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1.) The phrase “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” has never been more fitting than when it applies to skin penetration. The largest organ of the body (skin) was built with millions of tiny pinprick holes called “pores.” These pores perform many duties such as oxygenation, detoxing, cleansing, and penetration. When the miniature openings are clogged with internal toxins (bacteria, germs, infections, fungi, sebum, etc..) or external environmental garbage (smog, fog, toxic waste, chemicals, etc..) it is not possible to do their job. Your application of cleaners, enzymes, creams, lotions, ointments, gels, and serums will not be able to descend deep enough to make a difference. Therefore, surface cleansing is not enough. Deep pore cleansing is an absolute necessity, in the facial and at home.
2.) The dead skin cells of the stratum corneum (and the “glue” that holds them together) act as a natural barrier and defense system. It is very difficult to achieve deep penetration of any topical product when it has to fight it’s way through that “shell.” Thanks to modern-day procedures, and products to break down the protective bond of the stratum corneum. This all comes under the aesthetic umbrella of “exfoliation.” Equipment such as microdermabrasion units, lasers, and electrical probes have been developed for this purpose. The chemical industry has come up with “chemical peels” such as glycolics, Jessner’s, AHA’s, etc.. Mother nature offers her significant array of enzymes from plants and fruits, which easily dissolve the cellular matrix without and side effects. All of these, plus your magic massaging fingers will open the pathway to deeper penetration.
3.) In our 35 years of transdermal infusion research, one of the most common “themes” emanating from the various results was the concept of pH. which stands for “potential hydrogen.” This is a measurement of the acid versus alkaline content of the chemicals that make up the human body and therefore the skin. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14. If a body’s pH is measured between 0 to 7.0 it is in the acid state. If the measurement is somewhere between 7.0 to 14 the body is in an alkaline state. It is a generally accepted belief that acidic pH promotes cellular decay and alkaline pH promotes cellular repair and good health. In transdermal infusion the perfect pH for skin penetration is 7.0 which is neutral. We find that the skin’s defensive mechanism relaxes and the pores open up more readily. As aestheticians, you should use products with the highest pH for maximum penetration.
4.) The skin is a organ of the body. Like every other organ, the skin requires “oxygen” to function properly. Your bodily oxygen intake is through the nose and mouth, but only a small percentage of that ever makes it to your skin, the largest organ. In order to compensate for the irregularity, the skin tries to draw air from the outside through it’s pores. The skin, in it’s magnificence, realizes that the air has not been filtered or purified. The results is a shutdown of the pathways to the internal layers and organs, The ultimate consequence is the repression of the penetration of all topical creams, lotions, ointments, gels, serums, etc.. It is highly recommended that products used for facials contain purified oxygen which will allow the skin to re-open it’s penetration pathways.
5.) Depending on what expert you want to believe, the human body (and the skin) is made up of 68 to 90 percent water. It does not require a rocket scientist to understand that the skin craves hydration/moisturization. It would prefer to receive this hydration through the food and liquids that are consumed, but in the event of a shortfall, the skin will try to extract it from the other organs/systems inside the body and, as a last resort, from the environment (i.e., water droplets in the atmosphere). In facial products or home use items, a dehydrated skin will remove the water content of the cream/lotion, thereby leaving the active ingredients without the liquid required to make the transfer to the lower layers. The use of natural moisturizers such as hyaluronic acid in your facial and home care products is the key to good penetration.
6.) Molecular structure is another important key to good penetration. This means that the size of the finished topical (cleanser, mask, cream, lotion, serum, etc.) must be smaller than the size of the opening of the pores of the skin, if not, the products will just sit on the surface (layer number one: The stratum corneum) and not penetrate at all. Molecular size starts with the initial raw materials that make up the formula. A good cosmetic chemist not only examines active ingredients for their integrity but also their size. Once the appropriate raw materials have been selected, a manufacturing process must be selected to combine all the raw materials (ingredients) into a finished product without increasing the size. Once the manufacturing process is completed, the finished product must go through some kind of “molecular de-sizing” such as nanotechnology, micronization, homogenization, or the like. For great penetration make sure your products match all of these requirements.
7.) Every organ/system in the human body requires “energy” to operate. This energy is normally found in the nucleus of each molecule. The scientific name for this is “adenosine triphosphate” (ATP). The body uses up energy during the day and “recharges the battery” at night during sleeping hours. As in most functions of the human body, the skin is the last on the list to get help… and that includes energy. During the day, when most of the energy is being sent to your “working” organs (bones, muscles, heart, lungs, liver, kidney, etc..) your skin is deficient. Therefore, all products (creams, lotions, etc..) applied to the skin do not receive the energy required to penetrate through the layers. It is of utmost importance that a diet full of energy producing food and skin care products full of natural energizing botanicals and herbs become a daily routine to enhance proper penetration.
8.) The atrocities perpetrated by the sun on the skin are far to numerous to be mentioned here… so we will focus on the “penetration” connection. When the UV rays attack the skin, we notice a change in color. The skin may change to light, medium, or dark brown, or worse a red burn. What the general public does not understand or appreciate is the reality of the process… the skin changes color because it detects that there is an enemy (the sun) attacking. The procedure of changing color is relatively simple, but the ramification is intellectually challenging. The sun’s rays actually attack the luciderm (layer number two). The melanin (pigmentation) in the luciderm changes color. When this happens, the science of the skin takes over and as the skin’s color changes; the luciderm thickens up to 200 times it’s normal size, thus preventing the deadly UV rays from penetrating any deeper. So the moral of good penetration is not to upset the luciderm with the sun, out-of-balance hormones, poor diet, chemicals, or other harmful foes.
9.) My favorite saying is “the skin is an awesome organ.” It has the best repair mechanism, the best forgiveness quotient, the best patience during “bad” times, and the best ability to defend itself. Part of that defense is the skin’s innate ability to discern what is good or bad for it’s existence, and one of the worst challenges the skin faces is the collateral damage inflicted by chemicals. We swallow chemicals every day (food, liquid, pills, toothpaste, mouthwash, cigarette smoke, etc.) The skin is no fool… it knows better! When subjected to the toxicity of the various daily chemicals in our life, the skin will shut down the “Penetration Transport System” (PTS). To increase good penetration, a decision must be made between chemicals and natural.
10.) I have left the most unusual element of penetration until last. Over our 35 years in the laboratory experimenting with transdermal infusion (full and complete penetration), we discovered another use for the hair follicle system. Using micronization, nanotechnology, and a new proprietary ingredient with “slippery” cells/molecules, we are able to apply a topical product (cream, lotion, serum, etc.) to the skin and cause that product to “slide” down the hair shaft and penetrate the layers of the skin. Those employed in the hair removal industry, waxing, laser, etc.) the hair styling industry, and the razor blade industry, may not be too happy with this new revelation but the science is irrefutable, the hair follicle grows out of the papillae (bulb) in the dermis, (layer number six). Therefore, proper use of this technology offers many advantages to the “penetration” dilemma, including simplicity, targeting challenges, and low cost/value ratios – without any side effects!
So are you ready to think “outside the box?” Are you ready to function “outside the box?” The skin is waiting, it can be taught. Through the right knowledge, techniques, and products, the skin will self-repair, impede the aging process, and create a transportation conduit to the “brains” in the sixth layer of the skin. If you want to control the skin, you have to get to the dermis… and effective penetration is the best method.