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Antioxidant cream could help protect against sun damage to skin

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An antioxidant cream containing vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid protects the skin from sun damage and reduces cancer-associated mutations in skin cells, new research shows.

19 September, 2008 – 14:20

Ultraviolet radiation damages the skin by causing oxidative stress. Previous research has demonstrated that vitamin C and vitamin E were individually effective for boosting antioxidant protection, and even more effective when used together. In subsequent laboratory studies, research has shown atht ferulic acid, a plant antioxidant, increased the antioxidant effects of the vitamins even further.

In the current study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, September 2008, researchers reported on the effects of a cream containing 15 percent vitamin C, 1 percent vitamin E, and 0.5 percent ferulic acid on human skin. They applied the cream to nine white adults and then exposed them to simulated sun irradiation.

Compared to a cream with no active ingredients, the ferulic acid cream reduced skin redness after sun exposure and caused fewer skin cells to sunburn. The active cream almost completely blocked the production of thymine dimers, a type of UV-related genetic damage, as well as the induction of the tumor suppressor gene p53.

While unprotected skin exposed to UV radiation produced substances called cytokines that promote inflammation and suppress immune system function, protected skin did not.

The findings suggest, the researchers conclude, that the antioxidant cream could be used as a supplement to sunscreen to help further product skin from UV damage.

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