Cosmetic skin creams cannot ‘penetrate’ the skin as claimed by many manufacturers, a study found today.
Many pharmaceutical brands claim that nanoparticles in their products give their creams a ‘deep penetrating action’.
But scientists at the University of Bath found that such claims are ‘patently’ untrue and that even the tiniest of nanoparticles do not penetrate the skin’s surface.
Beauty creams that claim to penetrate the skin have been hailed as miracle workers for women of a certain age
Their work suggests that creams are simply deposited into creases in the skin and do not carry nutrients deep under the surface.
Professor Richard Guy, a professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences who led the research, said: ‘Previous studies have reached conflicting conclusions over whether nanoparticles can penetrate the skin or not.
‘Using confocal microscopy has allowed us to unambiguously visualise and objectively assess what happens to nanoparticles on an uneven skin surface.
‘Whereas earlier work has suggested that nanoparticles appear to penetrate the skin, our results indicate that they may in fact have simply been deposited into a deep crease within the skin sample.
‘The skin’s role is to act as a barrier to potentially dangerous chemicals and to reduce water loss from the body. Our study shows that it is doing a good job of this.