There is a great potential for a semi-solid preparation for topical application to the skin that would use materials of natural origin not only as an active substance but also as its base. The aim of this research was to model semisolid preparations containing hawthorn extract and to determine the effect of their bases (carriers) on the release of active components from experimental dosage forms, based on the results of the in vitro studies of the bioactivity of hawthorn active components and ex vivo skin penetration studies. The active compounds of hawthorn were indentified and quantified by validated HPLC method. The antimicrobial and anti-radical activity of dry hawthorn extract were evaluated by methods in vitro. The penetration of active substances into the full undamaged human skin was evaluated by method ex vivo. Natural topical composition was chosen according to the results of release of active compounds. Release experiments were performed with modified Franz type diffusion cells. B.ceieus was the most sensitive bacteria for the hawthorn extract. Extract showed antiradical activity, however the penetration was limited. Only traces of hyperoside and isoquercitrin were founded in epidermis. Protective topical preparation with shea butter released 41.4-42.4% of active substances. Four major compounds of dry hawthorn extract were identified. The research showed that extract had antimicrobial and antiradical activity, however compounds of hawthorn stay on the surface of the undamaged human skin. Topical preparation containing beeswax did not release active compounds. Beeswax was identified as suspending agent. Topical preparations released active compounds when shea butter was used instead of beeswax.