A skincare delivery system takes active ingredients and nutrients across the outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, and works in a time-released manner to bring the ingredients and nutrients to their designated area of treatment. Some skincare chemists state that while there are various effective active ingredients, including Vitamins A, C and E and hyaluronic acids, they can also be “difficult to deliver”. A delivery system can help to maintain the bioavailability of these ingredients, along with helping to increase the effectiveness of skincare products, increasing the shelf life of products and a possible decrease of irritation.
How did skincare products function before delivery systems? Scientists and chemists relied, and currently rely, on emulsions, or water-in-oil and oil-in-water solutions, along with emulsifiers and surfactants. Human skin naturally has a lipid (fat) barrier that can “accept” or prevent permeability. At times, the emulsifiers and surfactants (surface-acting substances) in products would break down the lipids on the skin barrier, thus decreasing the potency of a product’s active ingredients on the surface of the skin. Even the use of liposomes (synthetic, microscopic delivery vesicles with an watery core) to deliver active ingredients could result in the breakdown of the liposomes by the emulsifiers and surfactants, again causing the active ingredients to become inactive.
With the consumer need and demand for more effective anti-aging products, some of the “difficult to deliver” active ingredients that can benefit from delivery systems include the anti-oxidant vitamins (A, C, E), hyaluronic acid (HA), peptides, collagens and essential fatty acids (FAs). A major advantage of a skincare delivery system can mean that the more encapsulated and effective active ingredients become, the less compounds and complex formulations are needed, thus helping to decrease the costs in making a product. This can have a correlative effect for skincare consumers: more effective, quick acting products can reduce the need for various individual products for consumers. However, in the end, many consumers are willing to pay for products that can promise to deliver desired results.
One topic that might be a precaution to some consumers is the possibility of irritation from the added delivery systems. Scientists and chemists conduct strict tests before releasing delivery systems into the market. There is the possibility that products or ingredients may be delivered too deep into the skin and may end up on the capillary bed (i.e. into the bloodstream). One solution, according to a formulations manager at a biomedical company, is to suggest that companies conduct invitro test models with markers to measure the depth of penetration in relation to skin.
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