Skin Deep

Delivery systems and skincare absorption

There are a lot of factors that go into formulating skincare, but surprisingly, penetration strategies are often overlooked. These strategies are critical to the efficacy of products, including a review of the pathways skincare ingredients use to get in. It is also important to identify backbar strategies and the pros and cons of popular methods to improve absorption during facials. The skin is a remarkable organ that works 24/7 to keep most things out, so the challenge is daunting.

Most skincare formulators and skincare professionals give little consideration to the challenges of penetrating skincare past the surface lipids. Approximately 2-5% of the ingredients that are applied to the skin actually makes it past the stratum corneum. That is a lot of waste. Unless the ingredients are designed to create surface plumping, such as hyaluronic acid, they do very little to help the skin’s appearance and virtually nothing to accelerate healing.

What is the biggest problem?

For those who know the ‘500 Dalton Rule’, the biggest issue in skincare absorption is the molecular size of ingredients. Ingredient size can be measured in Daltons, and anything more than 500 Daltons appears to have a lot more trouble penetrating through the epidermal layers. All of the known substances that create contact allergies are smaller than 500 Daltons implying that something cannot be an allergen unless it can penetrate through the barrier.

While molecular size is significant, larger molecules still have a chance to penetrate if they find the right pathway.


Sign in to your account or register

Read More…
Dr. Ben Johnson

Dr. Ben Johnson started his career in 1997 when he opened one of the first medi-spa chains with locations all around the U.S. He then founded and formulated his first skincare line, Cosmedix, with a strategy that was unique at the time - creating medical strength results using all-natural and chirally correct ingredients. Dr. Johnson has since developed Osmosis Beauty with the goal of changing the direction of skin care away from excessive exfoliation and renewing the focus of dermal remodeling, barrier and DNA repair, and detoxification.