Liposomes: revolution or profanity?

The active ingredients from cosmetic compositions are most often not
can pass through the protective barrier of the skin. They stay on
surface and affect only the outer layer of the epidermis. But,
as we know, it is in the dermis that important regenerating
processes that promote youthful skin. And it is there that is required
the presence of many biologically active substances capable
run the recovery and rejuvenation mechanisms. The eternal question
cosmetology: how to deliver biologically active substances in
deep skin layers? Scientists were able to partially solve this problem: they
invented transdermal delivery systems for active substances in
deep layers of skin. One of the successful delivery methods
active substances in the skin – liposomes. But let’s see how
Are liposomes effective in cosmetic compositions?
Notaklina is really all good, like this
present to us?


  • What is liposomes?
  • Methods of using liposomes in cosmetology
  • What are liposomes?
  • How to get liposomes?
  • Effects of liposomes on the skin – are the hopes justified?
  • Hopes and disappointments

What is liposomes?

Liposomes are artificially created microscopic bubbles.
(vesicles) with liquid contents, which consist of one or
several phospholipid bilayers separated by water
phase. The word liposome consists of Greek lipos
– dzhi soma – body. Very similar to liposome droplets
fat in water. The similarity, of course, is purely external, but in this way
you can imagine what are liposomes.
Liposomes come in different sizes, and their shape often depends on their
environment: acidity, the presence of salts, etc. Liposomes
known for a long time, but for the first time English


They are the ones who noticed the fact that liposomes in their structure
resemble cell membranes. Even then, scientists knew about important
the functions that the cell membranes performed and the liposomes became
an important link for their research. Liposomes have been used in
the role of cell membrane models in studying the effects on them
some active substances. It is this fact that attracted attention.
scientists, since it has become known that liposomes are good
transport agents.

Methods of using liposomes in cosmetology

Liposomes have unique properties, making them
began to use as a transdermal system:

  • liposomes simultaneously deliver different
    biologically active substances;
  • liposomes are easily embedded in lipid bilayers of membranes and
    literally fuse with skin cells;
  • the structure of liposomes is similar to the structure of cellular

All these factors contribute to the delivery of substances
inside the liposome, to the destination and control them

At first, liposomes were used as models of biological
membranes. Then their functions were expanded and began to be used as
microcontainers that are able to reach therapeutic
ingredients in different organs and tissues. Liposomes can enter into
imagine hormones, amino acids, microelements, enzymes, vitamins and
even antibiotics. Today there are two known delivery methods.
active substances in liposomes:

  • transepidermal method;
  • transfollicular method.

The transepidermal route consists of passing through external
layers of the skin, and transfollicular along the sweat ducts
glands and hair follicles. There are also quite extraordinary
methods of using liposomes: in the form of powders. In this manner
make foam baths and cosmetics for the body. On contact
powder with water instantly form liposomes that cover
large perimeter of the skin. Liposomes formed in this way
Especially useful for dehydrated and sensitive skin. also in
the cosmetic industry has patented many other ways
use of liposomes.

What are liposomes?

Depending on the size and number of lipid layers differ
following liposomes:

  1. small monolamellar, with a single lipid bilayer;
  2. large monolamellar, also with a single bilayer;
  3. multilayer (multilamellar), with several dozen and even
    hundreds of lipid bilayers.

The shape of liposomes depends on the process of their production. With time
they are able to change the number of layers, shape and size, that is
may be unstable. Interesting metamorphosis occurs with them:
small vesicles (bubbles) are able to form large, and
big turn into small. However, all of the above
metamorphosis does not affect the quality of liposomes, their properties
remain unchanged. Liposomes penetrating the skin change their
properties: they deform, break up into fragments, other
words change their original look. Researchers
became interested not only in the transport abilities of liposomes, but
their ability to act as independent
cosmetic products.

How to get liposomes?

The invention of liposomes relates to applied biotechnology and even
nanotechnology. Since liposomes measure appropriate
nano-sized to pass through the protective layer of the epidermis.
Liposomes are obtained by mixing in a specific container.
biologically active substances and additional substances
(solvents, powder fillers and phospholipids) or
by sonication of aqueous phospholipid systems. This
the method greatly simplifies and cheapens the production of liposomal
drugs and greatly improves the encapsulation process
biologically active substances in liposomes.

Also, liposomes can be formed from
characteristic phospholipids, natural or synthetic, as well as
from a mixture of phospholipids.

Effects of liposomes on the skin – are the hopes justified?

Liposomes themselves are completely useless. Quoted by them
ability to fulfill the role of transport agents. I.e
inside the liposomes there is an empty space that can
fill with unstable compounds. The structure of liposomes allows
protect unstable active compound compounds from destructive
action of the environment. They envelop the substance as it were.
membrane. High hopes were placed on liposomes. They should have
become efficient shippers quickly collapsing
active substances. In addition, we learned above that liposomes with
easy to integrate into the cell structure and completely dissolve
in her. Because the structure of the membrane of the liposomes and the structure of the membrane
cells have a similar structure.


It is known that a variety of active substances included in
cosmetic composition, and remain on the surface of the epidermis.
For example, vitamins without enhancers (conductors) are destroyed
immediately under the influence of oxygen and sunlight even before
how they were applied to the skin. In order to carry vitamin A into the skin
use its encapsulated form, which is added to the cream.
Vitamin A is a very unstable compound and tends to break down.
already in the cream, and in a special capsule it retains its
regenerating qualities. Or cream, which includes coenzyme
Q10, it immediately becomes useless and meaningless, since
the enzymes do not pass beyond the stratum corneum, but remain on its

The aspirations of scientists become quite understandable. For
For decades, there has been a search for a universal transporter,
able to ideally conduct the active substances deep into the skin. But to
Unfortunately, it has not yet been found. After all, some chemical
substances are too inert, others are immediately destroyed when applied to
third, change their structure and become completely
useless. Great hope pinned on liposomes. But justified
Are these hopes?

Hopes and disappointments

In cosmetology, there are several immutable facts that
such will always be. Our skin provides reliable protection.
organism from the destructive action of the environment
mechanical, physical and chemical nature. Pores of our skin
have dimensions of 0.019 micron. This pore size is practically not
permits no substances with a greater mass: neither harmful nor

And here it becomes very interesting that the most
the small size of the liposomes is 0.1 micron. How do
the way liposomes, having such a size, can pass through the pores
skin? For example, a virus size is one hundredth of a micron. But even
microscopic virus fails to penetrate intact
the cage. Although constantly trying to do it, but, alas, all
in vain.

However, manufacturers of liposomes claim that getting on the skin
liposomes change their properties: they are deformed, break up into
fragments, in other words, change their original appearance.
Thus, liposomes behave in an intelligent way,
doing various metamorphosis with its form for passing
through the protective barrier of the epidermis. But is it? Actually, it is not
There is no evidence to support this fact. Few
In addition, Danish researchers conducted a scientific experiment using
method of dynamic light scattering (the method of correlation

They divided and labeled the liposomes with two colored labels.
After liposomes have been applied to the skin, scientists have been able to track them.
movement due to fluorescent properties
shortcuts. What did they notice? Almost immediately after application
cream with liposomes on the skin color signals stopped moving.
And the labels of both colors stopped moving, which indicated
destruction of the liposomes before they even got to the desired goal.
We derive from the above: liposomes are in no way capable of
transport the active substances to the deep layers of the skin.


Another fact. Microscopic examination of a cream containing
liposomes showed that they were there … no! It turns out that liposomes in

  1. just missing
  2. or destroyed,
  3. or formed one random conglomerate (merged with
    other ingredients of the cream and destroyed their structure).

We know that any cream can have a positive effect.
but only on the top layer of the epidermis. But not at all to the extent that
which manufacturers and advertisers say. Same effect
able to provide a mask made from natural products,
for example, sour cream and fresh cucumber juice.

If we assume that liposomes have already collapsed in the cream, then
it is worth considering whether they can transport biologically
active substances in their initial unstable form in the deep layers
skin. After all, it is there that their presence is necessary.

It was refuted another statement that as a result of aging
cells, their membrane has a tendency to change its structure, and
liposomes, due to their structure, can merge with cells and
thereby capable of restoring their membrane. However research
showed that the thickness of the cell membrane is completely identical as in
young cells, and old.

Experts in the field of cosmetology have long raised doubts
regarding the use of nanotechnology for the purpose of transportation
biologically active substances in the deeper layers of the skin. All business
in nanoparticle instability. They can change their cream
structure, interact with other ingredients, break down
or merge with other components before losing its species
of identity. In other words, they behave unpredictably, that
we are seeing in the case of liposomes. And all this, provided that
nanoparticles are smaller than skin pores. But since liposomes exceed
these dimensions, all the talk about their effectiveness becomes

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