MS imaging and absorption methods visualizing sun filter skin spatial distribution and penetration
Sunscreens must now be effective in protecting skin from ultraviolet, as well as visible/infrared radiation. Here, TriAsorB, a new broad-spectrum sun filter, was formulated with three other sunscreens and their distribution on human skin was studied using a standard penetration protocol and two novel mass spectrometry imaging techniques: atmospheric pressure matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (AP-MALDI) coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry and time of flight – secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). The standard penetration protocol showed that sun filters absorption was very low, with most of the dose recovered at the surface (none entered the receptor fluid). Absorption was not increased in damaged skin. The results were confirmed by AP-MALDI and ToF-SIMS imaging of the spatial distribution of molecular species in cross-section samples of human skin. Each sun filter was detected on or in the stratum corneum, with a good homogenous coverage over the valleys and peaks of the skin, and correlated well with the distribution of endogenous biomarkers. In conclusion, conventional and novel imaging analysis methods showed that the sun filters remained mainly on the skin surface after topical application. Mass spectrometry imaging is a promising complementary approach to traditional skin penetration studies to visualize penetration of compounds.
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