Skin absorption test: a relevant approach for evaluating cosmetic products.

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A constant quest for efficiency and innovation drives the cosmetics world. In this dynamic, the in vitro skin penetration test emerges as an essential tool in the development phase, offering an in-depth understanding of the skin absorption of active ingredients. 

And this test is precisely our initial expertise since 20 years (our company even took its name from it)! 

Discover the multiple facets of this test, from its implementation to the benefits it brings to the cosmetic industry.

1. Principle of the skin absorption test

The principle of this ex vivo test consists of applying a product containing an active ingredient to the skin surface for a given duration. At the end of this period, the amount of active ingredients in each skin layer is measured using various methods.

The transdermal delivery test relies on the use of human skin explants and diffusion cells. This approach allows measuring the bioavailability of active ingredients contained in cosmetic products and controlling their penetration into the skin. It is suitable to all formulations and forms of topical application, thus offering very interesting versatility.

2. Objectives of the test in cosmetics

The goals of skin penetration test in cosmetics are varied:

2.1 Measuring the bioavailability of skincare products

The test helps define the optimal combinantion between formulation and active concentration to maximize the bioavailability of an active ingredient, ensuring the right dose for maximum effect.

2.2 Controlling the absence of skin penetration

The use of sunscreens is crucial to ensure effective protection against UV rays. However, their skin penetration is not desired, hence the need to control this parameter.

2.3 Evaluating new encapsulation or vectorization systems for active ingredients

The test provides a new wayto test and improve innovative active ingredient delivery systems (especially natural ones), paving the way for more effective and responsible formulations.

To meet the marketing and scientific requirements of our clients, our skin absorption tests are coupled with the use of fluorescent tracers. These allow precise visualization of the skin targeting offered by their innovation.

The skin penetration test thus allows optimizing your cosmetic product. You can define the right amount of active ingredient interacting with the desired skin target.

3. Our expertise in skin penetration test

Our company positions itself as an expert in this field after 20 years of scientific experimentation. We offer tailor-made services for defining protocols adapted to your products.

To demystify the process, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the skin penetration test:

3.1 What type of membrane is used during a skin absorption tests?

We prioritize the use of human skin explants to ensure testing is carried out under conditions similar to in vivo skin barrier properties.

3.2 How is conducted a transdermal penetration test?

The tests use diffusion cells (also called Franz cells). They allow the test to be conducted under conditions where the following parameters are controlled:

  • The initial active ingredient applied dose,
  • The contact surface available for active diffusion,
  • The temperature
  • And humidity

We work with a scientific glassmaker to design diffusion cells adapted to your project if necessary.

3.3 What is the duration of a skin penetration test?

Generally, tests are carried out for 24 hours. However, the duration can be shortened to highlight specific effects, such as a “boost” or “long-lasting” effects.

3.4 What product can be evaluated with a skin penetration test?

The possibilities are large, ranging from evaluating the concentration of an active ingredient to comparing new formulations with market references, also including the evaluation of cosmetic devices.

In conclusion, the current challenge in the cosmetic field lies in the development of sustainable technologies allowing optimal skin distribution of active ingredients. The skin, with its protective stratum corneum, “filters” external components, allowing only a small ratio to cross the skin barrier.

Natural actives also present challenges, solved by innovative delivery system such as encapsulation.

Thus, skin absoprtion tests become a must to confirm the effectiveness of cosmetic products. They offer a detailed view of the skin penetration of active ingredients, guiding the development of more effective formulations and ensuring regulatory compliance. With Transderma’s expertise, this technical and performance-oriented approach contributes to propelling the cosmetic industry towards new horizons, where efficiency aligns with safety, responsibility, and innovation.