Antioxidants applied topically and/or taken systemically may play an important role in counteracting the oxidative injury to lipids and proteins on the skin and eyethat are provoked by radical oxygen species.
The aim of the study was to control photoprotective activity of the skin and eyethrough the use of oral antioxidants in 50 smoker volunteers (10 cigarettes/d) aged between 25-36 years and affected by dry skin.
Oxidative stress was assessed by a randomized double-blind study, and the ROS-Meter System (Dermotech, Rome, Italy). Global visual function was determined by the use of different visual surveillance tests.
A 40% decrease of oxidative stress in blood serum was verified, with a clear relationship between global visual function and the oral intake of an oxygenated carotenoid (lutein).
Carotenoids used as nutritional supplements seem to play an interesting photoprotective role for both skin and eyes, eventually increasing the activity of topical sunscreens.