The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of saffron as a natural sunscreen and moisturizer. The pollens of the saffron were dried and powdered in a grinder. The experimental formulations included a homosalate (8%) lotion reference, lotions with 2, 4 and 8% of grinded saffron, and the control lotion base without saffron. The lotions containing saffron were prepared like homosalate lotion reference according to FDA. The sun protection factors (SPFs) of the formulations were determined by an in vitro spectrophotometry method. The moisture contents of the skin before application and after 30 min and 3, 5 and 7 h post-application of the formulations were measured in human volunteers using Corneometer. The results indicated that, there was no significant difference between the SPF values of the 4% saffron lotion and the homosalate lotion reference. However, the SPF of 8% saffron lotion was significantly more than that of homosalate lotion reference. These results showed that in equal concentrations saffron lotion could act as a better antisolar agent compared to homosalate. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in skin moisture saffron lotions and the control lotion without saffron during the 7 h post-application period. Saffron can be used as a natural UV absorbing agent. The 4% saffron lotion showed an SPF value equivalent to the 8% homosalate lotion reference by an in vitro method. There were no significant differences of skin moisture contents after application of the saffron lotions and the control base lotion without saffron.
Keywords: Antisoloar; Moisturizing; Saffron; Sun protection factors.