Sunscreens and Photoaging: A Review of Current Literature

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American journal of clinical dermatology


Sunscreens have been on the market for many decades as a means of protection against ultraviolet-induced erythema. Over the years, evidence has also shown their efficacy in the prevention of photoaging, dyspigmentation, DNA damage, and photocarcinogenesis. In the USA, most broad-spectrum sunscreens provide protection against ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation and short-wavelength ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation. Evidence suggests that visible light and infrared light may play a role in photoaging and should be considered when choosing a sunscreen. Currently, there is a paucity of US FDA-approved filters that provide protection against long UVA (> 370 nm) and none against visible light. Additionally, various sunscreen additives such as antioxidants and photolyases have also been reported to protect against and possibly reverse signs of photoaging. This literature review evaluates the utility of sunscreen in protecting against photoaging and further explores the requirements for an ideal sunscreen.

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ePub ahead of print