Elliot Isaacs explains the world of cosmeceutical delivery systems.
As the Medik8 adage goes, “There is no point having a magic bullet if there’s no gun to fire it”. Both standard actives and the latest expensive peptide ingredients are only as good as the delivery system used to introduce them to the deeper skin layers. More often than not, these hi-tech substrates merely sit on the epithelial surface with only a fraction reaching the target area in the lower epidermal, dermal and hypodermal layers.
As with pharmaceuticals, the two pillars of good cosmeceutical design are preparation and bioavailability — that is, the efficacy of the active itself- and the amount delivered to the target areas.
Research into transcutaneous administration (transport across the skin) is led by drug companies seeking to develop techniques to circumvent the negatives of other administration methods such as the oral and intravenous routes. However, some cosmeceutical companies are now harnessing these technology spin-offs for anti-ageing skincare. When evaluating a product, have this schematic equation in mind:
(quality ingredients x high percentages) + efficient delivery = cosmeceutical results
A pharmacologist is tasked not just with designing novel ingredient structures but also with ensuring their bioavailability, or delivery, across the skin to the target areas. This is why pharmacological development of medical skin products is essential to ensure the latest peptide and traditional antioxidant actives are transported to the site of action.
Physiologists are experts in normal human function and therefore understand how the skin is mechanically structured and how that structure changes with age. Close collaboration between physiology and pharmacology experts ensures delivery of actives to the target areas.
Find the rest of this article on page 148 of Professional Beauty (July August issue)
Elliot Isaacs graduated from Leeds University in physiology and pharmacology. He is now CEO and medical director of dermaceutical specialists Pangaea Laboratories, creators of the Medik8 range. Advanced Cosmeceuticals 1800 242 011.