April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Many beauty products that make their way onto store shelves come added with liposomes. The beauty industry states that these liposomes, or small fat capsules, are capable of transporting active ingredients deep into the skin where they release the active ingredients so that they can alter the skin’s structure by rejuvenating and smoothing the skin.
However, a new study from the University of Southern Denmark, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (JID), reveals that liposomes are not capable of transporting themselves deep into the skin. This means they are also not capable of transporting active ingredients into the deep skin tissues either.
“We have shown that liposomes are destroyed before they enter the skin or very soon after. When a liposome is destroyed, it spills its cargo of active ingredients. Liposomes are therefore not efficient carriers for transdermal delivery”, says professor Luis Bagatolli from Membrane Biophysics and Biophotonics Group/MEMPHYS Center for Biomembrane Physics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark.
The research team labeled liposomes with two fluorescent colors using a technique called Raster Imaging Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS) to investigate how they move once they are applied to the skin.
“Concerted movement of the two colors should provide evidence that the liposomes are intact when they reach their destination under the skin. We did not observe concerted movement after applying the liposomes to the skin”, says Bagatolli.
Prior studies, conducted using other techniques, indicated that liposomes are efficient carriers.
“Previous research done with a different technique provide some hints, but not conclusive evidence, that liposomes are capable of penetrating the skin. Therefore some scientists have concluded that liposomes are efficient carriers. Now for the first time we have conclusive evidence that this is not the case”, explains Luis Bagatolli.
Bagatolli, an expert in biological membranes, advises beauty product consumers not to trust the claims that liposomes can carry active ingredients into the skin.
“The human skin is designed to prevent external components to enter the human body. It is natural, that it also prevents liposomes to enter”, he explains.