Abstract The purpose of this study was to compare the transdermal permeation of a model compound, diclofenac diethylamine, from a hydrophilic and lipophilic vehicle across in vitro models simulating compromised skin. Mineral oil served as a lipophilic vehicle while 10mM phosphate buffered saline served as a hydrophilic vehicle. Compromised skin was simulated by tape stripping, delipidization, or microneedle application and compared with intact skin as a control. Transepidermal water loss was measured to assess barrier function. Skin compromised with tape stripping and delipidization significantly (p<0.05) increased permeation of diclofenac diethylamine compared to intact and microneedle treated skin with phosphate buffered saline vehicle. A similar trend in permeation was observed with mineral oil as the vehicle. For both vehicles, permeation across skin increased in the same order and correlated with degree of barrier impairment as indicated by transepidermal water loss values: intact<microneedles<tape stripping<delipidization. A study with hairless rats comparing both vehicles found the same trend, with hydrophilic vehicle having greater delivery. In conclusion, phosphate buffered saline vehicle resulted in higher permeation into and across skin compared to mineral oil vehicle for all simulated models of compromised skin.