Skin Absorption Pt. 4: Whether you have experienced damage to your skin from the sun, age, irritants, health conditions, or other causes, it helps to understand how skin damage happens and how you can restore your skin back to a healthy condition. Understanding skin absorption is crucial to that process. What the skin can absorb and cannot absorb can cause skin damage as well as restore it. Therefore, products must reach the target area for the treatment to be successful.
Sun damage is one of the most common types of damage to the skin. You’re exposed to UV rays any time you go outdoors or use a tanning bed. Those UV rays damage your skin, and the effects build up over time. Both UVA and UVB rays are able to penetrate your skin.
UVB rays tend to damage the top layers of the skin, and this is what causes sunburn. UVA rays penetrate more deeply than UVB rays and can cause damage to the genetic structure of your cells and eventually, skin cancer. Even on cloudy and cold days, UV rays are still problematic.
Over time, sun damage can result in uneven pigmentation, wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity, solar lentigines (dark spots), poikiloderma (reddish-brown pigmentation), actinic keratoses (rough, scaly patches), and lentigo maligna (a dark, flat growth). Both actinic keratoses and lentigo maligna may progress to skin cancer without treatment.
In order to prevent further sun damage, you should use sunscreen year round. Some ingredients in sunscreen absorb UV rays so they are unable to penetrate into your skin. Others, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide reflect UV rays away from the skin.
Recent research has found that some ingredients in sunscreen are absorbed by the skin and able to enter the bloodstream, but researchers are not yet sure whether the absorption of those chemicals poses a health hazard. In the meantime, you may choose to avoid sunscreens containing avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. However, you should continue to wear sunscreen.
Natural, mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are considered safe. And experts stress that the risk of skin damage from not using sunscreen far outweighs any risks posed by the sunscreen itself.
At Au Natural Skinfood we have a solution for instant on the go protection form the sun, environmental damage and blue light radiation from your screens. Best of all our On the Go products come in refill pouches so every time your refill, you’re a legend for stopping single use plastic from going to landfill.
Free radicals are unstable molecules or fragments of molecules that contain an unpaired electron. When oxygen splits into atoms with unpaired electrons, those atoms bond with other types of atoms or molecules in the body, leading to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes aging, wrinkles, and disease.
The body naturally generates some free radicals, but environmental factors can cause the production of free radicals to increase. Eating fried foods, drinking alcohol, smoking, and exposure to toxins and sunlight can all ramp up the production of free radicals in the body.
In order to combat free radicals, you’ll need to use products containing antioxidants. Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals, thus preventing damage to your skin. However, because the antioxidants need to reach below the surface of the skin, absorption is key. Ingredients such as vitamin E, vitamin C, resveratrol, and retinol can penetrate skin to work as antioxidants that reduce free radical damage.
Irritation and Dryness
A variety of environmental factors or irritants cause irritation and dry skin. In fact, there are over 3,000 known irritants. Some people are more sensitive than others. For some, laundry detergent, fragrances in cosmetics, and other common household products can be very irritating. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, products like bleach and other chemicals can cause skin irritation.
Similarly, people experience varying degrees of skin dryness. Taking long baths, spending time in cold or windy environments, and even frequent handwashing may all cause dry skin. Whether your skin is irritated from chemical exposure or simply dry from lack of moisture, you’ll want to sooth and rehydrate it, along with providing a protective barrier to seal moisture in.
If you experience irritation, eliminating the source is important. Opt for products that are free from irritating ingredients like fragrances and dyes. You may also want to consider wearing gloves to protect your skin while washing dishes or engaging in other activities that could put you in contact with irritating substances.
Moisturizers create a barrier that holds water in the skin, draws it to the outer layer, and smooths the surface of the skin. If your skin is very dry, opt for an oil-based moisturizer. If your skin is irritated, look for ingredients like chamomile and aloe to help sooth your skin.
Moisturizers can also serve dual purposes. Moisturizing alone can make skin appear smoother and less wrinkled, for example. If you have wrinkles or loss of elasticity, choose moisturizers and other products that contain anti-aging ingredients such as retinoids, antioxidants, and peptides that are absorbed into deeper layers of the skin.
Many health conditions are associated with skin damage, such as psoriasis, eczema, and lupus. Your skin can also be damaged by chemical exposure or injury. If you suffer from skin damage due to a health condition, you’ll want to sooth it and help it heal. People who suffer from such skin damage are often understandably wary of trying skin products, lest they make an already painful or uncomfortable condition worse.
Products containing Manuka honey can be a great choice in such cases. Manuka honey is a safe, natural product that is even used in hospitals to speed the healing of wounds. It is a natural humectant, so it helps moisturize the skin, and it is able to be absorbed deeply enough to increase the production of collagen.
Manuka honey is antimicrobial, so it helps restore your skin’s microbiome. And since it is anti-inflammatory, manuka honey can be a boon for people with inflammatory skin conditions. Manuka honey has even been shown to modulate the immune system, which is important for conditions like psoriasis.
Whatever skin damage you are experiencing, understanding the role skin absorption plays is vital to preventing further damage and restoring your skin to health. Look for ingredients that target your particular skin condition and are absorbed by the skin to the correct depth to treat the problem.
At Au Natural Skinfood, active 16+ medical grade Manuka honey is our hero ingredient. It contain prebiotic potent oligosaccharides, often used in clean beauty skincare, which have been shown to improve the viability of probiotic bacteria. Being the hero ingredient in most of our products, this is the perfect way to control and keep your skins biome healthy. We also have you covered from the inside-out as our Hair.Skin.Nails. Collagen is rich in Manuka honey. Click here for more info on about our Collagen Powder.
Find out what your cosmetics contain and what the ingredients are used for in the same way you would for the food that you eat. When you understand what your skin absorbs and how it affects your body, you can make informed decisions about which products you want to purchase and apply to your skin.
Au Natural is committed to helping you to create new healthy skin habits. No nasties, no nutrient-depleted fillers, just Au Natural Skinfood.
Tracy – Founder
- Skin Absorption and Natural Skincare Products: With regards to molecule size and depth of absorption
- The chemistry of cosmetics by Dr. Oliver Jones, & Prof. Ben Selinger, AM,
- Milady Skin care and the cosmetic ingredients dictionary 4th edn (2014), by M. Varinia Michalun & Joseph C. Dinardo.