products on clothing, we recommend:

- applying the product and letting it fully penetrate the skin before getting dressed.

- opting for clothing made from cotton or natural materials and avoiding synthetic, delicate fabrics that are harder to remove stains from.

In case of a stain, you should act quickly. Due to their greasy composition, sun care formulas can be dissolved by rubbing the stain using washing-up liquid before machine washing. Stain-removing sprays prior to washing, baths of vinegared water or even talcum powder and Marseille soap can also be effective at removing stains from sun care products. Bleach, however, is not recommended due to its lack of effectiveness. While it lightens fabrics, it does not remove stains.

4. What about sun care products on the skin?

Fabric and skin have nothing in common. Just because a stain remains on clothing even after washing it, the product will not be as stubborn on the skin.

Sun care products are removed when showering. Soap, shower gels and other products dissolve filters and other components. Ideally, a shower oil formula should be used to dissolve the oil from sun care products.

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