Physical properties and caffeine release from creams prepared with different oils

Katarzyna Wojciechowska 1 , Maria Zun 1 , Dorota Dwornicka 1 , Katarzyna Swiader 1 , Regina Kasperek 1 ,  and Ewa Poleszak 1
  • 1 Chair and Department of Applied Pharmacy, Medical University of Lublin, Chodzki 1, 20-093 Lublin, Poland


Caffeine is a methylxanthine typically found in the Coffee Arabica L plant. Generally, caffeine is well-known as a orally administered mild stimulant of the central nervous system. However, for cosmetic purpose, caffeine is an active compound ingredient, at 7% concentration, in several anticellulite products. The efficiency of this mode of delivery is not fully understood. Hence, the aim of the study was to ascertain the effectiveness of particular carriers to release this ingredient. In so doing, we prepared six creams based upon different oils (Sesame oil, Rice oil, Walnut oil, Coconut oil, Sweet almond oil and Jojoba oil), containing 5% of caffeine, and compared the release of the substance from the obtained preparations. Initially, all of the creams were subjected to a variety of physical tests, among these being for slippage and spreadability. Furthermore, their rheological properties were evaluated. Subsequently, the creams were tested for caffeine release. In the slippage and spreadability tests, the coconut oil-based cream was revealed as having the best parameters. However, the rheological tests showed that all of the preparations had the pseudoplastic character of flowing according to the Ostwald de Waele power law model. The power low index (n) for all the preparations was from 0.2467-0.3179 at 20°C and 0.2821-0.3754 at 32°C. At 20°C, the Sesame oil-, Walnut oil-, Sweet almond oil- and Jojoba oil-based creams were thixotropic, but at 32°C, thixotropy appeared only in the Walnut oil-based creams.

The release studies, conducted by way of an extracting chamber (according to Polish Pharmacoeia IX) in the Paddle Apparatus (according to Polish Pharamcopoeia IX), showed that the amount of released caffeine is the largest in the case of Jojoba oil-based cream, at 85.23% ± 0.8% (SD), and the least in the case of Coconut oil-based cream, at 62,78%± 0.87% (SD).

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