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Daily moisturisers may not provide the UVA protection they promise

By Katie Bird , 18-Jan-2011
Last updated the 18-Jan-2011 at 13:15 GMT

Daily moisturising creams that contain UV filters and claim to provide broad spectrum UV protection may not provide protection from UVA rays, US dermatologists claim.

Manufacturers are increasingly adding UV filters to skin care products, including daily moisturisers as well as colour cosmetics, as research on the link between UV radiation and photo-ageing progresses.

However, a recent study published in the Archives of Dermatology suggests that these products, that claim to provide broad spectrum protection, do not provide necessary protection against UVA.

The researchers chose 29 top selling day creams with claims of broad spectrum UV using sales volumes from the US website Amazon.

Ingredients analysis

Although they did not investigate the actual protection provided by the creams, they analysed the ingredients in order to assess the level of UVA protection that could be expected from the product.

The researchers looked for the presence of the UVA filters avobenzone, octocrylene, ecamsule (trade name Mexoryl SA) and zinc oxide in the products.

According to the study, six of the 29 products contained no active ingredients that provide UVA protection.

Seven of the remaining 23 contained zinc oxide but only 3 contained levels greater than 5 per cent, which the team said was required to provide ‘adequate’ UVA protection.

Sixteen products contained avobenzone but only 3 had adequate concentrations of octocrylene necessary to stabilise the avobenzone, which according to the researchers is notoriously unstable on contact with UV rays.

Although the study notes that further research is needed to investigate the actual UVA protection provided by the products, the researchers conclude that many day creams do not offer long wave UVA protection.

Source: Archives of Dermatology
doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.406
Lack of UVA Protection in Daily Moistruizing Creams
Steven Q. Wang; Jacqueline M. Goulart; Henry W. Lim

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