Evaluation of Sunscreen Protection Factor Values (SPF) for some Aromatic Acids and their Salts of Mono- and Bivalent Metals by UV Spectrophotometer


  • Fathia A. Mosa Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Sirte University, Libya
  • Aisha Milad Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Sirte University, Libya
  • Marwa A. Agailm Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Sirte University, Libya
  • Rem A. Hadia Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Sirte University, Libya
  • Hana H. Khalil Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Sirte University, Libya




Sodium benzoate, Sodium salicylate, Calcium benzoate, Calcium salicylate, SPF.


This study aimed to determine the ultraviolet absorption for some carboxylic acids and their salts of mono- and bivalent metals as organic UV filters by UV spectrophotometer, as well as, calculate the values of the sun protection factor (SPF) for these compounds. The solutions of organic UV filters are subjected to absorbance measurements in the range of 290 to 320 nm, with five nm intervals, using the ultraviolet spectrometer. The experiments have been carried out in three different solvents: H2O, MeOH, and EtOH. These salts included sodium benzoate, sodium salicylate, calcium benzoate, and calcium salicylate. The calculated sun protection factor (SPF) of these solutions was evaluated using the Mansur equation. All organic filters showed some sunlight protection properties. The best-calculated SPF values were 47.0 for salicylic acid, followed by the sodium salicylate salt at 40.3 and then the calcium salicylate salt at 39.7. These salicylic acid salts showed a high ability of UV absorbance compared to benzoic acid salts which showed SPF values of 11.5.  This study presented organic UV filters with high SPF values and high solubility in polar solvents such as water and ethanol. Sodium and calcium salicylates would be recommended for use in the manufacture of sunscreen formulations.


Alfeetouri, O. H., Mosa, F. A. and Jibreel, W. A. (2019) Determination of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of Some Botanical Oils by Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry. The Libyan Conference on Chemistry and Its Applications (LCCA), 52-58.

Brusie, C. (2020) Sunscreen: Does SPF Matter and Which One Should I Choose?” https://www.healthline.com/health/what-spf-should-i-use (10/6/2020).

Campos, L. R., and Gaspar, M. (2006) Evaluation of the photostability of different UV filter combinations in a sunscreen. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 307(2), 123-128. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2005.08.029

Catalano, R., Labille, J., Gaglio, D., Alijagic, A., Napodano, E., Slomberg, D., Campos, A. and Pinsino A. (2020) Safety Evaluation of TiO2 Nanoparticle-Based Sunscreen UV Filters on the Development and the Immunological State of the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus.” Nanomaterial's. 10(11), 2102. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112102

Chisvert, A. and Salvador, A. (2007) UV Filters in Sunscreens and other Cosmetics. Tanning and Whitening Agents. Analytical Methods. Pages 83-120 in A. Salvador and A. Chisvert, editors, Analysis of Cosmetic Products. Elsevier Science, USA.

Cox, S., Sandall, A., Smith, L., Rossi, M., & Whelan, K. (2021) Food additive emulsifiers: a review of their role in foods, legislation and classifications, presence in food supply, dietary exposure, and safety assessment. Nutrition Reviews, 79, 726-741.

Dias-cruz, M. S., Llorca, M., & Barcelo, D., (2008) Organic UV filters and their photodegradates, metabolites and disinfection by-products in the aquatic environment, TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry 27(10), 873-887. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trac.2008.08.012

Dutra, E. A., Oliveira, D. A. G. C., Kedor-Hackmann, E. R. M., and Santoro, M. I. R. M. (2004) Determination of sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreens by ultraviolet spectrophotometry. Braz. J. Pharm. Sci. 40(3), 381-385.

Guang, Zhou. (2016) Application of calcium benzoate for preparation of animal feed additive. Patent. WO2017143666A1. https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2017143666A1/en

Klimova, Z., Hojerova, J., and Beránková, M. (2015) Skin absorption and human exposure estimation of three widely discussed UV filters in sunscreens–In vitro study mimicking real-life consumer habits. Food and chemical toxicology, 83, 237-250. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2015.06.025

Klimova, Z., Hojerova, J. and Pazourekova, S. (2013) Current problems in the use of organic UV filters to protect skin from excessive sun exposure. Acta Chimica Slova 6(1), 82-88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/acs-2013-0014

Li, P., Wang, S., and Zhou, S. (2020) Comfortable skin sunscreens based on waterborne cross-linkable polydimethylsiloxane coatings. Journal of Materials Chemistry C. 8(48), 17383-17394. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/acs-2013-0014

Mansur, J. S., Breder, M. N. R., Mansur, M. C. A., and Azulay, R. D. (1986) Determinação do fator de proteção solar por espectrofotometria. An. Bras. Dermatol. 61(3), 121-124.

Mbanga, L., Mulenga, M., Mpiana, P. T., Bokolo, K., Mumbwa, M., and Mvingu, K. (2014) Determination of sun protection factor (SPF) of some body creams and lotions marketed in Kinshasa by Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry. Int. J. Adv. Res. Chem. Sci., 1(8), 7-13.

Mohiuddin, A. K. (2019) Sunscreen and Suntan Preparations, ARC Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AJPS). 5(2), 8-44. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20431/2455-1538.0502002

Mosa, F. A., Alsaady, F. Z. and Naser, H. I. (2022) Determination of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) Number of Some Aqueous Botanical Extracts by Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry. Journal of Science. 15, 17-24.

Mosa, F. A. and Makhlouf, R. O. (2019) Sunscreen Cream Formulation with Natural Ingredients, including Arabic gum and Beeswax Foundation. Sirte University Scientific Journal (Applied Sciences) 9(1), 1-11.

Ngoc, L. T. N., Tran, V.V., Moon, J.-Y., Chae, M., Park, D. and Lee, Y.-C. (2019) Recent Trends of Sunscreen Cosmetic: An Update Review. Cosmetics, 33(3), 285–299. DOI: 10.1006/rtph.2001.1476.

Nohynek, G. J. and Schaefer, H. (2001) Benefit and risk of organic ultraviolet filters. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol, 33, 285–299.

Reichardt, C., and Welton, T. (2011) Solvents and Solvent Effects in Organic Chemistry. 4th Ed. Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA

Sayre, R. M., Agin, P. P., Levee, G. J., and Marlowe, E. (1979) Comparison of in vivo and in vitro testing of sun screening formulas. Photochem Photobiol Oxford. 29(3), 559-566.

Schulz, J., Hohenberg, H., Gartner, E., Pflucker, F., Wendell, V., Gers-Barlag, H. and Wittern, K-P. (2002) Distribution of sunscreens on skin. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 54, 157-163. DOI: 10.1016/s0169-409x(02)00120-5

Serpone, N., Dondi, D. & Albini, A. (2007) Inorganic and organic UV filters: Their role and efficacy in sunscreens and suncare products. Inorganica chimica acta. 360(3), 794-802. DOI:10.1016/j.ica.2005.12.057

Stiefel, C. and Schwack, W. (2015) Photoprotection in changing times – UV filter efficacy and safety, sensitization processes and regulatory aspects. International journal of cosmetic science, 37(1), 2-30. https://doi.org/10.1111/ics.12165

Yarussi-King, K. (2017) Guiding Sunscreen Traffic Across the Globe. Cosmetics & Toiletries. 132(5), 14-21.

Zayd, H., Alsaeh, I. A., Mosa, F. A. and Ben-Hander, G. M. (2019) In-Vitro Evaluation of Sun Protection Factors of Sunscreens Marketed in Sirte City by Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry. Journal of Pure & Applied Sciences, 18:366-369.




How to Cite

Mosa, F. A., Milad, A., Agailm, M. A., Hadia, R. A., & Khalil, H. H. (2023). Evaluation of Sunscreen Protection Factor Values (SPF) for some Aromatic Acids and their Salts of Mono- and Bivalent Metals by UV Spectrophotometer. Scientific Journal for Faculty of Science-Sirte University, 3(2), 74–80. https://doi.org/10.37375/sjfssu.v3i2.1401