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      Influence of anatomical site and topical formulation on skin penetration of sunscreens

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          Abstract

          Sunscreen products are widely used to protect the skin from sun-related damage. Previous studies have shown that some sunscreen chemicals are absorbed across the skin to the systemic circulation. The current study shows that absorption into the skin of sunscreen chemicals applied to the face is up to four times greater than that of the same product applied to the back. This has implications for the way sunscreen products are formulated and may allow the use of less potent products on the face compared with the rest of the body. The effect of formulation vehicles on the release and skin penetration of the common sunscreen agent benzophenone-3 (common name oxybenzone) was also assessed. Penetration of benzophenone-3 across excised human epidermis and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) membrane was measured using in vitro Franz-type diffusion cells. Penetration and epidermal retention was measured following application of infinite and finite (epidermis only) doses of benzophenone-3 in five vehicles: liquid paraffin, coconut oil, 50:50 ethanol:coconut oil, aqueous cream BP, and oily cream BP. Highest benzophenone-3 skin retention was observed for the ethanol:coconut oil combination. Maximal and minimal benzophenone-3 fluxes were observed from liquid paraffin and coconut oil, respectively. The alcohol-based vehicle exhibited low benzophenone-3 release from the vehicle but high skin penetration and retention.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Mode of action of penetration enhancers in human skin

           B.W. Barry (1987)
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            Distribution of sunscreens on skin.

            The effectiveness of sunscreens was originally achieved by incorporation of soluble organic UV absorbers such as cinnamates and others into cosmetic formulations. Determinations of the sun protection factor (SPF) of emulsions containing different organic UV absorbers clearly indicate that the efficacy depends on the absorption characteristics of each single UV filter substance. Nowadays, micronised pigments such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide have also been found to be protective against harmful UV rays. Our investigations using optical and electron microscopy proved that neither surface characteristics, particle size nor shape of the micronised pigments result in any dermal absorption of this substance. Micronised titanium dioxide is solely deposited on the outermost surface of the stratum corneum and cannot be detected in deeper stratum corneum layers, the human epidermis and dermis.
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              Systemic absorption of sunscreen after topical application.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                September 2005
                September 2005
                : 1
                : 3
                : 209-218
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Western Australian Biomedical Research Institute, School of Pharmacy, Curtin University of Technology Perth, WA, Australia
                [2 ]Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba Winnipeg, MB, Canada
                [3 ]HillTop Research Inc Winnipeg, MB, Canada
                [4 ]Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane, QLD, Australia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Heather AE Benson School of Pharmacy, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia Tel +61 8 9266 2338 Fax +61 8 9266 2769 Email h.benson@ 123456curtin.edu.au
                Article
                1661631
                18360561
                © 2005 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                Categories
                Original Research

                Medicine

                vehicle effect, formulation, sunscreen, skin stripping, skin penetration

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