How effective are skin products with DNA-repairing enzymes?
Sunscreens and creams purported to repair sun-damaged skin might have some merit, some dermatologists say.
The UV rays blasting down from the sun do more than burn your skin. They attack you right down to your DNA. That’s why there’s such a strong link between sun exposure and skin cancer.
If you could somehow repair the sun-damaged DNA in your skin, you could go a long way toward reducing your risk of skin cancer. As a bonus, your skin would look younger and healthier.
Every skin cell has a toolbox of enzymes that fix broken DNA, but what can you do when natural repairs aren’t enough? If you’re willing to reach into your wallet, you might be tempted to try a relatively pricey sunscreen or skin cream that contains DNA-repairing enzymes.
One option is a Neova DNA Damage Control sunscreen from PhotoMedex. Along with antioxidants, zinc oxide and other familiar ingredients, the sunscreens contain an enzyme called UV-endonuclease that’s harvested from an extract of ocean bacteria. This extract, called micrococcus lysate, is enclosed in a tiny package of fat (called a liposome) that supposedly helps deliver the enzyme deep into the skin. A 3-ounce tube of Neova Active (SPF 45) costs $46 on the company website. A 2.5-ounce tube of Neova Everyday (SPF 43) costs $39.
DNA EGF Renewal is a line of skin-care products developed by Dr. Ronald Moy, a professor of dermatology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. These products contain “the highest concentrations of DNA repair enzymes” derived from a variety of sources, including plankton, micrococcus and botanical sources, Moy says. They also include epidermal growth factor, a protein isolated from barley by a biotech company in Iceland. The company website sells a 1.7-ounce tube of the sunscreen (SPF 30) for $45. A single ounce of the company’s DNA Intensive Renewal lotion costs $125.