Penetration Enhancers – Not as sexy as they sound

So you find a skin cream, serum, moisturizer or wash that claims to be ”deeply penetrating” or “carry nutrients deep below the skin’s surface”. Sounds great, the deeper the better. I mean who doesn’t want a face full of nutrients?

Here’s the problem. If you are “lucky” enough to find a product with effective penetration enhancers, you are not just opening up your natural skin barrier to the so-called nutrients, you are opening it up to everything in the product. Our skin is a natural barrier that is there to protect us. With penetration enhancers, we have ripped off the filter and opened up the floodgates. Does this really matter? What is the trade-off?

Are these penetration enhancers making me prettier? Younger? Elastic-ier? What’s the deal?

Penetration enhancers were an important development. If you have ever needed a Lidocaine patch, a nicotine patch or used the birth control patch then you know they work. Penetration enhancers themselves are not necessarily harmful. For instance, Vitamin E is a penetration enhancer. The problem is the other ingredients in your product. You are already absorbing 60% of what you put on your skin. A penetration enhancer by definition is made to damage or alter the outer layer of the skin thereby reducing its ability to protect the deeper layers.

Unless you are using a 100% safe, non-toxic, organic product, trying to break down your natural barrier in order to absorb MORE of your toxic product would literally be crazy.

So why are skin care companies using penetration enhancers?

Surely they are not trying to kill us, right? RIGHT?!?

I am pretty sure there is not a plan to slowly exterminate the human race with eye cream, but big name skin care and cosmetics companies are in it for the money. They have a board room and a budget and a guy that says, “Why the hell would we use Carrot Seed Oil when we could use Mineral Oil?”. Furthermore in that boardroom they are looking to mass produce products that could withstand the Apocalypse and still sit on the shelves unaltered.

Crisco anyone?

So they have made us toxin laden cleansers which strip and dehydrate the skin and then a toner to re-balance the PH we have destroyed and then a moisturizer to try to restore what we have stripped. The more we slather on these magic poison potions, the more we need. The more we need, the more they make. This has worked very well for these companies.

But we are getting smarter.

There has been an increased demand for safer products and a major increase in self-education. We are not just being marketed to anymore. We are reading the ingredients and researching and realizing they are not meeting our demands for safer products. We are making choices based on knowledge, not advertising.

Are they going to stop using harmful ingredients and penetration enhancers? Probably not. I mean, you can still buy Crisco if you want. So it may take a little extra work to find your healthy products. But it is worth it and this is my promise…you will never look back and say, “I really miss all of those toxins being more readily absorbed into my skin”.

It is an easy choice. When it comes to my face, I pass on the extra penetration.

2 replies on “Penetration Enhancers – Not as sexy as they sound

  • J.A. DeRita

    These products are amazing and as an older woman I have used a variety of face products. Many of them were very expensive and not always effective. In January I was introduced to the anti-aging cleanser and anti-aging serum. My skin looks hydrated and quite smooth and several friends have noticed an improvement! Very fine and well developed products put forth by two dedicated young women who are interested in health and, in particular, good skin care products. I am hooked.


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