Beauty products containing liposomes are not effective as said by the industry

CosmeticsResearchers have found that the claim of the beauty industry about the liposomes is not true.

This research has been published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Liposomes are tiny artificial bags (made from lipids or fats) that can take the active ingredients, drug, vaccine or enzyme to the targeted cells in the body. Beauty industries add the liposomes in the products and claim that the liposomes are able to carry the ingredients deep into the skin and helping in its renewal.

Recently, researchers used technique RICS (Raster Imaging Correlation Spectroscopy) to check the mechanism through which the liposomes labeled with two fluorescent colors move deep into the skin. They showed that the liposomes are not able to carry themselves deep into the skin and therefore no transport of active ingredients into the skin.

“We have shown that liposomes are destroyed before they enter the skin or very soon after. When a liposome is destroyed, it spills its cargo of active ingredients. Liposomes are therefore not efficient carriers for transdermal delivery”, Professor Luis Bagatolli from Membrane Biophysics and Biophotonics Group/MEMPHYS Center for Biomembrane Physics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, said in a statement.

“Concerted movement of the two colors should provide evidence that the liposomes are intact when they reach their destination under the skin. We did not observe concerted movement after applying the liposomes to the skin”, Bagatolli added.

This research is in opposition to the previous studies showing that the liposomes are efficient carriers.

“Previous research done with a different technique provide some hints, but not conclusive evidence, that liposomes are capable of penetrating the skin. Therefore some scientists have concluded that liposomes are efficient carriers. Now for the first time we have conclusive evidence that this is not the case”, explains Luis Bagatolli, who is an expert in biological membranes.

“The human skin is designed to prevent external components to enter the human body. It is natural, that it also prevents liposomes to enter”, he explained.


Brewer, J., Bloksgaard, M., Kubiak, J., Sørensen, J., & Bagatolli, L. (2012). Spatially Resolved Two-Color Diffusion Measurements in Human Skin Applied to Transdermal Liposome Penetration Journal of Investigative Dermatology DOI: 10.1038/jid.2012.461

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