Considering the belief that natural lipids are safer for topical applications and that carotenoids are able to protect cells against photooxidative damage, we have investigated whether topical creams and lotions, produced with Buriti oil and commercial surfactants, can exert photoprotective effect against UVA and UVB irradiation on keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Cell treatment was divided into two steps, prior and after exposition to 30 min of UVA plus UVB radiation or to 60 min of UVA radiation. Emulsions prepared with ethoxylated fatty alcohols as surfactants and containing alpha-tocopherol caused phototoxic damage to the cells, especially when applied prior to UV exposure. Damage reported was due to prooxidant activity and phototoxic effect of the surfactant. Emulsions prepared with Sorbitan Monooleate and PEG-40 castor oil and containing panthenol as active ingredient, were able to reduce the damages caused by radiation when compared to non-treated cells. When the two cell lines used in the study were compared, keratinocytes showed an increase in cell viability higher than fibroblasts. The Buriti oil emulsions could be considered potential vehicles to transport antioxidants precursors and also be used as adjuvant in sun protection, especially in after sun formulations.
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