How to Incorporate Acetyl Zingerone (Synoxyl® AZ) Into Your Sun Care Product Line

Most consumers are aware of the dangers of sun exposure and have incorporated sunscreen into their routine as a result. However, sun exposure continues to do damage even after the initial exposure. To protect against these lingering effects, consumers need more in their sun care routine. Here’s how your brand can respond with acetyl zingerone.

Photoaging is the premature aging of the skin caused by sun exposure. However, photoaging is much more than just a cosmetic problem — it can also lead to skin cancer. When the skin is exposed to the sun, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) can form and distort the DNA structure, leading to mutations during the DNA replication process and causing cancer.

Unfortunately, these CPDs form even after the initial sun exposure. In fact, about 50% of skin damage happens right away (immediate CPDs, or iCPDs), while about 50% of skin damage happens after the exposure (delayed CPDs, or dCPDs).

Consumers need a sun care product that can more comprehensively safeguard the integrity of their skin against iCPDs and dCPDs. Acetyl zingerone is a great ingredient option that can do just that.

What Is Acetyl Zingerone (Synoxyl® AZ)?

Acetyl zingerone (AZ) is an organic compound that offers various anti-aging applications, including anti-pollution, sun preparation, and daily skin care. AZ is designed based on the structural leads from Zingerone and Curcumin as a multi-targeted active that provides long lasting photoprotection and reverses the signs of photoaging.

AZ was first commercialized as a skin care ingredient by Sytheon under the trade name Synoxyl® AZ. With over 99% purity, Synoxyl® AZ is proven to inhibit the formation of both iCPDs and dCPDs. It is an antioxidant, quencher, and selective chelator that enhances the skin’s defenses against environmental stressors. A recent study shows that AZ works by two additional antioxidant pathways — inhibiting oxidase enzymes and boosting antioxidant defense systems. This active ingredient is a perfect option for your next skin care formulation that protects the skin before, during and after sun exposure. Here’s how.

How to Incorporate Acetyl Zingerone Into Your Sun Care Product Line

#1. Before Sun Exposure

Applying acetyl zingerone before sun exposure leads to a reduction in immediate DNA damage (iCPD formation).

In a clinical study, lotion containing 0.5% AZ was applied every day for one week prior to sun exposure. The results showed a significant reduction in redness after solar-simulated UV radiation compared to placebo.

However, it is important to note that AZ is not a sunscreen filter. Mineral and chemical sunscreen filters create a protective barrier on the skin that absorbs or reflects UV radiation from the sun. Meanwhile, AZ provides protective benefits by strengthening the skin’s own natural defenses against the damaging effects of UV exposure.

A lotion or cream with acetyl zingerone used every day leading up to sun exposure can help your customers increase their skin defenses.

#2. During Sun Exposure

Acetyl zingerone can also be safely used during sun exposure.

Sun exposure causes excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) and proteins to move into photoexcited states. Many antioxidants become prooxidant during sun exposure, generating more ROS and causing DNA damage. Most antioxidants are also sacrificing molecules, which means they neutralize free radicals but don’t have the ability to keep working to quench excited states.

However, acetyl zingerone is photochemically stable and delivers benefits without being compromised by sun exposure. While other antioxidants degrade from UV radiation, AZ neutralizes free radicals (sacrificing) and quenches excited states (non-sacrificing) by restoring back to ground state before ROS are formed. AZ also chelates iron and copper ions to reduce the formation of ROS. Both of these functions result in reducing DNA damage.

Because of these characteristics, acetyl zingerone is safe to be used as a daily skin care product. It is also compatible with both mineral and chemical sunscreen filters, so it can be used in any type of SPF product. AZ will reduce iCPD formation while decreasing wrinkle severity and reducing redness.

#3. After Sun Exposure

After sun exposure, delayed cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers can still form and cause what is known as “dark DNA damage.” This represents 50% of damage caused by sun exposure.

Applying acetyl zingerone immediately after exposure is proven to decrease dCPD formation by about 50%. AZ inhibits formation of dCPDs in two ways:

  1. Inhibiting melanin chemexcitation and melanin carbonyls generation.
  2. Scavenging peroxynitrite anion, which oxidizes melanin carbonyls to their excited states.

Acetyl zingerone also does not interfere with normal cellular abilities to repair damaged DNA. So, your consumers will benefit greatly from a product with AZ that they can use after sun exposure to protect their skin from dark DNA damage.


Sunscreen is a staple of any sun care product line. However, there is more that can be done to protect your customers’ skin from harmful sun exposure.

Acetyl zingerone, available from Sytheon as Synoxyl® AZ, helps prevent skin damage from UV radiation by increasing the skin’s natural defenses. A cream, lotion, serum, or other type of product with acetyl zingerone will make a great companion to your other sun care products, helping your customers reduce redness and DNA damage from the sun. AZ is also compatible with all zinc oxide-based or organic sunscreen filters. It is truly a first-of-its-kind ingredient that provides benefits before, during, and after sun exposure.

To better understand the effects of CPDs in DNA and other types of photodamage initiated by sun exposures, Sytheon continues to collaborate with Yale University scientists and the Moffitt Cancer Center. Based on our joint research, it is evident that Synoxyl® AZ is a breakthrough active, effective for use in sunscreens, skincare products and specialized clinical applications.

Sytheon is a research-backed developer of high-performance active ingredients, including Synoxyl® AZ. Request a sample today.