Beauty Trends

Prime Innovation: SPF Sticks


  • New Product Innovation
  • R&D Formulation


Sun Care

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Photo of SPF Sticks with Prime Matter Labs logo

Prime Matter Labs Innovation Chemist Jocelyn Yu was tasked with creating a series of products for the 2022 Sun Care Innovation Kit to debut at this year’s Cosmoprof North America. The kit includes two sunscreen sticks that tap into the SPF stick trend we’re currently seeing in sun care.

Trend Insights

While SPF sticks aren’t new, they are increasingly becoming a popular format for sun protection. One reason for their popularity is the growing waterless beauty trend. The Global Waterless Cosmetics Market size is expected to reach $16.4 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 10.1% CAGR during the forecast period. The trend, like many other recent beauty trends, originated from South Korea in 2015 and began as a way to increase the concentration of active ingredients in products.

Another reason we’re seeing an uptick in SPF sticks is the increasing focus on sustainability by both consumers and brands in the post-pandemic world. Consumers are increasingly looking to purchase sustainable products that are earth-friendly, shifting from a nice-to-have to a must-have in a few short years. According to Mintel’s recent 2022 Beauty and Personal Care Trends report, 55% of US beauty users are very concerned about the environmental impact of the brands/products that they use.

From a brand’s perspective, the waterless format provides environmental benefits such as lower shipping weights that reduce carbon impact, and smaller packaging that reduces waste. While water has long been a fundamental ingredient in the beauty industry, brands across the industry are making efforts towards reducing their water footprint as climate change makes water scarcity an intensifying environmental concern.

Key Benefits

The stick format is extremely convenient for on-the-go application and reapplication throughout the day. As we’ve seen this summer, Americans are ready to get out and travel, whether it be locally or abroad, and the stick format is a convenient product to bring along wherever the destination may be. The format is also appealing for precision in application, often used for applying sunscreen on the face and hard to reach areas of the body.


Clear SPF Stick

The clear chemical sunscreen stick offers both broad spectrum protection and glowing skin. With the ability to incorporate pearlescent pigments for true color deposition, the clear base allows brands to develop products in a wide range of color options. It has the added benefit of a shimmering finish to provide the glow from within effect under makeup.

The product’s formulation uses only necessary ingredients to keep the ingredient list simple but effective and allows for further development as a multifunctional product that can provide additional skin care benefits.


Mineral SPF Stick

The mineral SPF stick’s key ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide, offering broad spectrum protection in an elegant formulation that leaves no white cast, while the spherical powders provide a soft-focus effect. Along with the zinc oxide, the product also includes plant-based, sugar-derived squalane that nourishes the skin.

To learn more about these products, please reach out to you Prime Matter Labs account manager. Check out Prime Innovation: Feeling Good Body Oil

Prime Matter Labs offers tailored product development and production, adapting and innovating along with your business. Work with our team to capture exactly what it's going to take to meet your consumers’ unique needs. Contact your Prime Matter Labs Project Manager or start your project here.

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