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Pharm Dev Technol. 2014 Jun;19(4):395-400. doi: 10.3109/10837450.2013.788512. Epub 2013 May 2.

Effect of emulsification on the skin permeation and UV protection of catechin.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Josai University , Sakado, Saitama , Japan.


An anti-aging effect may be obtained by skin application of tea catechins (Camellia sinensis) since they have high ultraviolet (UV)-protection activity. In this study, the skin permeation of catechin (C), epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECg) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) was determined and compared, and the effect of emulsification on the skin permeation of C was measured. The UV-protective effect of C was also determined. The in vitro skin permeability of each catechin derivative was determined using side-by-side diffusion of cells. The UV-protective effect of C was determined by applying different concentrations of C to the solution or emulsion on a three-dimensional cultured human skin model or normal human epidermal keratinocytes with UV-irradiation. ECg and EGCg with gallate groups showed lower skin permeability than C, EC and EGC without gallate groups, suggesting that the skin permeability of catechin derivatives may be dependent on the existence of a gallate group. Interestingly, the skin permeation of C was increased by an o/w emulsification. In addition, the C emulsion showed a significantly higher UV-protective effect by C than that with its aqueous solution. These results suggest that the o/w emulsion of catechin derivatives is probably useful as a cosmetic formulation with anti-aging efficacy.

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