The study was aimed to develop a ferulic acid (FA) loaded nanoemulsion based gel in order to ensure the enhanced permeability and maximum antioxidant activity against UVA induced oxidative stress in rat. The optimized ferulic acid loaded nanoemulsion 3 (FA-NE3) was prepared by spontaneous nano-emulsification method with an appropriate ratio (20:30:50% w/w) of the oil (isostearyl isostearate), aqueous system and Smix [surfactant (labrasol) and co-surfactant (plurol isostearique)] respectively. FA-NE3 was characterized by measuring their droplet size, zeta potential, refractive index, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), ultraviolet (UV), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and rheological characteristics. Ex vivo skin permeation and in vivo UVA protection activity of FA-NE3 based nano-gels (FA-NG3) along with placebo were studied through the rat skin. FA-NE3 exhibited sustained-release profile, better permeability and ultraviolet A (UVA) protection activity as compared to conventional dosage form. This phenomenon may be attributed towards increased solubility of the drug and enhanced permeability from nanoemulsion. FA-NE3 based nanogel (FA-NG3) could elevate the level of skin marker enzymes against oxidative stress mediated by UVA. The gel formulation exhibited significant (P<0.01) skin permeability and antioxidant activity in the current investigations. The nanogel could be promising nanocarriers for topical delivery of FA in response to better skin protection activity against UVA rays in a sustained manner.

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