HOW FAR DO SKIN CARE INGREDIENTS GO?
My oldest daughter was learning horse riding, and one weekend she forgot to apply sunscreen. At the end of the day she came home with severe sunburn. Her back and shoulders were sunburned with inflammation, swelling, stinging and burning, the type of sunburn that would definitely blister.
I went out to my garden, got some Aloe Vera plant, cut the juicy leaf in half length-ways and scooped out the gel. I applied it to my daughter’s skin and she told me it immediately relieved her pain and stinging. I kept re-applying the aloe vera gel and a cool compresses all through the night, which provided enormous relief so that she could sleep in comfort. By morning, the inflammation and pain subsided and within a few days the sunburn cleared up, with no blistering.
In the beauty business, there are some powerful ingredients we work with that have an effect on the skin from the surface. Some of these are vitamins, anti-oxidants, plant extracts, essential oils, plant oils, alpha and beta hydroxyl acids and marine extracts. I am no chemist, but my passion is learning about cosmetic ingredients. My understanding is that, most of the cosmetic ingredients we use sit on the surface and some are able to work their way in deeper and work within the epidermis (the surface layer of the skin). A good delivery system in the skin care formulation allow ingredients to travel past the epidermal lipid barrier to the deeper epidermal layers and improve the way the surface cells communicate with the cells deep down. That is how we can calm the Langerhans cells in irritated skin, reduce melanin production in pigmentation, and boost hyaluronic & collagen production in aging skin.
Using quality cosmeceutical ingredients, in an effective delivery system to keep cell communication at its optimum so that the skin cells are receiving the right signals and passing the message along to the deeper cells is very important in skin care. My belief is that results are based on how the cells ‘speak’ to each other, and what signals they are sending to the cells deep down.
Some ingredients such as Aloe Vera sit on the surface to be effective, others such as Vitamin C or Niacinamide require effective delivery systems to get the ingredient past the epidermal barrier, otherwise these ingredients are unable to communicate with cell deep down effectively.
In many instances when aestheticians talk about delivery systems taking ingredients deep down, it may be confusing because the implication is that the ingredients penetrate to the dermis or the deeper, live skin. With the exception of some essential oils, no cosmetic ingredients can claim they can penetrate past the epidermis into the dermal layers, only certain drugs and medicines can, such as the drugs in nicotine patches. Cosmetics that can penetrate past the skin into the blood stream could potentially be dangerous, and should only ever be handled by medical practitioners. Toxicity is of particular concern, as well as drug interactions, and potentially dangerous side effects.
In beauty, we do use ingredients that affect the deeper layers of the skin safely and effectively without introducing dangerous chemicals (natural or synthetic) into the body. The only way we can affect the dermis is with cell communicating ingredients such as peptides, Retinol (vitamin A) and Niacinamide (vitamin B3)which ‘pass the message on’ from the surface to the cells in the dermis, such as the fibroblasts which are responsible for collagen and elastin production.
The other way we can affect the dermis of course is with other modalities such as micro needling and LED. These modalities work by improving cell communication and sending the desired messages to the cells to encourage a healthy and youthful skin.
Do you have any tips you would like to add to this list? Post your comments below.