A new tendency in cosmetic formulations is the association of botanical extracts and vitamins to improve skin conditions by synergic effects. The objective of this study was to determine the antioxidant activity of associated bioflavonoids, retinyl palmitate (RP), tocopheryl acetate (TA) and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (ATIP), as well as their photoprotective effects in preventing increased erythema, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and sunburn cell formation in hairless mouse skin. The antioxidant activity of solutions containing the association or each substance separately was evaluated in vitro by a chemiluminescence assay. The photoprotective effect was evaluated by means of in vivo tests. Dorsal skin of hairless mice was treated daily by topical applications for 5 days with formulations containing or not containing (vehicle) the flavonoid-vitamins association (5%). The skin was irradiated (UVA/B) 15 minutes after the last application. The results showed that bioflavonoids had in vitro antioxidant properties and also that when they were associated with vitamins their antioxidant activity was more pronounced. On the other hand, erythema and UV damage to the permeability barrier function (TEWL) was not significantly reduced by previous treatment with the flavonoid-vitamin-association formulations, when compared to the irradiated vehicle-treated area. However, the treatment protected the skin from UV damage because it reduced the number of sunburn cells, when compared to the vehicle-treated area. Finally, the association of vitamins and bioflavonoids added to a dermocosmetic formulation showed a relevant biological activity in terms of photoprotection, because the association of bioflavonoids and vitamins acted by different mechanisms, such as antioxidation and absorption of UV radiation, which suggests its use in antiaging and photoprotective products.
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