Think twice before using one next time, as not every cream penetrates your skin, say experts.
A recent study, by the scientists at the University of Bath in England, claims that cosmetic skin creams do not have the ability to penetrate the skin. According to the study, published in the Journal of Controlled Release, even the tiniest nanoparticle does not penetrate deep enough or carry nutrients under the surface. Instead, the researchers say, they are deposited in deep creases in the skin.
So, is it a waste of money to buy cosmetic creams that promise you a 'beautiful and glowing skin'? Don't lose heart, say experts in the city. The study is true, but only partially. The secret is not to compromise on the quality of the product.
Cosmetic physician Dr Rashmi Shetty explains, "The top layer, or the dead skin layer, is the best natural barrier that the skin has. It prevents the skin from absorbing everything — for example, soap, water — that it comes in contact with. If you want something to penetrate the skin, you have to break this barrier. So, while choosing a face cream, make sure it has the components that has penetrative ability."
What should one look for in a cosmetic skin cream? Dr Shetty says, "There are ways to make creams penetrate. The first is product engineering. Here, the molecules of the components used are so small that they penetrate the pores. For example, studies have shown that coconut oil penetrates the skin easily. That's because its molecules are small and linear. So, the chemistry of the substance used in the cream is important."
"The second option is to include a vehicle in the cream that will help it to penetrate. For example, creams with ceramide, peptides, AHA and BHA are effective. These compounds dissolve the dead skin barrier and help the cream get absorbed. The idea is to go for products from reputed companies," she adds.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr Aamod Rao agrees, "Our skin has a protective barrier that blocks certain particles. But high-quality creams with active ingredients are quite effective. It's wrong to say no cream penetrates the skin. Don't antibiotic creams, used against fungal infections and other such skin problems, work?"
According to Dr Rao, even good anti-ageing creams are effective in the initial stages. "You should be careful about what you apply on your skin. When it comes to herbal creams, go for those with active ingredients like aloe vera, wheat germ and collagen. They are definitely effective," he says.