Transport Systems: Why They Matter
Sure, we know that extracts and vitamins and other ingredients are great for the skin, but how do they actually get into the epidermis to do their work? They need a transport system to get through the stratum corneum (which is designed to keep things out) and into the epidermis. The most effective method is to encapsulate the active ingredient in a membrane of phosphatidylcholine – either a bi-layer (liposome) or mono-layer (nanodispersion). Phosphatidylcholine is found naturally in our skin’s lipid barrier, and it is a substrate of ceramide I, which is one of our most important barrier components. Our skin recognizes it and it fluidizes into the stratum corneum, allowing the liposomes and nanodispersion to deposit their active ingredients. This encapsulation method also prevents oxidation, so the actives retain their potency, and increases bioavailability.
Take Vitamin C, for example. Ascorbic acid has a similar effect to fruit acids and can remove corneocytes ready to be sloughed off, but will have very little effect on the collagen synthesis because it stays on the surface. Encapsulating free Vitamin C moves it through the stratum corneum into the epidermis where it can have an impact on collagen production.
But our skin is a two way street – if we open the stratum corneum to allow active ingredients in, we also risk allowing water out through Trans-Epidermal Water Loss. A DMS® (Derma Membrane Structure) cream is critical to closing the gate after the transport systems (liposomes and nanodispersion) merge into the skin. Mixing the two together – encapsulated actives and DMS® base creams – is an efficient and effective way for your client’s to get the maximum benefit from active ingredients.
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