Israel-headquartered company LycoRed investigated the ability of its Lyc-O-Mato complex to counteract the free radicals produced when the skin is exposed to UV and visible light.
The full details of the trial are not yet available but the company has said it will be published in a peer reviewed journal later in the year.
However, preliminary results are very positive, according to LycoRed’s wellness and nutricosmetic expert David Djerassi.
“When you take the supplement you see results quite early. After only four or five weeks you get a nice accumulation of Lyc-O-Mato’s components in the skin,” he told CosmeticsDesign.com USA.
Enhance natural protection
The principal behind the supplement, which contains tomato lycopene, beta-carotene, phytoene and tocopherol, is to enhance the natural protection already provided by small levels of lycopene and other phytonutrients in the skin.
“We do get these components from the diet but the levels are quite low, with Lyc-O-Mato with we are trying to push levels up,” Djerassi said.
The mechanism is different from sunscreens which block the UVA and UVB rays as the Lyc-O-Mato counteracts the free radicals that are produced on exposure, and for this reason that the company does not suggest the supplementation as an alternative to topical sunscreens.
“We are augmenting the performance of the sunscreen, even if you have an SPF of 50 you will still have some light coming through,” Djerassi said.
In addition, the company says that the supplement can help protect the skin against the damage of short term sun exposure when people may not think to apply sunscreens.
LycoRed’s study looked at the production of sunburn cells which Djerassi described as cells whose DNA has been so badly damaged by radiation they destroy themselves. Fewer sunburn cells indicate lower levels of damage.
According to the company, the number of sunburn cells after daily supplementation with Lyc-O-Mato was significantly lower than those found in individuals taking a daily placebo of soy oil.
CosmeticsDesign.com USA will report on the detailed results of the study when it is published later in the year.