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In vitro skin permeation of sunscreen agents from O/W emulsions

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The effects of different emulsifiers on the in vitro permeation through human skin of two sunscreen agents [octylmethoxycinnamate (OMC) and butylmethoxydibenzoylmethane (BMBM)] were investigated from O/W emulsions. The test formulations were prepared using the same oil and aqueous phase ingredients and the following emulsifier and coemulsifier systems: Emulgade SE® (ceteareth-12 and ceteareth-20 and cetearyl alcohol and cetyl palmitate) and glycerylmonostearate (emulsion 1); Brij 72® (steareth-2), Brij 721® (steareth-21) and cetearyl alcohol (emulsion 2); Phytocream® (potassium palmitoyl-hydrolysed wheat protein and glyceryl stearate and cetearyl alcohol) and glycerylmonostearate (emulsion 3); Montanov 68® (cetearyl glucoside and cetearyl alcohol) (emulsion 4); Xalifin-15® (C15–20 acid PEG-8 ester) and cetearyl alcohol (emulsion 5). The cumulative amount of OMC that permeated in vitro through human skin after 22 h from the formulations being tested decreased in the order 3 > 1 ≅ 4 > 5 > 2 and was about nine-fold higher from emulsion 3 compared with that from emulsion 2. As regards BMBM, no significant difference was observed as regards its skin permeation from emulsions 1, 3, 4 and 5, whereas formulation 2 allowed significantly lower amounts of BMBM to permeate the skin. In vitro release experiments of OMC and BMBM from emulsions 1–6 through cellulose acetate membranes showed that only emulsions 4 and 5 provided pseudo-first-order release rates only for OMC. The results of this study suggest that the type of emulsifying systems used to prepare an O/W emulsion may strongly affect sunscreen skin permeation from these formulations. Therefore, the vehicle effects should be carefully considered in the formulation of sunscreen products.
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Keywords: cosmetic emulsions; in vitro release; in vitro skin permeation; sunscreens

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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