I must admit that I need my vitamin D. And I don't mean popping a capsule, I mean copping some rays. For sun worshipers, a French brand called Future Face that has come up with something very intriguing. Oxelio is a carrot-based topical gel that protects from the sun's rays by boosting the skin's natural immunity while accelerating a tan. At the same time, it is supposed to supplement any SPFs you have applied. I was greatly interested by the whole idea of Oxelio. It's not that I actively set out to get a tan, but I enjoy the sun, spend a lot of time outside and remain somewhat skeptical about sunscreen safety (indeed a new report from a UK scientist says that sunscreens don't prevent skin cancer).

The key ingredient in Oxelio Gel ($54.99) is daucus carota, an uncultivated form of carrot. A Japanese study has shown that it has powerful anti-inflammatory qualities as well as being an analgesic, useful if (tut, tut) you get a touch too much sun. Antioxidant carrot contains vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. The most dominant ingredient is apricot kernel oil, which contains the essential fatty acids oleic and linoleic acid and is high in vitamins A and E.

Tomato has also been included, presumably for the lycopene. Lycopene may be the most powerful carotenoid zapper of singlet oxygen, being 100 times more efficient in test tube studies of singlet-oxygen quenching action than vitamin E. Singlet oxygen produced during exposure to ultraviolet light is a primary cause of skin aging.

The gel is light, penetrates easily and is not at all sticky. The only ingredient not to like - and to be actively avoided by pregnant women - is polysorbate-80. Although there have been no studies on the effects of topical applications, injected rats underwent significant reproductive mutations. I have been it using at on the backs of my lightly-tanned hands, which are becoming notably smoother and more even in tone.


Prunus armeniaca, buxus chinensis, silica dimethyl silyate, tocopheryl acetate, glycine soja, polysorbate 80, farnesyl acetate, farnesol, panthenyl triacetate, daucus carota, retinyl palmitate, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, lycopersicum esculentum, beta carotene.