Healthy skin possesses an antioxidant defense system against oxidative stress. However, overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can overwhelm this defense system’s capacity, leading to skin disorders such as sunburn, photosensitivity reactions or immunologic suppression, as well as photoaging, malignant skin tumors and other long-term sequelae. Application of topically exogenous antioxidants may prevent or minimize such damage.
A previous column by these authors described a rapid, accurate and facile method to quantify the antioxidative capacity of topical formulations in vitro. The present article introduces an in vivo model using a photochemiluminescence device and biophysical methods to determine the antioxidative capacity of a topical o/w skin care emulsion with and without vitamin E. The human skin tested was exposed to UVR.