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Sunscreens containing the broad-spectrum UVA absorber, Mexoryl® SX, prevent the cutaneous detrimental effects of UV exposure: a review of clinical study results

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UVA exposure of human skin mainly produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to DNA, cell and tissue damage. It alters immune function, pigmentation and it is certainly responsible for a large part of photoaging changes. Moreover UVA is implicated in the etiology of several photodermatoses. As a consequence, to provide adequate protection, sunscreens or skin care products for daily use protective products need UVA absorbers combined with UVB ones. Aim:

To assess the efficacy of sunscreens containing a broad-spectrum UVA absorber the Mexoryl® SX or ecamsule and to compare formulations with and without it through a large number of clinical studies in human volunteers and patients. Methods:

The following assessments were conducted:

• Prevention of excessive pigmentation induced by UV exposure in Caucasian and Asian skins using a method that measures pigmentation protection factors (PPF).

• Efficacy against DNA damage by measurement of pyrimidine dimer formation and p53 protein accumulation.

• Protection of immune system using delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions to recall antigens, isomerization of urocanic acid (UCA), alteration of Langerhans cells (LC) density, morphology and function.

• Reduction of epidermal and dermal alterations induced by repeated UVA or UV solar simulated radiation (SSR) using histology or immunohistology.

• Prevention of the polymorphous light eruption (PMLE) in patients prone to develop this disease. Results:

Mexoryl® SX-containing formulations showed a dose-dependent level of protection against pigmentation. For a same sun protection factor (SPF) the higher the UVA protection was, the higher was the PPF. Pyrimidine dimer formation and p53 accumulation were significantly reduced by formulations with Mexoryl® SX. In the studies looking at the suppression of DTH reactions to recall antigens by the different UV spectra, the LC alterations and the cis UCA formation, Mexoryl® SX formulations always showed a higher protective potency than sunscreen without it even when the protection against erythema was similar (products with same SPF). Mexoryl® SX formulations also prevented or significantly decreased to minimal, ferritin, tenascin and lysozyme expression induced by repeated UVA or SSR exposure. It also reduced the enhancement of collagenase 2 mRNA expression induced by SSR exposure. Finally PMLE study demonstrated that UVA protection was essential for the prevention of this photodermatose. Conclusion:

Mexoryl® SX formulated in sunscreens or daily use products have been shown to be an effective UV absorber, leading to an increased efficacy of these products against a large number of biological damage induced by UVA, SSR or sun exposure.
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Keywords: Mexoryl® SX; biological damage; broad-spectrum UVA absorber; clinical studies; protection

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 01 August 2008

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