2017 Volume 40 Issue 6 Pages 941-944
UV rays induce melanin production in the skin, which, from a cosmetic point of view, is problematic. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in the skin upon UV irradiation are thought to be responsible for melanin production. Thus, effective antioxidants are recognized as useful tools for prevention of UV-induced melanin production. Redox nanoparticles (RNPs) containing nitroxide radicals as free radical scavengers were previously developed, and shown to be effective ROS scavengers in the body. RNPs are therefore expected to be useful for effective protection against UV-induced melanin production. However, as the sizes of RNPs are typically larger than the intercellular spaces of the skin, transdermal penetration is difficult. We recently demonstrated effective transdermal delivery and accumulation of nanoparticles in the epidermal layer via faint electric treatment, i.e., iontophoresis, suggesting that iontophoresis of RNPs may be a useful strategy for prevention of UV-induced melanin production in the skin. Herein, we performed iontophoresis of RNPs on the dorsal skin of hairless mice that produce melanin in response to light exposure. RNPs accumulated in the epidermal layer upon application of iontophoresis. Further, the combination of RNPs with iontophoresis decreased UV-induced melanin spots and melanin content in the skin. Taken together, we successfully demonstrated that iontophoresis-mediated accumulation of RNPs in the epidermis prevented melanin production.