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Combining Plant Compounds and Antioxidants Increasing in Popularity

Posted: December 22, 2008

Plant-based compounds with antioxidant properties are likely to be playing an increasingly important role in the sun care of the future. In recent years much has been published highlighting the potential of certain plant polyphenols to protect against UV-induced skin damage, and a number of new studies are investigating the possibilities of combining the plant-based ingredients with the more traditional inorganic and organic sunscreens.

Combining plant ingredients with traditional sunscreens

Recent work from researchers in Brazil investigated combining the polyphenols found in the Passiflora incarnate L., a climbing vine, and Plantago lanceolata, a perennial herb, and the flavonoid rutin with organic and inorganic filters. Formulations that contained the methoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3, titanium dioxide and the plant-based ingredients performed better in terms of both SPF and the UVA protection, according to the researchers.

Although there were complications—combining some ingredients seemed to have negative effects on the protection—the work shows definite promise particularly as calls for improved protection, especially at the UVA end of the spectrum, are increasing. Furthermore, new compounds that might have significant protective potential are being discovered.

Work from LOreal scientists, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, highlighted phloretin, found in the skin and flesh of apples.