WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc., the consumer healthcare division of Merck & Co., Inc., the makers of COPPERTONE®, announced today at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology the results of studies demonstrating the efficacy of topical antioxidants in broad spectrum sunscreens.
An ex vivo study conducted by an independent researcher for the COPPERTONE® Solar Research Center revealed that using certain antioxidants in sunscreens reduced the formation of damaging free radicals by 74% in skin's outer layers exposed to UV. This provides significant evidence that sunscreen products containing certain antioxidants can help fortify skin's natural defenses. The implications of this research are especially pertinent to those whose skin may be more vulnerable to the effects of sun exposure due to outdoor exercise activities.
A separate independent 12-week clinical (in vivo) trial demonstrated that daily use of broad spectrum sunscreens containing specialized blends of antioxidants found in select products in the 2010 COPPERTONE® sunscreen line can provide additional skin health benefits beyond UV protection.
"Emerging research shows that Vitamin E, one of the primary antioxidants in the sunscreen we tested, is a key ingredient for preserving skin's barrier function and for helping to maintain skin health," said Robert Bianchini, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development at the COPPERTONE® Solar Research Center. "Since Vitamin E may be lost from the skin during environmental stress, such as outdoor exercise, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with antioxidants proven to help restore these elements is important."
Not All Antioxidants Are Equal Under UV Light
Ex vivo studies evaluated the overall effectiveness of topical antioxidants contained in the sunscreens for reducing free radical formation caused by sun exposure. Research has shown that not all topical antioxidants are equal under UV conditions. In fact, UV radiation may cause an unexpected reaction with certain topical antioxidants — including some plant extracts — when exposed to sunlight, transforming them into damaging pro-oxidants. For that reason, the researchers tested the antioxidant ingredients used in the sunscreens, COPPERTONE SPORT® with Replenishing Antioxidants and COPPERTONE KIDS® with Protective Vitamins, to ensure they continue to function properly in conditions similar to "real-world" sunscreen use.
The 12-week clinical trial showed that the daily use of sunscreen lotions with the appropriate antioxidants can also provide significant cosmetic benefits. In participants who began the study with signs of mild to moderate photodamage, clinical evaluators saw measurable improvement in a number of parameters that contribute to the cosmetic signs of premature aging, including visible dryness, mottled skin tone, laxity, roughness, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
"Topical antioxidants are rapidly emerging as a breakthrough innovation in suncare," added Dr. Bianchini. "The results of our research demonstrate that there are many skin health benefits and applications to adding antioxidants to a sunscreen formula — and we will continue to explore advancements in how this technology can be used with sun protection to help maintain overall skin health."
COPPERTONE SPORT® and COPPERTONE KIDS® are registered trademarks of Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc., the consumer healthcare division of Merck & Co., Inc.
About Schering-Plough Consumer HealthCare Products, Inc., the consumer healthcare division of Merck & Co., Inc.
Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Schering-Plough Consumer HealthCare Products, Inc. is the over-the-counter division of Merck. Each day, millions count on one or more of our industry-leading brands that help prevent or treat various common conditions. These include household names such as CLARITIN for allergies, COPPERTONE for sun care, DR. SCHOLL'S for foot care, and many more. Merck. Be well. For more information, visit www.merck.com.
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SOURCE Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc.