Most people generally think of water and sweat as being things that hinder the effectiveness of sunscreen – even in cases where it's billed as being waterproof. According to Shiseido, however, its newly-developed WetForce technology not only keeps water from compromising sunscreen, but actually uses it to help block UV rays.
WetForce is designed to be incorporated into existing sunscreens by their manufacturers.
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It utilizes a proprietary formulation, the negatively-charged ions of which bond with the positively-charged ions of minerals such as calcium and magnesium – which are found in tap water, sea water and sweat. As those minerals bond, they pull the sunscreen film with them, drawing it out to form a stronger, smoother, more uniform covering on the skin. In lab tests, it reportedly boosts the UV-blocking qualities of sunscreen by approximately 20 percent, when exposed to water.
That said, sunscreens using the technology can still be removed using regular soap.
The company says that the first WetForce products should be hitting the market next spring (Northern Hemisphere). A demo of the technology can be seen in the video below.