Here are a bunch of studies about the effects of dietary carotenoids on photoaging prevention:

β-Carotene and Other Carotenoids in Protection from Sunlight (2012)

Note: Very good article documenting the studies proving and explaining the role of carotenoids in skin photoprotection.


Protection from Sunburn with b-Carotene—A Meta-Analysis (2008)

Conclusion: Meta-analysis of 7 studies testing the effect of dietary/oral beta-carotene supplementation on sunburn protection concluded that high intake of beta-carotene does indeed improve UV tolerance, however this practice must be consistent and long-term (at least 10 weeks) before any positive results are observed.


Supplementation with β-Carotene or a Similar Amount of Mixed Carotenoids Protects Humans from UV-Induced Erythema (2003)

Conclusion: 36 white people were split into three groups and given either a high-dose beta-carotene supplement, carotenoid-complex supplement, or a placebo for 3 months. They were exposed to a UV light at baseline, 6 weeks, and at the end of the study to measure for changes in erythema (sunburn) response. Both the beta-carotene group and carotenoid-complex group enjoyed a reduced sunburn response compared to the placebo group and this effect improved over the course of the study.


Dietary Carotenoids Contribute to Normal Human Skin Color and UV Photosensitivity (2002)

Conclusion: Cross-sectional study evaluated 22 white people for their skin carotenoid levels and MED (minimal erythemal dose, aka sunburn tolerance) and found a positive correlation between higher skin carotenoid levels and improved UV tolerance.


Carotenoids and Carotenoids Plus Vitamin E Protect Against Ultraviolet Light-Induced Erythema in Humans.(2000)

Conclusion: Study testing ability of supplemental carotenoids and vitamin E on sunburn prevention. Volunteers were given for 12 weeks either a carotenoid supplement or a carotenoid + vitamin E supplement. They were exposed to UV light adequate to induce sunburn throughout the study to measure changes in erythema response. After 8 weeks of supplementing sunburn responses were reduced and carotenoids + vitamin E combined was found to be most effective.


Evidence for Antioxidant Nutrient Induced Pigmentation in Skin: Results of a Clinical Trial (1997)

Conclusion: Randomized control trial compared the effects of two different dietary antioxidant complex supplements (different amounts of beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin E, and vitamin C) on the melanin responses to UV in 20 healthy white subjects. Participants were split to take either of the supplements daily for 8 weeks and their melanin responses were evaluated throughout the study. Both groups enjoyed increased melanin responses at 4, 5, 6, and 8 weeks into the study as measured with multiple reflection spectrometry. Get those antioxidants.



Conclusion: Randomized control trial had 30 white male prison inmates take either an oral high-dose beta-carotene supplement or placebo daily for 10 weeks and measured changes in their UV tolerance (minimal erythemal dose – sunburn response). The beta-carotene group enjoyed a small increase in their MED.


Also see photoaging studies on 




Back to Photodamage Research

Back to Research Directory

Back to Blog



Leave a Reply