Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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Vitamine E coups de soleil.

Can Vitamin E alleviate sunburn?

Long-standing ingredient in skincare, vitamin E actually refers to a group of oil-soluble antioxidants, the most popular being tocopherol. This active ingredient combats damage caused by free radicals, prevents fine lines and wrinkles, hydrates the skin and evens out the complexion. It is also effective in soothing sunburn.

What is a sunburn from a dermatological perspective?

Also known as solar erythema, a sunburn refers to a first-degree burn of the skin by the UVB rays of the sun. This phenomenon usually occurs after prolonged exposure without sun protection. However, some people with sensitive and/or light skin, therefore lacking in melanin, can experience sunburn after just a few minutes of exposure. Sunburns are characterised by redness, sometimes sharp pain, and itching. In the most severe cases, blisters can even appear.

When exposed, to protect the skin, melanocytes produce melanin (the pigment responsible for the brown colour) which migrates to the surface of the epidermis and colours it: this is tanning. If the exposure is too long and/or the UVB rays too intense, the tan gives way to a sunburn.According to a study published about a decade ago, the biological process that occurs during the onset of a sunburn is of an inflammatory type. The sun's UVB rays damage microRNAs which, once released into the extracellular environment, stimulate pro-inflammatory cytokines. A chain reaction then triggers a sunburn on the skin surface.

Topical application of Vitamin E, what evidence is there of its effect on sunburn?

Vitamin E is primarily used in the design of skincare products to slow down the appearance of ageing signs, due to its antioxidant properties. Regarding its effect on sunburn, unfortunately, very few scientific studies have been conducted on this matter.

Researchers have demonstrated that a topical application of tocopheryl acetate on the skin of mice immediately after UVB exposure reduced the damage caused by sunburn: erythema, increased skin sensitivity and oedematous swelling. They also proved that the topical application of tocopheryl acetate led to an increase in the concentration of free tocopherol in the skin.

It's worth noting, beforehand, that vitamin E also provides photoprotection. Therefore, its application is relevant when combined with an SPF like our sun cream, before sun exposure to limit sunburn.


  • TREVITICK V. & al. Reduction of sunburn damage to skin by topical application of vitamin E acetate following exposure to ultraviolet B radiation: effect of delaying application or of reducing concentration of vitamin E acetate applied. Scanning Microscopy (1993).

  • KROL E. S. & al. Photoprotective actions of topically applied vitamin E. Drug Metabolism Reviews (2000).


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