Overexposure to sunlight is widely accepted as the underlying cause of cutaneous melanoma. UV radiation induces the formation of DNA photoproducts that, if unrepaired, can induce carcinogenic mutations. Recent data indicate that sorbates can be useful to widen the protection against UV radiation by acting as a triplet-state quencher in the melanocyte. The aim of the present work was to prepare an after sun formulation containing ethylsorbate or sorbic acid in order to take advantage of the triplet-state quenching activity of these molecules and protect the skin from UV-induced damages. Ethylsorbate and sorbic acid were characterized in terms of solubility and partition coefficient, and their transdermal permeation and skin accumulation were studied in vitro
from simple solutions and in the presence of cyclodextrins (alpha and hydroxypropylbeta) as a complexing agent. The goal was to reduce as much as possible sorbates permeation while sustaining their skin levels. The obtained results indicated that the addition of alphacyclodextrins determined a 6-folds (ethylsorbate ) or 4-folds (sorbic acid) reduction of the transdermal permeation. Sorbic acid and alphacyclodextrin (1:1 molar ratio) were then formulated in an after sun vehicle using 1.5% hyaluronic acid (sodium salt) as a thickener and hydrating agent. The addition of hyaluronic acid gave rise to a formulation with good cosmetic properties and good sorbate (0.2–0.3 µmol/cm2
) skin levels (stratum corneum + viable epidermis) and thus a potential protection against post-exposure UV damage.
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