Send to

Choose Destination
J Cosmet Sci. 2003 May-Jun;54(3):239-50.

Diffusion of preservatives from topical dosage forms: a comparative study.

Author information

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ferrara, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy.


A study of the diffusion of parabens from topical formulations is presented here. In particular, four different topical formulations, namely, a water-in-oil emulsion, an oil-in-water emulsion, and two hydrophilic gels (Pemulen gel and Carbopol gel) were produced, containing a mixture of three common parabens, namely, methylparaben (MP), ethylparaben (EP), and propylparaben (PP). An analytical method based on liquid extraction, followed by reversed-phase HPLC for the quantitative determination of MP, EP, and PP, was developed. The method allowed good separation of paraben mixtures and high percentages of recovery (> than 97%). The diffusion kinetics of parabens from the produced formulations was determined by an in vitro system based on a Franz cell assembled with a synthetic membrane, followed by a reversed-phase HPLC analytical method. The comparative study demonstrated that, in the case of emulsions, diffusion coefficients are a function of the substituent of preservatives: the higher the solubility, the higher the diffusion of parabens. On the contrary, in the case of the hydrophilic gels, the higher the parabens solubility, the lower the diffusion coefficients. The method described here could represent a means of controlling the extent of diffusion of parabens from topical formulations in order to minimize percutaneous absorption and to control the availability of microbes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center