Clinical Relevance of Topical Active Delivery Systems in Cosmetics

Depending on a drug or cosmetic ingredient’s intended target, topical delivery systems are broadly categorized as either transdermal drug or dermal drug/cosmetic.1 Transdermal drug delivery (TDD) is the controlled release of drugs through intact skin to obtain therapeutic levels systematically and to affect specified targets for specific purposes such as contraception, among others. Dermal drug/active cosmetic ingredient delivery (DDD) is similar to TDD except that the specified target is the skin itself.1,2 Cosmetic ingredients, including those for antiaging, known as cosmeceuticals, presumably may have the same site of action. The cosmetic and/or transdermal route is indeed desirable by the industry but the success of DDD and cosmetic active ingredient delivery (CAID) technologies remains limited and faces many challenges, one of which is low skin permeability that hinders the development of DDD/CAID for macromolecules.

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