Photoprotection of the future: challenges and opportunities

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Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology


The use of sunscreens is an important and essential component of photoprotection. Since their introduction during the first half of the last century, sunscreens have benefited enormously from major technological advances such as the development of novel UV filters; as a result, their efficacy in preventing UV-induced erythema is unequivocal. More recently, however, new challenges have appeared, which have prompted a robust discussion about the safety of sunscreens. These include topics directly related to photoprotection of human skin such as improved/alternative methods for standardization of assessment of the efficacy of sunscreens, but also many others such as photoprotection beyond UV, concerns about human toxicity and ecological safety, the potential of oral photoprotective measures, consequences of innovative galenic formulations. On a first glance, some of these might raise questions and doubts among dermatologists, physicians and the general public about the use sunscreens as a means of photoprotection. This situation has prompted us to critically review such challenges, but also opportunities, based on existing scientific evidence. We conclude by providing our vision about how such challenges can be met best in the future in an attempt to create the ideal sunscreen, which should provide adequate and balanced protection and be easy and safe to use.

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ePub ahead of print