Properties of Emulsions: Structure and Skin Penetration

July 19, 2011 | Contact Author | By: Th. Förster, B. Jackwerth, W. Pittermann, W. von Rybinski and M. Schmitt, Henkel KGaA
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Keywords: emulsions | skin penetration | vitamins | phase inversion temperature | phase behavior | galenic vehicle | perfused natural skin model

Abstract: This work studied the influence of emulsion type and structure on the penetration of vitamins as cosmetic active ingredients. An emulsion of the w/o type and two different o/w emulsions were compared with an oil solution as a standard. A systematic in vitro study of penetration into the stratum corneum and the living skin was performed with the isolated perfused bovide udder skin model. The results substantiate the influence of emulsion type and stucture on the degree of penetration of water-soluble and oil-soluble vitamins into the skin.

Today's cosmetic emulsions are not simply mixtures of oil, water and emulsifier; they also contain a number of active ingredients functioning to ameliorate the condition of the skin, such as skin hydration or the barrier properties of the stractum corneum (SC). Most of these ingredients will work only if they penetrate the SC or the deeper layers of the epidermis. The extent and rate of penetration depend not only on the diffusion and solubility properties of the ingredietn molecule itself, but also on the effect of the cosmetic vehicle of the diffusion process.