Effective photoprotection of human skin against infrared A radiation by topically applied antioxidants: results from a vehicle controlled, double-blind, randomized study

Photochem Photobiol. 2015 Jan-Feb;91(1):248-50. doi: 10.1111/php.12375. Epub 2014 Nov 24.


Infrared A radiation (IRA) from solar sunlight contributes to photoaging of human skin, e.g. by upregulating MMP-1 expression in dermal fibroblasts, indicating the need for photoprotection of human skin against IRA. Up to now, however, there has been no controlled study to show that effective protection of human skin against IRA radiation is possible. Here, we have conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blinded prospective study in 30 healthy volunteers to assess the capacity of an SPF 30 sunscreen versus the same sunscreen supplemented with an antioxidant cocktail containing grape seed extract, vitamin E, ubiquinone and vitamin C to protect human skin against IRA radiation-induced MMP-1 upregulation. As expected, exposure to IRA radiation significantly upregulated MMP-1 expression, as compared to unirradiated skin, and this response was significantly reduced, if the SPF30 sunscreen plus the antioxidant cocktail had been applied prior to IRA radiation. In contrast, treatment of human skin with the SPF30 sunscreen alone did not provide significant protection. These results indicate that topically applied antioxidants effectively protect human skin against IRA radiation and that regular sunscreens need to be supplemented with specific antioxidants in order to achieve IRA photoprotection.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / radiation effects*


  • Antioxidants