Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 32, pp 25061–25070 | Cite as

Investigation of cis-trans isomer dependent dermatotoxicokinetics of UV filter ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate through stratum corneum in vivo

  • Anežka Sharma
  • Katarína Bányiová
  • Branislav Vrana
  • Ivan Justan
  • Pavel ČuprEmail author
Research Article


2-Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC) is one of the most used ultraviolet filters in personal care products. It undergoes cis/trans isomerization in sunlight, and there is limited toxicological understanding of the effects of the cis-isomer. It is known that two geometric isomers of one compound can have different physico-chemical properties and effects. However, there are no studies focusing on toxicokinetics of EHMC isomerization products to compare their potential difference in dermal exposure to cis-EHMC and trans-EHMC due to the difference in their dermatotoxicokinetics. In this study, dermal absorption of the parental trans-EHMC and its cis isomer was studied. A commercially available sunscreen lotion containing trans-EHMC and spiked with laboratory-prepared cis-EHMC was locally applied on the forearm skin of two volunteers. After 8 h of skin exposure, the stratum corneum (SC) layer was removed by tape stripping. The removed thickness of the SC was determined spectrophotometrically using a total protein assay. The concentration of both isomers in the removed SC was measured by HPLC-DAD. A new diffusion and permeability coefficient of both EHMC isomers in SC were determined by Fick’s second law of diffusion in vivo. The difference in dermatotoxicokinetic parameters between the two isomers was not statistically significant. However, separate toxicological studies of isomeric forms and the determination of their dermatotoxicokinetic parameters are crucial for refinement of human risk assessment.


Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate Personal care products Cis/trans isomerization Tape stripping Dermatotoxicokinetics Human skin permeation 





2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate


stratum corneum


high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector


personal care products


diffusion coefficient


permeability coefficient


partition coefficient


total thickness of stratum corneum



This project was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (CSF/GAČR grant No. 14-27941S).The RECETOX research infrastructure was supported by the projects of the Czech Ministry of Education (LO1214) and (LM2015051).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval for the use of human skin was given by the Ethical Committee of the University Hospital Brno. This included documentation on consent, protocols, and information for donors.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_172_MOESM1_ESM.docx (451 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 451 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, RECETOX - Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the EnvironmentMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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