International journal of pharmaceutics

Evaluation of the photostability of different UV filter combinations in a sunscreen.

PMID 16289662


Development of photostable sunscreens is extremely important to preserve the UV protective capacity and to prevent the reactive intermediates of photounstable filter substances behaving as photo-oxidants when coming into direct contact with the skin. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the photostability of four different UV filter combinations in a sunscreen by using HPLC analysis and spectrophotometry. The formulations that were investigated included four different UV filter combinations often used in SPF 15 sunscreens. The UV filter combinations were: octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), benzophenone-3 (BP-3) and octyl salicylate (OS) (formulation 1); OMC, avobenzone (AVB) and 4-methylbenzilidene camphor (MBC) (formulation 2); OMC, BP-3 and octocrylene (OC) (formulation 3); OMC, AVB and OC (formulation 4). In the photostability studies, 40 mg of each formulation were spread onto a glass plate and left to dry before exposure to different UVA/UVB irradiation. Exposed samples were then immersed in isopropanol and the dried film dissolved ultrasonically. The filter components in the resulting solution were quantified by HPLC analysis with detection at 325 nm and by spectrophotometry. In this study, the four UV filter combinations showed different photostability profiles and the best one was formulation 3 (OMC, BP-3 and OC), followed by formulations 4, 1 and 2. In addition, OC improved the photostability of OMC, AVB and BP-3.