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Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2002 Dec;1(12):970-81.

An in vitro systematic spectroscopic examination of the photostabilities of a random set of commercial sunscreen lotions and their chemical UVB/UVA active agents.

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Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1 MB.


The photostabilities of a random set of commercially available sunscreen lotions and their active ingredients are examined spectroscopically subsequent to simulated sunlight UV exposure. Loss of filtering efficacy can occur because of possible photochemical modifications of the sunscreen active agents. Changes in absorption of UVA/ UVB sunlight by agents in sunscreen lotions also leads to a reduction of the expected photoprotection of human skin and DNA against the harmful UV radiation. The active ingredients were investigated in aqueous media and in organic solvents of various polarities (methanol, acetonitrile, and n-hexane) under aerobic and anaerobic conditions The UV absorption features are affected by the nature of the solvents with properties closely related to oil-in-water (o/w) or water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions actually used in sunscreen formulations, and by the presence of molecular oxygen. The photostabilities of two combined chemical ingredients (oxybenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate) and the combination oxybenzone/titanium dioxide were also explored. In the latter case, oxybenzone undergoes significant photodegradation in the presence of the physical filter TiO2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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