Impact of Iron-Oxide Containing Formulations Against Visible Light-Induced Skin Pigmentation in Skin of Color Individuals

J Drugs Dermatol. 2020 Jul 1;19(7):712-717. doi: 10.36849/JDD.2020.5032.


Visible light (400-700nm), which contributes to 45% of solar radiation, contributes to skin darkening and worsening of dyschromias, particularly in individuals with Fitzpatrick skin phototypes III and higher. Currently, sunscreens provide limited protection against that spectrum. Due to their capabilities in absorbing, scattering, and reflecting visible light, topical products containing pigments and/or metal oxides can provide additional photoprotection. In this study, the efficacy of two formulations containing iron oxide was evaluated in preventing visible light-induced pigmentation compared with a non-tinted mineral SPF 50+ sunscreen. Expert grading and colorimetry demonstrated that the iron-oxide containing formulations significantly protected against visible light-induced pigmentation compared to untreated skin or mineral SPF 50+ sunscreen in Fitzpatrick IV individuals. These results highlight that iron-oxide containing formulas in a foundation format have dual functions and can provide additional benefits in patients' daily routine by masking existing pigmentation and preventing the development of pigmentation triggered by sunlight exposure, extending protection beyond UV spectrum. J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(7): doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.5032 THIS ARTICLE HAD BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO ACCESS THE FULL TEXT OF THIS ARTICLE WITHOUT LOGGING IN. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. PLEASE CONTACT THE PUBLISHER WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Drug Compounding
  • Female
  • Ferric Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry
  • Ferric Compounds / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Skin Pigmentation / drug effects*
  • Sunlight*
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Sunscreening Agents / chemistry
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacology
  • Young Adult


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • ferric oxide