UV photoprotection by combination topical antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E

Jing Yi Lin, M. Angelica Selim, Christopher R. Shea, James M. Grichnik, Mostafa M. Omar, Nancy A. Monteiro-Riviere, Sheldon R. Pinnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

224 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Virtually all plants and animals protect themselves from the sun using vitamins C and E. Objective: The purpose of this study was to see if a combination of topical vitamins C and E is better for UV protection to skin than an equivalent concentration of topical vitamin C or E alone. Methods: We developed a stable aqueous solution of 15% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and 1% α-tocopherol (vitamin E). We applied antioxidant or vehicle solutions to pig skin daily for 4 days. We irradiated (1-5 × minimal erythema dose) control- and antioxidant-treated skin using a solar simulator with a 295-nm band-pass filter. On day 5, we measured antioxidant protection factor, erythema, sunburn cells, and thymine dimers. Results: The combination of 15% L-ascorbic acid and 1% α-tocopherol provided significant protection against erythema and sunburn cell formation; either L-ascorbic acid or 1% α-tocopherol alone also was protective but the combination was superior. Application during 4 days provided progressive protection that yielded an antioxidant protection factor of 4-fold. In addition, the combination of vitamins C and E provided protection against thymine dimer formation. Conclusion: Appreciable photoprotection can be obtained from the combination of topical vitamins C and E. We suggest that these natural products may protect against skin cancer and photoaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-874
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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    Lin, J. Y., Selim, M. A., Shea, C. R., Grichnik, J. M., Omar, M. M., Monteiro-Riviere, N. A., & Pinnell, S. R. (2003). UV photoprotection by combination topical antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 48(6), 866-874. https://doi.org/10.1067/mjd.2003.425