Friday, April 1, 2022

Are Your Skin Care Products Absorbed Into The Skin?


If you read articles on skin care and it's absorption, you might see claims that 60 to 70 percent of the ingredients are absorbed into your blood system through the skin.  You also might see claims that none of it can be absorbed this way.  So what is the truth?

What is known is that none of the ingredients in your skin care products are absorbed directly into the blood system from the skin.  This has to do with the way the skin is layers.  Remember, skin is the body's largest organ and it is designed to protect our bodies from harmful external agents such as bacteria. 

The outer part of the skin, known as the Struatum, Corneum, is made up of several layers such as the microbiome, the acid mantle, the lipid barrier, and a layer of dead skin cells. Together, they form a water repellent  layer of fatty acids, sebum, and ceramides  designed to keep naturally produced moisture in while keeping everything else out.  This is why you can load in a bathtub fulll of water without absorbing it all into your body.  For some ingredients such as oil, wax, or silicones, their molecules are too large to be absorbed into the skin.

So what does this mean? It means that most anything you put on your face dries, as the water evaporates, to form a layer between the Stratum Corneum and your surroundings. This is why you feel as if the ingredients are being absorbed into your skin.  Not all of the moisture evaporates because it is trapped by any dead skin cells still on the face. In addition, much of the layer is disappearing during the day as you sweat, the humidity, and as your skin breaths.  One should keep in mind that the same time the products are creating a barrier, they are also helping to nourish the barrier.  Furthermore, your skin looses about 40,00 cells a day, so as the cells shed, you loose some of the moisture provided by the skin products.

Even some of the ingredients we rely on to help our faces are unable to penetrate down to where they are most effective. For instance, collagen needs to pass through to a lower layer known as the dermis since the molecules are too large.  Even the hyaularonic acid cannot get down to where it needs to be due to it's nice even though it is naturally produced by the skin.

On the other hand, ingredients such as Vitamin C are able to travel down though the Struatum Corneum to where it is able to do the most good by triggering collagen production. In addition, there are six substances - avobenzone, oxybensone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate, that have such small molecules, they can penetrate down through the skin down to the blood system but scientists do not know what happens to them as it has not been studied before. 

No matter what, most of your skin care products do not go past the outer layer of skin so you really don't need to worry. If you are concerned, make sure none of those ingredients are in your product.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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