Skincare Delivery Systems: The Secret to improving Skincare’s effectiveness.
Skincare Delivery Systems: The Secret to improving Skincare’s effectiveness. When it comes to antiaging and skincare, there is no such thing as a ‘miracle in a bottle.’ Ok, we said it. Unfortunately, no one cannot stop the aging process. Even the best skincare products on the market are not going to be able to turn back the hands of time. However, there are some ‘secrets’ to improving and promoting youthful appearance, DNA repair and healthy, glowing skin at any age. One secret in particular, and perhaps the most crucial, is creating intelligent, results-driven formulations that have been built with appropriate delivery systems for maximal efficacy. The conditions, pH and vehicle used to deliver ingredients all affect how efficient the skincare product will be for skin. Let us explain.
What is a skincare delivery system?
Essentially, a skincare delivery system is how a product is designed to get the active ingredients deep into the dermis where they can properly address the specific skin issue it was meant for. Without an effective delivery system, the actives will not remain stable and will not be able to penetrate the layers of living cells to optimize their effects.
With so many claims, promises and options, what is a consumer to do?
Most skin professionals understand that it is not only the active ingredients that are important when it comes to skincare, but also how effectively the ingredients are delivered into the skin. In order for ingredients to have maximum effectiveness, they must successfully penetrate through different skin elements and layers to work their magic. Just sitting on the surface isn’t doing a lot for skin.
It can get quite confusing and a bit too scientific, so many consumers might not understand this. And why would they? Did you know that 87% of women are actually confused by skincare products? (1) With good reason. There is a multitude of skincare companies saturating the market, often backed (and paid for!) by celebrities and social media.
Some synthetic cosmetic & skincare advances may have faster delivery systems but that does not mean they are better. There is a higher risk of irritation, hypersensitivity and contact dermatitis. In addition, synthetic polymers and chemical copies of natural ingredients often create toxic by-products, causing acute adverse side effects, allergic reactions and even long-term negative health effects.
Factors to consider when it comes to Skincare Delivery Systems:
Generally, the higher the concentration the more the skin will absorb it. However, when it comes to some ingredients, having a higher percentage does not always mean it is more effective. Some examples of this are Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) and Niacinamide. Research shows that too high concentration of either of these ingredients can have adverse effects, including irritation, redness and even reduced efficacy.
The pH of skincare products influence how effectively they penetrate skin. The pH can be adjusted to ensure skincare formulations work properly and do not damage skin. Generally, the lower the pH the deeper it will penetrate into skin.
It is important to have pH appropriate products. For example, using a facial cleanser with a very high pH (you know the ones that get skin ‘squeaky’ clean…) can disrupt skin’s acid mantle and create chronic irritation. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) have a lower pH level for exfoliating efficacy. However, if they are too low, they can be too harsh and cause nasty side effects and long-term skin damage.
Learn more about the pH of Skincare products here.
The key to maximizing efficiency of almost every skincare product formula is to consider its solubility. Conditional on if the present actives are water soluble or oil soluble will determine which vehicle will more appropriate to deliver to deeper levels of the skin. EI SKIN offers potent serums which contain many concentrated actives, including both water soluble and oil soluble actives. Shop serums here.
Did you know? Aloe vera and glycerin promote transdermal permeation of water-soluble actives while natural oils, such as jojoba oil, possess significant skin permeation enhancement qualities.
Molecular weight influences transdermal delivery of ingredients. A molecule actually needs to be a particular weight (500 Daltons) in order for it to penetrate the skin barrier. (2) Products with smaller molecules have the ability to be absorbed by skin at deeper levels.
Size does Matter. One example is using multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acids in hydrating serums. Sodium hyaluronate has a very low molecular weight which allows it to pass through the stratum corneum to deep layers of the skin.
Carrier oils not only hydrate skin but also promote the penetration of the active ingredients into skin. Some have faster absorption rates and lipids molecular composition than others.
- An antiaging powerhouse, Seabuckthorn oil, has a high omega-3 composition which can easily penetrate the epidermis.
- Oils rich in linoleic acid tend to be thinner and more easily absorbed deep into skin. Grapeseed oil, which strengthens skin barrier, is easily absorbed deep into lipid structures of the skin where it interacts with cell membranes.
- Carrier oils rich in omega-9, such as avocado and almond, which stimulate elasticity and moisture, are easily absorbed into skin.
- Cucumber seed, rich in essential fatty acids, phytosterols, vitamins and minerals, is rapidly absorbed within seconds of application.
Phospholipids are a type of lipid that are structured with both a lipid-soluble end and a water-soluble end, which can attach to active ingredients and carry them to deeper layers of skin. With hydration and antioxidant properties, they also mimic skin’s natural lipid layer, creating a protective barrier. Research has shown that Phospholipids can increase the skin penetration of actives. One example is lecithin, a skin-softening multi-tasker, can encapsulate active compounds to help to deliver them deeper into the skin.
Encapsulation is a process when an active ingredient is wrapped in a protective shell to isolate it from its environment. It is often used as a way to restrict the actives from having direct access to skin upon application, control their release, increase penetration potential, or increase the rate of stability.
There are stability challenges when formulating retinol as it is highly susceptible to oxidation, which can cause a reduction in efficiency and potency. A high concentration of retinol can also cause irritation, skin barrier breakdown and inflammation. When retinol is encapsulated, it is wrapped in a protective shell that does not activate the retinol inside until it has passed through deeper layers of skin’s surface. This created higher stability and higher penetration potential for very effective results without peeling.
Our innovative encapsulation technique: An effective and controlled, higher bioavailable release technology offers a cutting-edge resurfacing night treatment that stimulates cell regeneration and collagen production.
Too much of a good thing
Balance is definitely key when it comes to active ingredients and delivery systems. Using more active ingredients can break down the skin barrier and harm your acid mantle, causing irritation, acne breakouts and allergic reactions.
Recognizing the Rubbish
There are many pieces to the puzzle. Skin is too complex to think that any one ingredient is a cure-all or by lathering a bunch of actives without effective delivery systems will do the job.
It takes approximately a month for skin cells to turnover and completely regenerate themselves. So, it can take that long before you see results from most of your skincare. That is, if you’re being consistent with application. And of course, reading labels to ensure there aren’t harmful ingredients, like PEGs, parabens and other toxic chemicals, that can actually make skin worse.
Trusting brands who are open about their ingredients, delivery system and formulation choices can you help you make informed decisions when browsing the skincare aisle.
(1) 87 per cent of women are confused about skincare products – here’s the ultimate simple routine. Hall. The Telegraph.