Skin Health Magazine Issue #10 / Winter 2019 - Page 34

MARVELLOUS MOLECULES H When it comes to understanding the hows and whys of skin care, it all comes back to molecules. With skin care becoming more scientific, in everything from its formulation to its adver- tising, it’s easy for anyone who isn’t a self-pro- claimed ‘skintellectual’ to feel confused. If you have always wondered how your favourite cream or serum works, or what terms like ‘time-release delivery system’ and ‘low molecular weight’ actually mean, you’ve come to the right place. the hypodermis or subcutaneous layer – which not only protect our inner organs from harm and bacteria but keep us waterproof and looking, well, human. Within the top layer of the skin (the epidermis, keep up!) there are four or five sub-layers, including the stratum corneum and the stratum basale. In short, that’s a long journey for any ingredient to go on in order to reach the dermis, where key proteins like collagen and elastin reside, hence why few ingredients actu- ally make it. Most will stay on the surface or will penetrate down to the lower layers of the epidermis, where changes to the skin’s health can still be made. Let’s Get Deep Before you can understand how a product does or doesn’t penetrate the skin, we need to revisit some basics. The skin is made up of three primary layers – the epidermis, the dermis and Size Matters In order for an ingredient to reach these lower layers, it needs to first pass through the epider- mal barrier or lipid layer. While this barrier is predominantly the first line of defence against ow deep can your skin care prod- ucts really go and why do some stay on the surface? ISSUE #10 | 2019 | 34 Biotechnology By Danielle Hadley