Broccoli sprout extract

'Sulforaphane' is the active component of this botanical. Research at Johns Hopkins University examined the effects of sulforaphane on UV-induced erythema (sun burn). The results showed it gave effective protection against UV radiation damage, and thus potentially against cancer, when applied topically. The extract of sulforaphane is not a sunscreen as such. Unlike chemical sunscreens, it does not absorb UV light. Rather, the extract works inside cells by boosting the production of a network of protective enzymes that defend against UV damage. Consequently, the effects are long-lasting. The protection lasts for several days, even after the extract is no longer present on or in the skin.

Sulforaphane is an anti-cancer and anti-microbial compound that can be obtained by eating cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. The enzyme myrosinase transforms glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate) into sulforaphane. The young sprouts of broccoli are particularly rich in glucoraphanin. As skin cancer incidence is rising dramatically the John Hopkins research team says that "treatment with this broccoli sprout extract is a protective measure that alleviates the skin damage caused by UV radiation and thereby decreases our long-term risk of developing cancer." They also pointed out that conventional 'chemical filter' sunscreens were essentially ineffective in these tests.