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Free Radic Res. 2010 Mar;44(3):304-12. doi: 10.3109/10715760903486065.

Assessment of the photo-degradation of UV-filters and radical-induced peroxidation in cosmetic sunscreen formulations.

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Dipartimento di Biochimica, Biologia e Genetica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy.


Photo-instability of common UV-filters is a well documented phenomenon. This study develops a method for concomitant measurement of photostability and photo-induced ROS generation in cosmetic formulations. Oil-in-water formulations containing three common UV filters (OMC, BMDBM, EHT), individually or combined, were further supplemented with phosphatidylcholine and exposed to UVA. All filters show spectral decrease after UVA exposure. OMC and EHT do not induce significant lipid-peroxidation (as measured by TBARS production) while BMDBM does. In the latter case, this is reduced when BMDBM is combined with OMC but not with EHT. Neither OMC nor EHT stabilize BMDBM with respect to loss of absorbance. ROS-generation assessed via TBARS formation was supported by EPR experiments. The UV-induced changes in UV-filter performance, as monitored in the model formulations and in commercial sunscreens, demonstrate that this is a simple and effective method for stability assessment of sunscreen filters under conditions of use.

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