Liposomes don’t penetrate skin, but they may kick-start active ingredient delivery via Cosmetics Design Europe

27 March 2016

“Super resolution optical microscopy and raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) to study the mechanism of action of liposomes as transdermal drug delivery systems in human skin.”

By Andrew McDougall+, 09-Mar-2016

Related topics: Skin Care, Formulation & Science

Researchers in Denmark say that the way liposomes are perceived in beauty needs to change after showing that the vesicles, often praised by cosmetics companies for their alleged ability to transport active ingredients into the skin, cannot actually penetrate; but rather help the process get underway.

It is the first time that a special microscope, called a nanoscope, has been used to study the skin, and the scientists from the University of Southern Denmark say that with this technique it is possible to directly see the individual molecules and liposomes.

From this study, published in the journal PLOS One, they add that liposomes cannot penetrate the skin’s barrier without breaking.

The current research follows a previous study from 2013, in which the research team showed that liposomes lose their cargo of agents the moment they meet the skin’s surface.


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