Application of tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid in cosmetic formulations: stability studies and in vivo efficacy

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2012 Nov;82(3):580-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2012.08.009. Epub 2012 Sep 5.


Liposoluble vitamin C derivatives, such as tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid (IPAA), are often used in dermocosmetic products due to their higher stability than vitamin C free form as well as its proposed effects in skin; however, there are no studies analyzing IPAA stability or its in vivo effects when present in dermocosmetic formulations. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate chemical stability and pre-clinical and clinical efficacy of dermocosmetic formulations containing IPAA in skin hydration and microrelief. Chemical stability of the formulations added with 1% IPAA was evaluated by heat stress during 35 days by HPLC. For pre-clinical evaluation, experimental formulations were topically applied on hairless skin mice during 5 days and animal skins were analyzed by non-invasive biophysic techniques (water content of stratum corneum, TEWL, viscoelasticity, and microrelief) and by histopathological studies. For clinical efficacy tests, the formulations were topically applied to the forearm and face of human volunteers, and 3h and 15 days after applications, the skins were evaluated by the same non-invasive techniques mentioned before. Results showed that formulations containing IPAA had medium stability and had pronounced moisturizing effects on stratum corneum and on viable epidermis. These formulations also improved skin microrelief especially in relation to skin smoothness and roughness.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ascorbic Acid / chemistry
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cosmetics / administration & dosage*
  • Cosmetics / chemistry
  • Drug Stability
  • Elasticity
  • Face
  • Forearm
  • Glycolipids / administration & dosage*
  • Glycolipids / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Water Loss, Insensible


  • Cosmetics
  • Glycolipids
  • tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid
  • Ascorbic Acid