Safety assessment and toxicological profiling of a novel combinational sunprotective dermal formulation containing melatonin and pumpkin seed oil

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Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure has been known to cause irreparable damages to human skin. The daunting risk of UV radiation exposure faced by military personnel led to the development of a sunscreen formulation which has superior sun protection factor combined with the ability to counteract reactive oxygen species. The present work deals with the preclinical safety evaluation of the sunscreen formulation comprising of four US FDA approved UV filters; namely avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide along with melatonin and pumpkin seed oil, via OECD protocols of assessing acute oral and dermal toxicity; skin sensitizing; skin irritating; ocular irritating and genotoxic potential. Both oral and dermal LD50 values were found to be >2000 mg/kg body weight in adult Wistar albino rats using acute dermal and oral toxicity tests. The sunscreen formulation was found to be non-sensitizing to the skin of guinea pigs and non-irritating to both skin and eyes of rabbits. The sunscreen formulation was also found to be non-mutagenic which was affirmed by a battery of genotoxicity and muagenicity assays. The results obtained from this preclinical study indicated that the sunscreen formulation is non toxic and safe in animal models. This study along with additional preclinical evaluations may serve as a basis for considering the formulation as a potential candidate for further trials to establish its efficacy, tolerability and applicability.Graphical abstractHighlightsA sunscreen formulation using four US FDA approved ingredients along with melatonin and pumpkin seed oil was developed.Dermally, the sunscreen did not cause toxicity; irritation or sensitization in rats, rabbits and guinea pigs respectively.Instillation of the formulation into rabbit eye caused low adversities, indicating ocular safety and non irritancy.Oral administration of the sunscreen did not demonstrate mortality, gross toxicity or histopathological alterations in rats.A battery of genotoxicity assays confirmed that the formulation was non mutagenic.

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