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In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics

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  • Rungta College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research Raipur

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The aim of this study was to evaluate ultraviolet (UV) absorption ability of volatile and nonvolatile herbal oils used in sunscreens or cosmetics and express the same in terms of sun protection factor (SPF) values. Sun protection factor is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen; the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen offers against the ultraviolet radiations causing sunburn. The in vitro SPF is determined according to the spectrophotometric method of Mansur et al. Hydroalcoholic dilutions of oils were prepared, and in vitro photoprotective activity was studied by UV spectrophotometric method in the range of 290-320 nm. It can be observed that the SPF values found for nonvolatile oils were in between 2 and 8; and for volatile oils, in between 1 and 7. Among the fixed oils taken, SPF value of olive oil was found to be the highest. Similarly among essential oils, SPF value of peppermint oil was found to be the highest. The study will be helpful in the selection of oils and fragrances to develop sunscreens with better safety and high SPF. Oily vehicles are more effective for producing a uniform and long-lasting film of sunscreen on the skin, and their emollient properties protect the skin against the drying effects of exposure to wind and sun. Volatile oils are used as perfumes in cosmetics.
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22 Pharmacognosy Research | January 2010 | Vol 2 | Issue 1
Address for correspondence:
Dr. Swarnlata Saraf, University Institute of Pharmacy,
Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (C.G.) - 492 010, India.
E-mail: swarnlata_saraf@rediffmail.com
DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.60586
In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal
oils used in cosmetics
Chanchal Deep Kaur, Swarnlata Saraf
University Institute of Pharmacy, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (C.G.) - 492 010, India
Submitted: 10-10-2009 Revised: 22-11-2009 Published: 13-03-2010
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
INTRODUCTION
Solar ultra violet radiations (UVR) is divided into three
categories: UV-C (200-280 nm), UV-B (280-320 nm)
and UV-A (320-400 nm). UV-C is the most biologically
damaging radiation, but it is ltered out by ozone layer.
Currently UV-B radiation and to a lesser extent UV-A
radiation are responsible for inducing skin cancer.
Sunscreens and sun blocks are chemicals that absorb or
block UV rays and show a variety of immunosuppressive
effects of sunlight.[1] The use of skin care products
supplemented with several effective agents working
through different pathways in conjunction with the use
of sunscreens may be an effective approach for reducing
UV-B-generated ROS-mediated photo-aging.[2]
Many liquid oils extracted from fruit and vegetable seeds are
light, low in viscosity and less occlusive than hydrocarbon
oils. Their penetrating and carrying properties, as well
as their natural content of tocopherols, carotenoids and
essential fatty acids, make them highly valuable. Several
natural-base sunscreen lotions, including the oils of almond,
avocado, coconut, cottonseed, olive, peanut, sesame and
soyabean, have been reported to have UV lters. In general,
when applied to skin, the vegetable oils are easily absorbed
and show great spreadability. Volatile oils include odorous
principles, which are found in various parts of plants, and
are used as a fragrance and evaporate at room temperature.
Essential oils have three distinct modes of action:
Physiological (e.g., anti-inammatory effects), psychological
(e.g., aromatherapy) and cosmetic (e.g., preservative effects
because of antibacterial or antioxidant properties), with
corresponding benefits. Essential oils are used in the
perfume industry as fragrances and in skin care products
to promote hormonal balance to combat the buildup of
toxins and for emolliency of skin.[3] We have selected a few
herbal oils (volatile as well as nonvolatile) that are commonly
used in cosmetics.
The efcacy of a sunscreen is usually expressed by the sun
protection factor (SPF), which is dened as the UV energy
required to produce a minimal erythemal dose (MED)
in protected skin, divided by the UV energy required to
produce an MED in unprotected skin (equation 1):
SPF = minimalerythema doseinsunscreen-protected skin
minimal eryythema dosein nonsunscreen-protected skin
The minimal erythemal dose (MED) is dened as the
The aim of this study was to evaluate ultraviolet (UV) absorption ability of volatile and nonvolatile herbal oils used in
sunscreens or cosmetics and express the same in terms of sun protection factor (SPF) values. Sun protection factor is a
laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen; the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen offers against
the ultraviolet radiations causing sunburn. The in vitro SPF is determined according to the spectrophotometric method
of Mansur et al. Hydroalcoholic dilutions of oils were prepared, and in vitro photoprotective activity was studied by UV
spectrophotometric method in the range of 290-320 nm. It can be observed that the SPF values found for nonvolatile oils
were in between 2 and 8; and for volatile oils, in between 1 and 7. Among the xed oils taken, SPF value of olive oil was
found to be the highest. Similarly among essential oils, SPF value of peppermint oil was found to be the highest. The study
will be helpful in the selection of oils and fragrances to develop sunscreens with better safety and high SPF. Oily vehicles
are more effective for producing a uniform and long-lasting lm of sunscreen on the skin, and their emollient properties
protect the skin against the drying effects of exposure to wind and sun. Volatile oils are used as perfumes in cosmetics.
Key words: Erythema, herbal oils, spectrophotometric method, sun protection factor, sunscreens
ABSTRACT
PHCOG RES.
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Pharmacognosy Research | January 2010 | Vol 2 | Issue 1 23
Kaur and Saraf: SPF determination of herbal oils
lowest time interval or dosage of UV light irradiation
sufcient to produce a minimal, perceptible erythema on
unprotected skin.[4,5] The higher the SPF, the more effective
is the product in preventing sunburn.
The in vitro screening methods may represent a fast and
reasonable tool reducing the number of in vivo experiments
and risks related to UV exposure of human subjects, when
the technical test parameters are adjusted and optimized.[6]
The in vitro methods are in general of two types: Methods that
involve the measurement of absorption or the transmission
of UV radiation through sunscreen product lms in quartz
plates or biomembranes, and methods in which the absorption
characteristics of the sunscreen agents are determined based
on spectrophotometric analysis of dilute solutions.[7-11]
Calculations to deter mine UV protection factors as
dened by the COLIPA standard and other regulatory
agencies involve measurement of the percent transmission
of a sunscreen lotion sample across the UV spectrum
weighted by the erythemal weighting factors at different
wavelengths.
[12]
The in vitro SPFs were determined according to the method
described.[9,13,14] The observed absorbance values at 5 nm
intervals (290-320 nm) were calculated by using the formula
SPF CF EE I Abs
spectrophootmetric = × ×
290
320
( ) ( ) ( )l l l
where CF 5 correction factor (10), EE (l) 5 erythmogenic
effect of radiation with wavelength l, Abs (l) 5 spectro
photometric absorbance values at wavelength l. The values
of EE 3 I are constants. They were determined by Sayre
et al.,[15] and are showed in Table 1.
However, there are many factors affecting the determination
of SPF values, like the use of different solvents in which
the sunscreens are dissolved; the combination and
concentration of the sunscreens; the type of emulsion;
the effects and interactions of vehicle components, such as
esters, emollients and emulsiers used in the formulation;
the interaction of the vehicle with the skin; the addition of
other active ingredients; the pH system and the emulsion
rheological properties, among other factors, which
can increase or decrease UV absorption of each sunscreen.
The effect that different solvents and emollients have
upon the wavelength of maximum absorbance and upon
the UV absorbance of several sunscreen chemicals, alone
or in combination, is well known and documented.
[16,17]
Excipients and other active ingredients can also produce
UV absorption bands, thus interfering with those of UV-A
and UV-B sunscreens. This effect is reected in a nished
formulation, especially for lotions with an SPF greater
than 15.[18]
Vehicles used for sunscreens are hydroalcoholic lotions,
water-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsions and oily lotions.
The sunscreening preparation must spread on the skin,
should remain in place as a continuous lm, should closely
adhere to the surface and should resist washing off by
perspiration. When a hydroalcoholic solution is used,
the water and alcohol quickly evaporate, leaving behind a
self-plasticizing f ilm of sunscreen which completely covers
the skin and adheres closely to it. Standard techniques for
spectrophotometric evaluation of sunscreens or suntan
preparations involve solution of a known weight of the
screen or preparation in an ultraviolet transparent solvent.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Ethanol (Merck®) analytical grade. Oils of various
manufacturers were purchased from local pharmacies.
The solubility of oils was determined in different ratios of
ethanol and distilled water. It is reported that maximum
of 50% of ethanol could be used in cosmetics. Hence
solubility of oils was detected taking 10% to 50% of
ethanol in distilled water. The maximum solubility was
observed in 40% ethanol and 60% distilled water solution.
Initial stock solution was prepared by taking 1% v/v of
oil in ethanol and water solution (40:60). Then from this
stock solution, 0.1% was prepared. Thereafter, absorbance
values of each aliquot prepared were determined from
290 to 320 nm, at 5-nm intervals, taking 40% ethanol and 60%
distilled water solution as blank, using Shimadzu UV-Visible
spectrophotometer (Shimadzu 1800, Japan); values are shown
in Table 1. It was found that if we increased the concentration
of oil, then turbidity increased; and on decreasing the
concentration, a negative reading was obtained.
Sun protection factor determination
The aliquots prepared were scanned between 290 and
320 nm, and the obtained absorbance values were multiplied
with the respective EE (l) values. Then, their summation
was taken and multiplied with the correction factor (10).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The SPF is a quantitative measurement of the effectiveness
of a sunscreen formulation. To be effective in preventing
sunburn and other skin damage, a sunscreen product
should have a wide range of absorbance, viz., between
290 and 400 nm. The in vitro SPF is useful for screening
test during product development, as a supplement of the
in vivo SPF measure. In this research, volatile and nonvolatile
herbal oils were evaluated by UV spectrophotometry
applying Mansur mathematical equation.[9] SPF values
of samples obtained using the UV spectrophotometric
method are shown in Tables 1 and 2.
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24 Pharmacognosy Research | January 2010 | Vol 2 | Issue 1
Kaur and Saraf: SPF determination of herbal oils
It can be observed from Table 3 that the SPF values found
for nonvolatile oils were in between 2 and 8; and for volatile
oils, in between 1 and 7. Out of these nonvolatile or xed oils
taken, the SPF value of olive oil and coconut oil was found
to be around 8; castor oil, around 6; almond oil, around 5;
mustard oil and chaulmoogra oil, around 3; and sesame oil,
around 2. Hence it can be concluded that olive oil and coconut
oil have the best SPF values, a nding that will be helpful in the
selection of xed oil during the formulation of sunscreens.
Similarly SPF values for volatile oils were found to be in
between 1 and 7. Out of these essential oils taken, the
SPF value of peppermint oil and tulsi oil was found to
be around 7; lavender oil, around 6; orange oil, around 4;
eucalyptus oil, around 3; tea tree oil, around 2; and rose oil,
around 1. Hence it can be concluded that peppermint oil
and tulsi oil have the best SPF values, a nding that will be
helpful in the selection of perfumes during the formulation
of sunscreens.
Thus to develop sunscreens with better safety and high
SPF, the formulator must understand the physicochemical
principle, not only the UV absorbance of the actives
but also vehicle components, such as esters, emollients,
emulsiers and fragrances used in the formulation, since
sunscreens can interact with other components of the
vehicle, and these interactions can affect the efcacy of
sunscreens.
CONCLUSIONS
The proposed UV spectrophotometric method is simple,
rapid, employs low-cost reagents and can be used in the
in vitro determination of SPF values in many cosmetic
formulations. The proposed methodology may be useful
as a rapid quality-control method. It can be used during
the production process, in the analysis of the nal product,
and can give important information before proceeding
to the in vivo tests. The knowledge of SPF values of
nonvolatile oils will help in the selection of oils for the
formulation of various cosmetic dosage forms as oil is
the most important constituent of creams and lotions.
Table 2: Absorbances of hydroalcoholic volatile herbal oils
Wavelength
(nm)
EE (l) 3 I
Employed
Peppermint
oil
Tulsi
oil
Lemon
grass oil
Lavender
oil
Orange
oil
Lemon
oil
Tea
tree oil
Eucalyptus
oil
Rose
oil
290 0.0150 1.1858 0.9752 1.1521 1.0147 0.2322 0.5381 0.6861 0.4288 0.0306
295 0.0817 0.8724 0.8523 0.8321 0.6909 0.2288 0.3872 0.3654 0.3516 0.0278
300 0.2874 0.6957 0.7857 0.6523 0.5647 0.2365 0.3022 0.1824 0.2899 0.0269
305 0.3278 0.5759 0.6321 0.5321 0.5394 0.2529 0.2629 0.1324 0.2500 0.0243
310 0.1864 0.4838 0.5274 0.4624 0.5345 0.2742 0.2439 0.1217 0.2236 0.0238
315 0.0837 0.3212 0.4312 0.3120 0.5203 0.3030 0.2287 0.1168 0.2035 0.0234
320 0.0180 0.2148 0.3102 0.2103 0.4832 0.3319 0.2133 0.1143 0.1908 0.0231
Table 3: Spectrophotometrically calculated sun
protection factor values of herbal oils
Name of herbal
oil taken
SPF value calculated
spectrophotometrically
Olive oil 7.549
Coconut oil 7.119
Castor oil 5.687
Almond oil 4.659
Mustard oil 2.105
Chaulmoogra oil 2.019
Sesame oil 1.771
Peppermint oil 6.668
Tulsi oil 6.571
Lemon grass oil 6.282
Lavender oil 5.624
Orange oil 3.975
Lemon oil 2.810
Eucalyptus oil 2.625
Tea tree oil 1.702
Rose oil 0.248
Table 1: Absorbances of hydroalcoholic nonvolatile herbal oils (xed oils)
Wavelength
(nm)
EE (l)
employed
Olive
oil
Coconut
oil
Castor
oil
Almond
oil
Mustard
oil
Chaulmoogra
oil
Sesame
oil
290 0.0150 0.8002 0.6223 0.6268 0.5397 0.2144 0.1767 0.2800
295 0.0817 0.7807 0.6199 0.6054 0.5121 0.2113 0.1726 0.2311
300 0.2874 0.7675 0.6167 0.5858 0.4858 0.2070 0.1619 0.1970
305 0.3278 0.7537 0.6134 0.5659 0.4616 0.2018 0.1610 0.1653
310 0.1864 0.7403 0.6104 0.5488 0.4418 0.2013 0.1585 0.1539
315 0.0837 0.7286 0.6083 0.5314 0.4235 0.1979 0.1586 0.1456
320 0.0180 0.7177 0.6054 0.5156 0.4078 0.1948 0.1583 0.1433
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Pharmacognosy Research | January 2010 | Vol 2 | Issue 1 25
Kaur and Saraf: SPF determination of herbal oils
Similarly SPF values of volatile oils will be helpful in the
selection of perfumes.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
One of the authors wishes to thank UGC [major project,
F. No. 32-133/2006(SR)], New Delhi, for nancial support; and
Head, Cosmetic Laboratory, University Institute of Pharmacy,
Pt. R.S.S.University, Raipur, for providing facilities to use the
required instruments.
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Source of Support: Nil, Conict of Interest: None declared.
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... Todavia, segundo a ANVISA [41] , produtos multifuncionais de higiene pessoal, cosméticos e perfume que ...
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