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Published on April 8, 2021

Skincare Penetration Enhancers

By Marina

In cosmetics, you can utilize skin penetration enhancers to disturb the barrier of the outer layer and to deliver active ingredients into the skin.

Sometimes this can cause irritation to the skin, so formulators must be cautious of this when creating their product.


Mainstream skincare companies– what they do


Mainstream skincare companies are using multiple penetration enhancers: Occlusive agents (silicones), glycols/solvents, surfactants, enzymes.

Silicones- a synthetic substance made of silica(sand) and silicones don’t provide any tangible benefits to the skin. They create unbreathable layer, prevent skin from normal functioning

Solvents or glycols can definitely irritate some people’s skin and trigger an allergic reaction, especially if you have sensitive skin to begin with. It has an exceptional ability to disrupt the skin barrier which is not always good as the quality of the solvent varies.

In addition to everything mentioned above, there is another issue…

The marketing of the penetration rate.

The skin penetration rate for a solvent will be higher than most other components.

So, these companies mislead you by marketing their penetration rates based on solvents, but not based on the actual ingredients.



Natural skincare companies – what they do.


We avoid SYNTHETIC OCCLUSIVE AGENTS-such as silicones, irritating solvents, esters, fatty alcohols- essentially ingredients that cannot be easily washed off by water and leave a film on the skin.


We prefer ingredients that allow your skin to breathe and function normally.


We use NATURAL occlusive.

For instance, organic soy lecithin can naturally enhance the penetration of water-based nutrients. Other ingredients that help us to deliver actives to the deeper layer of your skin are:


A liposome is a spherical structure that has an outer layer consisting of fat enclosing a water droplet. It looks like a minute spherical sac. The liposome is used as a vehicle for the administration of nutrients to the deeper layers of the skin



Ceramides are lipids (fats) naturally present in your skin already, so it’s interesting that they can increase skin penetration when topically applied. They make up over 50% of skin’s composition, so it’s no surprise they play a vital role in determining how your skin looks (and how it responds to environmental threats).

Think of ceramides as the mortar between bricks—if the bricks are your skin cells. Ceramides help hold the skin together by forming a protective layer that limits moisture loss and protects against visible damage from pollution and other environmental stressors.


Well formulated skincare products include a maximum of active ingredients and allow them to do their job, also help them to reach a deeper layer of your skin providing them with vehicles listed above. Which we do😊


Factors Affecting Penetration


Below is the list of factors that can affect how much and how deep ingredients will go into your skin:


  1. The concentration of the active ingredient in the formula. The well-formulated product should use the maximum allowable quantity of the actives to achieve the best results. Which we do😊


  1. The size of the molecule-the the smaller it is (<500 Da), the better. As an example, we use the Low Molecular weight of Hyaluronic acid.  It has a much smaller molecular size compared to regular HA. Most of the skincare companies are just claiming the presence of HA without thinking about how it penetrates your skin.


  1. The charge of the molecule – skin is negatively charged at physiological pH (~4.5), therefore it tends to attract cationic molecules. We formulate our products with the pH, closest to the natural environment of your skin.


  1. We formulate our product keeping in mind the health and safety of your skin. We want to help you to restore your skin’s natural balance. Also, we are suggesting the most effective skincare routine.


  1. Duration of contact is also a factor in skin absorption of cosmetic ingredients. Let your skincare products to be fully absorbed into your skin before you remove the residue or blotch your face.


  1. The moisture of the skin. We suggest applying skincare products on slightly wet, clean skin.


  1. The thickness of the top layer of your skin (stratum corneum). Dead skin cells accumulated on the surface will reduce penetration rate – exfoliate your skin regularly to remove the layer of the dead skin from the surface – it will help active ingredients from your skincare to be delivered to deeper layers of your skin.


We can help you to learn more about your skin and make better choices when it comes to choosing products for your face and body.

You do not need a degree in Chemistry or Dermatology to understand it. We are here to explain scientific terminology and processes in simple terms.