There are number of reasons why delivery systems might mark the turning-point in home skin care and nourishment. However, we can easily narrow it down to two key factors: activity and stability.
As many of us know, many active ingredients, such as vitamins/anti-ox, many extremolytes, many proteins, and other, loose their potential (activity) significantly by enduring shelf life (even ¼ shelf life). That is, all the beautiful ingredients that we buy our cosmetics for, all the skin changing ingredients, even though physically present in the product, have lost most of their power and potential to deliver the desired results by the time they reach our bathrooms. This loss of activity happens due to many factors: exposure of the substance/raw-material to oxygen, exposure of substance/raw-material to preservative within the cosmetic product or exposure and interaction with other substances within the cosmetic product. All in all, in most cases what we get in our cosmetic product is nothing more than nourishment provided by oils, butters, fats and emollients.
The second factor to importance of delivery systems is stability. It is also widely known that many of active ingredients affect stability of the product. The most known of these is certainly the wild and unpredictable behaviour of vitamin C who changes the colour, the viscosity, the smell and even can affect the break-down of the emulsion (cream). This too happens for the same reasons: exposure to oxygen as well as interaction with other ingredients.
So where do delivery systems come in? At the moment, cosmetic industry, though minimally, uses two kind of delivery systems: (micro)encapsulation and liposomes. The reason why either of these are still not largely present are the high cost of these actives and difficulty to incorporate these substances into emulsion. Either of these delivery systems are of high cost which narrows the use to premium products only, plus the time it takes to develop and integrate it into a cosmetic product. Let’s not forget, delivery systems are also quite new to this industry.
What do delivery systems do? Regardless of the type of delivery system, encapsulation or liposomal, the key idea is to load an active ingredient onto a carrier or protect it by micro capsule which protect the ingredient from oxidizing, from losing its activity and potential, and from interfering with other substances within the product all the way through the shelf-life and gets released only when in contact with the skin (micro capsule often bursts when in touch with natrium (salt) present in our skin) by gentle finger rubbing. The active ingredient is then, upon applying to the skin, released, and brought deep to the skin, undamaged, unchanged, 100% active. This presents a serious step towards aesthetic interventions.
How do they work?
Micro-encapsulated active ingredients are trapped and kept, using a special technological procedure of charging polarities, locked within a capsule, safely protected from any media (water or oil or emulsion) it is inserted in. Let us not forget that micro capsules also protect the cosmetic media from the ingredient(s)) itself. In this way, both activity and stability of raw-material and product are directly affected.
However, not all ingredients can be encapsulated and not every ingredient can survive the process, but new developments and innovations will certainly create more and more options and applications.
Liposomes, also used only by premium products are taken over from pharma and are used to carry and deliver the active substance to the cell, cleverly avoiding all obstacles, all cosmetic media and all conditions. Liposomal delivery systems are hopefully, going to take on one part of the burden because some active (say bioactive) ingredients will be easier loaded on liposomes while other will be easier trapped in a capsule.
In new BOCASSY products containing both delivery systems will be presented soon.