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All About- How Does Your Beauty Products Work?


The skin, or epidermis, is the human body’s largest organ. Although our skin has protective mechanisms in place, in order to stay healthy and functional, it needs daily treatment! What we put on our skin does not just stay on the surface; it moves directly into the skin through an elaborate absorption mechanism.

How does a product penetrate into the skin?

Cosmetics are products intended to cleanse, protect, and improve the appearance of our body’s external parts. The main and vital ingredients present in most cosmetics include water, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, moisturizers, colors, and fragrances. Ingredients can occur naturally or artificially, but any possible effect on our health depends primarily on the chemical compounds they are made of.

Difference between skin penetration and skin absorption

When an ingredient penetrates the skin it finds its way through the deeper layers of skin when a chemical reaches the skin. Absorption is when it reaches the bloodstream with a chemical. The vast difference can be seen. Penetration is important for skincare. If they can get into the skin, but not leave the skin itself the ingredients can do their best job of hydrating and conditioning.

Why should you care about absorption of the products and the ingredients?

The skin does not need to be absorbed by all ingredients. When reading a promising skincare product’s ingredient list, ask yourself if it will really help absorb where it is required, or just stay on the surface of your skin. More than the correct labels, successful skincare is about outcomes.

Some products contain ‘chemical enhancers’ (e.g. ethanol, acetone and sodium lauryl sulphate) intended for the extraction of natural skin lipids, which effectively break down the skin barrier, allowing chemicals to penetrate. Evidently, in the long run, these products can damage the skin and cause extreme irritation. In fact the majority of dermatologists would advise against using any SLS or sulphate containing product.


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