Dear Reader,

The human face is like a book – it tells a story. Even behind makeup, the face telling its own tale. It reacts to our emotions – under stress – dry or taught and ageing, hormonal, spots, blemishes, cigarette smoke damage, acne, grey and wrinkled, alive and looking great, ten times younger than your age, the choice is yours on how it looks. But even when it is damaged and beyond your control – or so you think, there are still things that that you can do to repair it and to turn the clock back.

The facts are that skin is an excretory organ which works by throwing off toxic waste, but it has its limits. You can help it by drinking clean water (from the tap). Three pints a day is a lot (of water or tea or juice) when you, and your body have not been used to it, but give it a go, and you may be surprised how much fluid you can get through daily and then watch as the skin reacts to an internal cleansing process that works all the way to the surface.

The aim of a therapist in administering a physiologically active substance is to elicit the maximum therapeutic benefit, while keeping any accompanying toxic or otherwise effects to the minimum, and in this, essential oils are another aid to perfect dermal control.

Combined in an organic lotion and applied to the skin, they get to work in the purest of forms, and by improving lymphatic drainage flow, elimination of toxins is better. The left-overs from pre-processed food that in many cases has a high proportion of fat and sugar, yet few vitamins and healthy ingredients, ends on the skin in a variety of ways.

Bioavailability is one of the main parameters to consider when choosing a route for administering an essential oil, and it depends on the substance administered, the mode and route of application, and of course the recipient. Essential oils are reported to be quickly absorbed after dermal application, although there are influences that affect this and so it is pertinent to understand the factors that aid or hinder dermal penetration.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and essentially a water-resistant, but not impervious barrier about 3mm thick, consisting of an outer epidermis and inner dermis. The absorption characteristics of skin differ between areas of the body but one study that we have read confirmed that the constituents of Damask rose oil were absorbed equally on the skin of the breast, upper arm and abdomen. It also concluded that there were few differences in percutaneous absorption between black and white skinned people, despite there being a few structural differences between these skins.

The cells of the stratum corneum (outer layer) of the skin are not living and they are incapable of registering a response to anything applied to them – a reason why many cosmetics simply sit on the surface of what is basically ‘dead skin’. However, a good quality moisturiser containing soft water, combined with clean organic ingredients and a carefully-selected blend of essential oils, for the purpose that is intended, react in an entirely different manner as simply stated – essential oil droplets are microscopic, and they can do something that pharmaceutical drugs cannot do – pass the blood/brain barrier. Gently cleansing the skin and finally splashing with cold water to close the pores is good preparation to address prior to the application of a skincare product. When applied to warm, uncovered skin, the more volatile oils will partially evaporate and will be lost, thereby reducing the amounts available for absorption.

The skin has both hydrophilic (water loving) lipophilic (oil loving) properties and it is for this reason that we use a blend of oils such as Passion flower seed oil in the manufacture of our white base lotion. Lipophilic substances cross the dermal barrier more readily , but some water solubility is important too, while the essential oils sink easily through the deeper skin layers, nourishing and rebuilding as they do. In a way, what you are doing with a SkinLikes skincare product is feeding the skin. Topically applied hyaluronic acid that you will see in many anti-wrinkle creams and serums cannot be absorbed by the skin, however, in the form of sodium hyaluronate as we add in all of our products, it is absorbed and works to improve the skin’s texture and appearance – in itself a story for another newsletter, another day.

Of Note: When the skin is damaged or diseased the rate of absorption can be much faster. In inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, there is decreased barrier function, allowing easier dermal penetration – with this being the reason why the utmost care needs to be taken with such skin and why less creams and lotions should be applied to it. Of course massaging the skin as you do when applying a cream or lotion should be done gently as hand massaging provides a stimulating effect, improving the blood flow and raising the temperature of the skin. So, be careful, is the advice.

Other factors: Studies of human skin at different times of the day suggest that permeability is higher in the evening and at night than in the morning, and perhaps why so many of our lovely SkinLikes lady customers have a ‘before bed’ routine of cleansing and applying Rejuvenating Lotion that then works on the skin as you sleep.

The state of the skin so often reflects the state of the body, which in turn reflects the state of the mind. Perhaps by reading this newsletter you will have gained some insight on why and how to care for your own.

You can find out all about us and read other helpful articles at Best wishes from all of the team at SkinLikes.

Office: 0800 023 6252