Background: The Cosmetics Europe ADME Task Force is developing in vitro and in silico tools for predicting skin and systemic concentrations after topical application of cosmetic ingredients. There are conflicting reports as to whether the freezing process affects the penetration of chemicals; therefore, we evaluated whether the storage of human skin used in our studies (8-12 weeks at -20°C) affected the penetration of model chemicals. Methods: Finite doses of trans-cinnamic acid (TCA), benzoic acid (BA), and 6-methylcoumarin (6MC) (non-volatile, non-protein reactive and metabolically stable in skin) were applied to fresh and thawed frozen skin from the same donors. The amounts of chemicals in different skin compartments were analysed after 24 h. Results: Although there were some statistical differences in some parameters for 1 or 2 donors, the penetration of TCA, BA, and 6MC was essentially the same in fresh and frozen skin, i.e., there were no biologically relevant differences in penetration values. Statistical differences that were evident indicated that penetration was marginally lower in frozen than in fresh skin, indicating that the barrier function of the skin was not lost. Conclusion: The penetration of the 3 chemicals was essentially unaffected by freezing the skin at -20°C for up to 12 weeks.

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