It is not easy to penetrate the skin’s protective barrier, as it is our defense against toxins and other external damage. But the fact that certain components in moisturizers can cross this barrier could be used to deliver medication for certain skin disorders.
US researchers have used regular shop-bought moisturizer as a vehicle to deliver anti-cancer particles to within the epidermis. The scientists prepared, and mixed in with moisturizer, gold cores surrounded by nucleic acid nanoparticles (siRNA) that targeted the genes responsible for rapid cancer cell growth. Once applied to the skin, the active ingredients proved to be highly effective. The simplicity implied by using moisturizers rather than liposomes or peptides for delivery opens up a new avenue for gene therapy to treat skin inflammations and melanoma.
Sources: PNAS & New Scientist
By Fede Montagud