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Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2018 Jan;15(1):17-31. doi: 10.1080/17425247.2017.1306054. Epub 2017 Mar 20.

Seeking better topical delivery technologies of moisturizing agents for enhanced skin moisturization.

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a College of Pharmacy , Chung-Ang University , Seoul , Republic of Korea.


An adequate hydration level is essential to maintain epidermal barrier functions and normal physiological activities of skin tissues. Diverse moisturizing agents and pharmaceutical formulations for dermal deliveries have thus extensively been investigated. This review comprehensively discusses scientific outcomes of moisturizing agents and pharmaceutical vehicles for skin moisturization, thereby providing insight into designing innovative pharmaceutical formulations for effective skin moisturization. Areas covered: We discussed the functions of various moisturizing agents ranging from conventional creams to novel moisturizers which has recently been explored. In addition, novel pharmaceutical formulations for efficient dermal delivery of the moisturizers, in particular, nanocarriers, were discussed along with their uses in commercial products. Expert opinion: Although various moisturizing agents have demonstrated their promising effects, exploitation of pharmaceutical formulations for their dermal delivery have been limited to few commonly used moisturizing agents. Thus, combinatorial investigation of novel moisturizers and pharmaceutical vehicles should be further conducted. As a new concept for improving skin moisturization, skin regeneration technologies using therapeutic cells have recently shown great promise for skin moisturization, but major challenges remain, such as efficient delivery and prolonged survival of such cells. Thus, novel approaches for improving skin moisturization require continuous efforts of pharmaceutical scientists to address the remaining problems.


Skin moisturization; barrier enhancer; moisturizing agent; natural moisturizing factor; pharmaceutical formulation; skin barrier; stratum corneum

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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