Topical Vitamin E Reduces Sun Damage


MILAN—Using a topical formulation containing significant concentrations of tocotrienols and tocopherols reduced photo-induced skin damage in a recent Italian study (J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Sep 14. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04219.x). When used prior to sun exposure (UV rays), the antioxidant blend of tocotrienols and tocopherols conferred higher protection from photo damage than retinol (vitamin A) or other vitamin E-free preparations.

Researchers at the University of Milan recruited 30 subjects with photosensitivity and evaluated the efficacy of a new topical antioxidant formulation containing 10-percent tocopherols and 0.3-percent tocotrienols on preselected areas (2 by 2cm) on the subjects’ buttock after a double dose exposure of UVB light. For 30 minutes, the UVB exposure was given according to predetermined minimal UVB erythema dose (MED). As further controls, two similar areas on the forearms of 15 of the subjects were selected and applied with control cream (which has the same basic composition as the new formulation but without tocopherols and tocotrienols) on one area and vitamin A on the other.

Pre-treatment with the vitamin E topical formulation significantly reduced the signs and symptoms of photo-damage reactions (extent of the lesions/erythema/oedema/itch/vesciculation) in the 30 subjects, compared to vitamin A or controls. The researchers also noted that sufficient level of protection to photoprovocation test was achieved with a single application of the cream, and that the new formulation was safe and did not cause any side effects.

 “Research has shown tocotrienols promote skin health in areas like anti-aging, anti-inflammation, anti-wrinkles and more," said WH Leong, Vice President, Carotech Inc." This human study further supports the use of tocotrienols especially in sun care/solaire formulations."