In this study, we evaluated different strategies to optimize the percutaneous absorption of
niacinamide (NA) and soy phytosterols (FITO) by making use of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and
penetration enhancers, such as the hydrogenated lecithin. The evaluation of the skin permeation of NA
and FITO has been effected in vitro using excised human skin (i.e., stratum corneum-epidermis or
SCE). Furthermore, we evaluated the in vivo effect that NA and FITO has on skin barrier recovery after
the topical application; using the extent of methyl nicotinate (MN)-induced erythema in damaged
skin as a parameter to determine the rate of stratum corneum recovery. Results pointed out the importance
of these strategies as valid tools for NA and FITO topical delivery. In fact, soy lecithin based formulations were able
to increase the percutaneous absorption of the two active ingredients, while SLN guaranteed an interesting delayed and
sustained release of FITO. In vivo evaluation showed clearly that the formulation containing both the actives (NA and
FITO) is able to recover about 95% of skin barrier integrity eight days after tape stripping. This effect is probably due to
the “synergistic effect” of NA and FITO.
Keywords: Emulsion, Emulgel, Franz cell, Niacinamide, SLN, Soy phytosterols.
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