Anti-oxidants could provide extra UVA protection

New research from the University of Bath has revealed that a new ingredient could provide added levels of UVA protection.

Researchers from the university’s Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology have formulated an ingredient that, when blended with a sun cream, can act as a filter with added protection against the more prevalent, cancer-causing UVA rays.

Scientists in Bath have previously shown that the skin releases iron and produces free radicals when exposed to UVA. The release of iron promotes the formation of additional, harmful free radicals that increase the damage caused by the existing free radicals. This has been shown to play a key role in skin ageing and the onset of skin cancer.

The new compounds are light activated when exposed to UVA, and release anti-oxidants to neutralise free radicals whilst at the same time capturing excess iron in the skin.

Medicinal chemist Dr Ian Eggleston explained, “The new compounds that we are synthesising provide a highly effective means of protection against both UVA- and UVB-induced skin damage and associated skin cancer, without inducing toxicity in cells.”

By adding these vital anti-oxidants to sun cream, the skin benefits from stronger protection against skin damage when exposed to the sun.