From the moment that the formulation is applied to the skin, there is a finite amount of time within which the active ingredient has an opportunity to leave the formulation and penetrate the upper layers of the skin. Beyond this time the active is likely to have crystallised or been left stranded on the surface of the skin due to the evaporation of aqueous ingredients or the absorption of other ingredients into the skin.
One way to use this window of permeating opportunity effectively is to make sure that the active ingredient is being ‘pushed out’ of the formulation and into the skin. An elegant method is to formulate the active at or close to its maximum solubility, at high thermodynamic activity. This creates a driving force for the active ingredient to leave the formulation and penetrate the skin, to deeply nourish and condition your skin.
Pushing the Actives out of the formulation is only the start of a complex problem. Actives which are hydrophilic or lipophilic do not find it easy to penetrate the skin due to the alternating aqueous/non-aqueous regions of the Extracellular Matrix lipids and hydrophilic domains found in your skin.
The skin cells are held together by the Extracellular Matrix, which helps prevent moisture loss and creates the smooth appearance on the surface. This region is structured by liquid crystal regions, and lipids prevent evaporation & provide lubrication to the surface of skin. The Extracellular Matrix and the skin’s lipid content gives skin a good deal of its surface texture and feel. When the lipid content of skin is reduced, the result is surface roughness, flaking, fine lines and a tight, uncomfortable feeling. Moreover, the skin’s healing process is impaired.
To strengthen the Extracellular Matrix region, an emulsion of highly compatible ingredients is called for. In fact, there is a complex mixture of chemicals that contribute to healthy, attractive skin, and, as ingredients, these include cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, amino acids, linoleic acid and glycerine.
The trick, therefore, is simply getting the liquid crystal emulsion formulas and liquid crystal structures in the Extracellular Matrix together in an effective way.