• Is Microencapsulated Retinol Better Than Ordinary Retinol?

    While there is no question that Retinol is indeed one of the most effective age fighting ingredients available in skin care today, there is often confusion surrounding the different forms available in cosmetic products. Unfortunately, as effective as pure Retinol is in fighting the signs of aging, the reality is that it is not a very stable molecule. It breaks down in the presence of oxygen and light so great care must be exercised when formulating with Retinol to ensure that the active Retinol is still present 6 months later. Cosmetic manufacturers will often use metal or glaminate tubes with a narrow needle nose delivery orifice to minimize exposure to light and air.

    With the numerous clinical studies supporting the benefits of Retinol in skin care products, we have sought ways to optimize using this unstable molecule. Microencapsulation is a process whereby Retinol is subjected to a laboratory process that encapsulates the active molecule within a microscopic capsule or sphere that not only protects the unstable Retinol molecule, it facilitates controlled release delivery and enhanced penetration through the lipid bilayer of the skin. This is the result of the microcapsule structure being constructed of multiple layers of lipid membranes surrounding a solid Retinol containing core that allows for an easier transfer of the Retinol molecule. At the same time the very nature of the capsule enables a lipid film to form over the skin’s surface to impede trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).

    Formulating with microencapsulated Retinol is also advantageous over the free form of Retinol in that it protects the Retinol from oxidation or spoilage and extends the shelf life of the product. The microcapsules break when they are applied to the skin so that the Retinol is at its most active when delivered. And due to the lipid nature of the microencapsulation it facilitates a controlled release delivery with better penetration through the barrier lipids of the skin.






  • Getting the Most out of Vitamins

    In the past decade, scientific studies have supported the use of topically applied vitamins in skin care products. At The International Dermal Institute, we have been researching how we can optimize the delivery of these actives into the skin. Knowing that liposomes, liquid filled bubbles made from layered phospholipids, could be filled with vitamins and used as a delivery vehicle, we wanted to see if we could maximize the use of this technology. Our research revealed that while liposomes provide enhanced delivery of actives into the skin, they do have a few limitations- one of which is the amount of vitamins that can be loaded inside.

    So you can imagine how excited we were when we found a more advanced liposomal structure that is the result of high pressure homogenization; this new, smaller type of structure enables a higher amount of actives to be loaded into the bubble and represents the next generation in liposome technology. When liposomes come in contact with our skin, the phospholipids, being very similar to the skin’s natural membrane lipids, allow the liposome to fuse with our skin’s membrane, delivering its contents. In the case of these newer liposomes, more actives can be delivered. We have found that they work very well with Retinyl Palmitate, (a derivative of Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (a stable derivative of vitamin C).

    When comparing these encapsulated vitamins vs. their non-encapsulated counterparts, studies have shown higher effectiveness with the encapsulated forms. For example, studies comparing collagen stimulation when an empty liposome is used, vs. free Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) and encapsulated MAP, show that MAP stimulates collagen almost three times more than empty liposomes; however, encapsulated MAP was over 25 times more effective than the empty liposome.

    This advanced form of technology enables cosmetic chemists to maximize the amount of actives delivered to the targeted site to optimize skin health. Look for more of these new advances over the coming years!