UV filters, ingredients with a recognized anti-inflammatory effect

PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e46187. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046187. Epub 2012 Dec 20.


Background: To explain observed differences during SPF determination using either an in vivo or in vitro method, we hypothesized on the presence of ingredients having anti-inflammatory properties.

Methodology/principal findings: To research our hypothesis, we studied the 21 UV filters both available on the market and authorized by European regulations and subjected these filters to the phorbol-myristate-acetate test using mice. We then catalogued the 13 filters demonstrating a significant anti-inflammatory effect with edema inhibition percentages of more than 70%. The filters are: diethylhexyl butamido triazone (92%), benzophenone-5 and titanium dioxide (90%), benzophenone-3 (83%), octocrylène and isoamyl p-methoxycinnamate (82%), PEG-25 PABA and homosalate (80%), octyl triazone and phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid (78%), octyl dimethyl PABA (75%), bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine and diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexylbenzoate (70%). These filters were tested at various concentrations, including their maximum authorized dose. We detected a dose-response relationship.

Conclusions/significance: The anti-inflammatory effect of a sunscreen ingredient may affect the in vivo SPF value.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sunscreening Agents / chemistry
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Sunscreening Agents

Grants and funding

The authors have no support or funding to report.