When I talk to skin care experts about anti-aging skin treatments, one of the roadblocks seems to be the actual delivery of the active ingredients. Your cream, lotion or topical potion needs to have a delivery system that allows the active ingredients to get to the target layer of skin or into actual skin cells. Sometimes it can't - the penetration isn't successful. One of the reasons is that the active ingredient molecules are simply too big to get through the cell membranes - it's like trying to put your finger into a diamond ring that is too small (though I know the motivation to get it on the ring finger would be quite high!!)
The key seems to lie in "nano technology" and it is poised to become a feature of a number of powerful drug delivery systems and their success at treating the diseases or conditions they are targetting. I know that one thing you need to do as a savvy consumer is understand what your cream can and cannot currently do. If it has collagen or hyaluronic acid in it - and you are paying a fortune for the product - you might try to find out its penetration capability. If it only sits on your skin surface - you are basically throwing away money. Most dermatologists will tell you that right now vitamin C and E, retin A and retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids - can deliver on their anti-aging or clarifying promises. But many of the claims being advertised for other active ingredients are mostly hype - though the nano technology may make them a reality soon.
A new study (in the Journal of PNAS) also reveals that depending on the size, shape and surface chemistry of the nano particles of certain drugs - they will get into cells and behave differently. This research will eventually be the key to treating conditions like cancers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and even obesity. In one particular observation, rod shaped nano paricles of very specific dimensions were taken into a cell 4 times faster than other sized particles of the same substance. The near future is sure to herald many more observations and discoveries in the filed of nano-medicine technology.
I'm just waiting on the anti-aging - avoid a facelift technology!!
Published On: September 22, 2008