The Truth About Skin Permeability: Can Orange Juice Really Give Your Skin Vitamin C?

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I've always been curious about whether putting freshly squeezed orange juice on my skin could give it the vitamin C it needs. However, it turns out that my smart skin isn't so easily fooled. The reason is something called "skin permeability," which refers to the skin's ability to allow substances to pass through it.

Skin Permeability

In theory, the primary function of the skin is to protect us. It's like the roof of our home, our body, and it shields us from everything.
So, getting any ingredient or active ingredient into the skin is quite a challenge. The entire cosmetics industry is focused on solving this problem. A few decades ago, scientists even won a Nobel Prize for discovering aquaporins, which are channels that allow some substances to pass through the skin. This was a groundbreaking revelation that changed the way we understand skin permeability.
Here's a bit of theory: our skin is covered with a layer of fat, which gives it a slight shine. This mixture of fats, lipids, amino acids, and minerals is called the hydrolipid mantle of the skin. However, in the field of cosmetic chemistry, researchers have found ways to cheat the skin a bit by developing delivery systems or enhancers that help push active ingredients deeper into the skin.
A common example of a delivery system is an emulsifier, which is found in any "white emulsion". This key ingredient mixes the water and oil parts of creams, allowing them to blend together. When we apply cream to the surface of the skin, the emulsifier also acts on the skin's lipids, slightly breaking down their ability to protect the skin. However, not every molecule will pass through the hydrolipid mantle and penetrate the skin.
There are rules based on molecular weight and volume that determine what can get through, typically around 50 Dalton. So, no matter how much vitamin C orange juice contains, without a delivery system or enhancer, it won't be able to penetrate the skin. It's a fascinating concept to explore and understand how our skin works to protect us.
No matter how much vitamin C orange juice contains, without a delivery system or enhancer, it won't be able to penetrate the skin

No Matter How Much Vitamin C Orange Juice Contains, without a Delivery System or Enhancer, It Won't Be Able to Penetrate the Skin

  • Skin permeability is the key factor in determining what substances can pass through our skin, making it a challenge for active ingredients to reach deeper layers.
  • The discovery of aquaporins, channels that allow some substances to pass through the skin, has revolutionized our understanding of skin permeability.
  • The hydrolipid mantle of the skin, a mixture of fats, lipids, amino acids, and minerals, plays a crucial role in protecting the skin and regulating what can penetrate it.
  • The cosmetics industry has developed delivery systems and enhancers to help push active ingredients deeper into the skin, such as emulsifiers found in many creams.
  • Understanding the rules of molecular weight and volume can help us appreciate why simply applying freshly squeezed orange juice to the skin won't necessarily provide it with the vitamin C it needs.
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