There sure is a lot of activity around actives—from regulatory scrutiny over functional product claims, to ingredient research, development, optimization and efficacy testing. In November, at in-cosmetics Asia, DSM’s SYN-TC collagen-boosting ingredient and L’Oréal’s Shu Uemura Whitefficient skin-whitening duo were presented the Cosmetics & Toiletries R&D Awards—Asia. In-cosmetics also awarded its Innovation Zone gold medal to Silab for its Vederine anti-aging active, and gave honorable mentionsa to several other actives. Even Frost & Sullivan awarded Sederma for its Legance natural active to reduce the effects of inflammation in the legs.
While the ingenuity of these materials is certainly mind-boggling, a fundamental fact remains: True efficacy cannot be achieved without appropriate deliveryb. After all, a perfect active is no good where it cannot act, right? Beyond a good philosophical debate here, this leads to the discussion of skin penetration and bioavailability, which are the focus of three articles in this issue.
Polla reviews the main routes chemicals can take to penetrate the skin, noting various roadblocks along the way. Also, Mavon and Jacques-Jamin examine the influence of skin metabolism on the absorption of chemicals, which consequently sheds some doubt on the reliability of current test protocols. Furthermore, Abbott discusses the “stuff” surrounding active ingredients in a formulation to consider its impact on delivery and efficacy. In relation, Li reflects on skin-whitening actives with roots in traditional Chinese medicine and describes current challenges in formulating with them. And Seidling et al. look at delivering actives for sensory effects, with a case study to develop a cooling facial tissue.
In a bigger picture view, I hope I have delivered the insightful materials in this issue effectively to you, encouraging you to read on and take action.