Background: Rose oil is the essential oil extracted from the petals of the damask rose. It is an ingredient of cosmetic as well as health care products and it is used in folk medicine and in aromatherapy. It is well known that essential oils are able to permeate the skin whereas the lipophilic properties of the compounds as well as the application site have an influence on their permeation behaviour. In this paper, we investigated the influence of the application site on the permeation of rose oil.
Method: We tested the permeation of rose oil and its major ingredients through human heat-separated epidermis of abdominal skin, breast skin, and skin from the upper arm.
Results: We found that no application site is suited best for all substances tested to permeate the skin. It depends on the structure of the essential oil ingredients which application site should be chosen for topical application, which is already known for pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, when investigating the permeation of essential oils, we found that not only the P(app) value but also the lag-time should be considered.
Conclusion: The application site of substances to permeate the skin has a great influence on the permeation behaviour. As essential oils are volatile mixtures and their retention on the surface of the skin amounts only to a few hours, the lag-time should be considered in addition to the P(app)-value.
2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.