Solubilizers / skin penetration enhancers

These excipients provide high solubilizing power for a wide range of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Their physiciochemical properties are associated with improved drug penetration, permeation enhancement and, in some cases, a drug depot effect.


Effective topical drug delivery relies on the ability of the formulation to penetrate the stratum corneum and deliver active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to the target site of action.  The skin provides an excellent barrier to xenobiotics and the physicochemical features of an API may not be favourable to skin penetration, permeation, drug deposition, and absorption. 


The selection of candidate solubilizers begins with an understanding of the basic physicochemical characteristics of the API and its degree of lipophilicity or hydrophilicity.  This can help orientate the selection towards low, medium or high HLB solubilizers.  The screening of the API in the selected excipients will determine which offers the best solublizing power. 

Our excipients provide great versatility and can be used to develop emulsions, microemulsions, and lipophilic ointments. Aqueous gels can be formulated using hydrodispersible excipients – Labrasol® and Transcutol® P.


Our brochure ‘Lipid Excipients for Topical Drug Delivery’ is available on the website and for further information about the Gattefossé Formulary containing numerous validated topical formulations please contact your local Gattefossé office.

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