Skin is the largest body organ and the first barrier to exogenous threats. This organ is constantly exposed to external factors such as ultraviolet radiation, which induces many adverse effects including sunburn, depigmentation, photo aging, photo immune suppression, and even skin cancer. Antioxidants seem to be good candidates in order to reduce ultraviolet-mediated damages and to prevent the health consequences of ultraviolet exposure. The present investigation aims to further characterize the potential skin photoprotective effects of a food supplementation and a topical administration of a melon concentrate alone or in combination. A clinical study assessing the Minimal Erythema Dose (MED) was first set up to evaluate photoprotection. Afterward, an independent in vitro study was performed on human skin explants from a donor to evaluate the effect of the melon concentrate at different levels including on the sunburn cells formation and on the endogenous antioxidant enzymes and its influence on melanin. Clinical study results demonstrate that melon concentrate application and/or supplementation increased MED. It also increased the endogenous antioxidant enzymes and reduced sunburn cells and melanin level on irradiated skin explants. Therefore, it is suggested that melon concentrate administration (oral and/or topical) could be a useful strategy for photoprotection due to its antioxidant properties.
Keywords: melanin; minimal erythema dose; oxidative stress; sunburn cells; superoxide dismutase; ultraviolet radiation.