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Cosmetic Chemistry and the Esthetician

By: Ivana Veljkovic, PhD
Posted: September 24, 2010, from the October 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 6

Synergistic activity. Formulating with complementary ingredients that are able to protect each other from breakdown enhances stability. The most common form of synergistic activity is the use of L-ascorbic acid with vitamin E. When formulated together, these ingredients replenish each other’s activity.

Choosing efficacious topical products for clients is an important duty of a spa professional. Although it can be difficult to determine which is best among all of the options available, understanding select fundamentals of cosmetic chemistry can help significantly. Identifying the bioavailable form of active ingredients, ensuring a product’s vehicle is appropriate for its use, and verifying that proper stabilization is being employed will assist in finding beneficial and, most importantly, safe and effective products for clients.


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2. S Kang, EA Duell, et al, Application of retinol to human skin In vivo induces epidermal hyperplasia and cellular retinoid binding proteins characteristic of retinoic acid but without measurable retinoic acid levels or irritation, J Invest Dermatol 105 549–556 (1995)

3. ZD Draelos, Retinoids in Cosmetics, Cosmetic Dermatology, 18 3–5 (2005)