Influence of sun exposure on the cutaneous collagen/elastin fibers and carotenoids: negative effects can be reduced by application of sunscreen

J Biophotonics. 2014 Sep;7(9):735-43. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201300171. Epub 2014 Mar 18.


Resonance Raman spectroscopy and multi-photon tomography were used in vivo to analyse the influence of sun exposure on the cutaneous carotenoids and collagen/elastin fibers. Comparing Berlin (low sun exposure) and Monegasque (high sun exposure) volunteers, it could be demonstrated that extended sun exposure significantly reduces the cutaneous carotenoids and collagen/elastin concentration (p < 0.05). The tendency towards correlation (R(2) = 0.41) between the dermal collagen/elastin (SAAID) and carotenoids confirms the important role of antioxidants in the protection against sun-induced negative effects. The application of sunscreen was shown to be effective, protecting cutaneous carotenoids and collagen/elastin from being damaged subsequent to sun exposure.

Keywords: SAAID; antioxidants; free radicals; in vivo; skin physiology; sun irradiation; sun protection.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / metabolism*
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Elastin / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman
  • Sunlight / adverse effects*
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Carotenoids
  • Collagen
  • Elastin