Coumarin and its derivatives belong to an important group of natural compounds with diverse
biological properties. They are found in vegetables and plants and have been extensively investigated
for various applications in pharmacology, medicine and cosmetics. The coumarins are lactones
of hydroxycinnamic acids with photoprotective effect, the furanocoumarins (coumarins with furan
ring) have photosensitizing properties and are often used for the treatment of skin diseases such as vitiligo
and psoriasis. As cosmetic ingredients, coumarin derivatives are well known in fragrances, but have also been identified
as UV absorbers, with photo-oxidation, antioxidant and photosensitizing properties also being reported. In this minireview
we focused on photoprotective and photosensitizing effects of coumarins.
Keywords: Coumarins, sunscreens, antioxidant, photosensybilization, PUVA, vitiligo.
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