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Indication-related application of nanodispersions


Lecture held at the 19th annual meeting of the Society of Dermopharmacy at Berlin on March 18, 2015

In dermatological cosmetics1 and corneotherapy treatments2 nanodispersions are applied as modular systems3. In other words, the final formulations are determined after a skin diagnosis4. Consequently, there are few studies only but a multitude of practical experience with respect to tolerance and treatment results.

With regard to galenics, nanodispersions are the ideal form of administration of cosmeceuticals5.

Regardless of their biodegradability and their inorganic, lipophilic (solid or liquid lipid phase) or hydrophilic structure (liposomes with aqueous interior), nanodispersions have a high bioavailability and thus allow relatively low doses of active agents6. Characteristic examples: (1) Liquid, retinyl palmitate (INCI) laden nanoparticles come below the irritation threshold7 of conventional emulsions which is based on the formation of vitamin A acid. (2) Liposomes laden with very low concentrations of ascorbyl phosphate (INCI) already inhibit tyrosinase8 activity that is responsible for the formation of melanin, while non-liposomal free ascorbic acid is inactive even in high concentrations.

Nanodispersions spare the use of additives such as emulsifiers, spreading substances and penetration enhancers which all together represent an additional strain for the problem skin or even are counterproductive as they intensify wash-out effects or irritations. Due to the risk of penetration and permeation of the unfailingly allergenic preservatives listed in the annex of the EU Cosmetic Directive, nanodispersions, without exception, are produced in a sterile form (ampoules) or without preservatives.

Dermatological cosmetics are used in the context of supportive prevention and adjuvant skin care9 upon dermatological indication. Mono substances but also substance compounds and herbal extracts are applied. The focus is on biodegradable nanodispersions that are compatible with the human physiology 10.

Main indications of nanodispersions are barrier, cornification and connective tissue disorders. Examples are neurodermatitis11, perioral dermatitis12, psoriasis13, acne14, and rosacea15. A further field of application is the prevention and treatment of hyperpigmentations16.

Liquid biodegradable nanodispersions are not subject to the tightened regulations of the European Cosmetic Directive with regard to the safety report.

The compatibility with conventional and lamellar bases depends on the physical and chemical composition of nanodispersions and ranges from an unproblematic miscibility over fusion processes in the case of lamellar bases up to the complete destruction and decomposition in conventional emulsions17.

Important to know: The German Pharmacy Operations Ordinance (ApoBetrO) does not require GMP compliance for cosmetic bases and components that are processed in combination with pharmaceutical drugs18.


    1. H. Lautenschläger, Dermatologische Kosmetik - Brücke zwischen Kosmetik und Medizin, Kosmetische Praxis 2005 (5), 12-14
    2. H. Lautenschläger, Geschichte und aktuelle Gesichtspunkte der Korneotherapie, Kosmetische Medizin 26 (2), 58-60 (2005)
    3. H. Lautenschläger, Mikrokosmos modularer dermaler Zusammensetzungen, Vortrag auf der 18. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie (GD) in Berlin am 9.4.2014
    4. H. Lautenschläger, Fixpunkte: Hautmessungen - gute Beweise, Kosmetik International 2011 (8), 24-27
    5. H. Lautenschläger, Cosmeceuticals, medical Beauty Forum 2014 (4), 16-18
    6. H. Lautenschläger, Nanopartikel in Kosmetika - gut oder schlecht? Beauty Forum 2009 (5), 44-47
    7. Cosmetics & Toiletries 119 (6), 68 (2004)
    8. H. Lautenschläger, Hautaufhellende Wirkstoffe von A-Z - ein Überblick, Kosmetik International 2013 (9), 22-28
    9. H. Lautenschläger, Nutzen von lamellaren Präparaten in der Hautpflege, im Hautschutz und in der dermatologischen Therapie, Vortrag auf der 17. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie (GD) in Mainz am 23.3.2013
    10. H. Lautenschläger, Biodegradable lamellar systems in skin care, skin protection and dermatology, SOFW-Journal 139 (8), 2-8 (2013)
    11. H. Lautenschläger, Pflege bei Neurodermitis - Die Barriere unterstützen, Kosmetische Praxis 2005 (1), 9-11
    12. H. Lautenschläger, Lippenerkenntnisse - Bewährte und neue Pflegetipps, medical Beauty Forum 2014 (6), 18-20
    13. H. Lautenschläger, Hautpflege bei Schuppenflechte - ganz individuell, Beauty Forum 2009 (10), 48-51
    14. H. Lautenschläger, Akne: Möglichkeiten der kosmetischen Prävention, Beauty Forum 2015 (2), 88-91
    15. H. Lautenschläger, Korneotherapeutische Hautpflege bei Rosacea, Ästhetische Dermatologie (mdm) 2010 (3), 16-20
    16. H. Lautenschläger, Haut ohne Makel - Wirkstoffe und Wirkstoffsysteme, medical Beauty Forum 2014 (5), 32-35
    17. H. Lautenschläger, Huckepack - Übersicht Trägersysteme, medical Beauty Forum 2013 (1), 16-18
    18. A. Ziegler, Kosmetika in der Rezeptur?, Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung (DAZ) 2014 (43), 24 - [23.10.2014]

Dr. Hans Lautenschläger


Applied Corneotherapy
Corneotherapy - current stage of development
Corneotherapy - what is it?
Cosmetic treatments
Indications for nanodispersions
International Association for Applied Corneotherapy
Lamellar preparations
Lamellar systems - application and limitations
Microcosm of modular skin care formulations
Studies on the efficacy
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