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Active Skin Care: Innovations in Delivery Systems for Cosmetic and OTC Products

Publication Date: September 2004

Novel delivery systems enable the creation of next generation cosmetic and OTC skin care products. Bioavailability, site targeting, time of residence, release characteristics, and aesthetic properties can be optimized. These systems facilitate co-formulation of incompatible ingredients and stabilization of volatile or photosensitive agents. Delivery systems can increase shelf-life, extend product life cycles, and boost user compliance and loyalty.

The skin is a highly effective barrier to the movement of actives into and across the skin, but the use of novel topical and transdermal delivery systems enables improved products and breakthrough applications. The selection of a system depends on the chemistry and nature of the active, targeted tissues, site of application, desired release characteristics, and preferred cosmetic features. A wide range of delivery systems is available, including colloidal systems, encapsulation technologies, patches, “patchless patch” technologies, penetration enhancers, and active transport devices.

The Active Skin Care report details the potential for delivery systems to impact the cosmetic and OTC markets. Background on dermal delivery, the structure and chemistry of the skin, and formulation guidelines are presented. Basic topical dosage forms are reviewed, and the six main types of dermal delivery systems are explained. Commonly used active ingredients for skin care and conditions treated topically or transdermally are also discussed. Trends in skin care and the status of the global market are evaluated. Finally, more than 90 verified business opportunities in delivery systems are presented.

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