Di-2,2′-diethylhexyl-3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxy-benzylidenemalonate (INCI name diethylhexyl syringylidene malonate, DESM), the target photostabilizer, was synthesized in one step by condensation of 3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxy benzaldehyde (Syringaldehyde) with di-2,2′-diethylhexyl malonate. Photostability data in sunscreen formulations showed that DESM is photostable and improves the photostability of avobenzone significantly when compared to control (without a photostabilizer). Photostable broad-spectrum sunscreen formulations with high SPF (>30) have been achieved by combining avobenzone, DESM and UV-B sunscreens, such as homosalate, octisalate or other UV-B sunscreens. It seems that (a) triplet-state energy transfer from avobenzone to DESM and (b) scavenging of reactive species are responsible for the observed stabilization of avobenzone. In vitro study of the two formulations containing DESM clearly showed critical wavelength of well over 370 nm and can thus be categorized as broad-spectrum sunscreens. DESM does not have any contribution to in vivo SPF; instead it boosts SPF by about 5 units in high-SPF products. DESM was found to be an excellent singlet-oxygen quencher, thereby reducing photodegradation of avobenzone caused by singlet oxygen. In short, the multiplicity of effects and formulation benefits seen with DESM makes it an ideal choice as a unique antioxidant photostabilizer for a variety of cosmetic products targeting young and mature skin alike.
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Vol. 82 • No. 3