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Article: Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Skincare Penetration

Iluma intense brightening exfoliating powder
Skincare Routine

Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Skincare Penetration

 Having a well-rounded skincare routine is essential for maintaining a healthy glow. But what happens when you invest in high quality products and see no result? The answer lies in skincare penetration. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 ways to increase your skincare penetration and power-up your glow:

  1. Exfoliate Regularly
  2. Try a Professional Peel
  3. Steam Your Face
  4. Apply Products to Damp Skin
  5. Layer Your Skincare Products Properly
  6. Use a Retinol Product
  7. Massage Your Face
  8. Try Facial Tools
  9. Take a Healthy, Holistic Approach
  10. Be Patient and Consistent

Skincare Absorption is Essential, Here’s Why…

To make the most out of your skincare routine, your products must penetrate your skin effectively. In other words, your skin should drink up all the goodness your products have to offer.    

To optimize skin penetration, it's important to use skincare products that are formulated to manage the stratum corneum, otherwise known as the protective barrier. The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the skin, consisting of dead skin cells that have shed from the surface. The condition of the stratum corneum can affect how easily and deeply skincare products are absorbed.

Using products that penetrate beneath the surface can make skin healthier, smoother, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and enzymes help break down the bonds that form between dead skin cells, allowing skincare products to absorb more deeply.

Additionally, retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid can also facilitate delivery of the key ingredients in your beauty products.

Fatty acids also play a vital role in enhancing skin absorption. By replenishing the skin's barrier with fatty acids, skincare products can deliver their active ingredients into the deeper layers more effectively. IMAGE MD restoring retinol booster contains nourishing essential fatty acids to help in this process.

retinol booster


Now that we know why skincare penetration is important, let’s explore how to do maximize it.

   1. Exfoliate Regularly

    Your products will work their magic more easily by starting with a fresh canvas. Exfoliation is a key step in this process. Dead skin clogs pores and keeps your skincare products from being absorbed easily. When you remove the dead skin cell blockade, serums and moisturizers will penetrate deeper.

    When it comes to exfoliation, there are several methods to choose from. Physical exfoliators, such as scrubs, like AGELESS total microderm exfoliator, are effective and work for all skin types. Taking it a step further, the ILUMA® intense brightening exfoliating powder features micro-exfoliating powder and natural enzymes that dissolve the “glue” of dead skin cells and sebum that can create a barrier on the skin.  

    AGELESS microderm exfoliator

    ILUMA intense brightening powder



    If you’re oily or blemish-prone, our CLEAR CELL salicylic clarifying pads are the solution. They contain 2% salicylic acid and glycolic acid to sweep away dead skin. The exfoliating formula clarifies skin while maintaining the skin barrier and unclogging pores. What’s left is a clean surface for skin absorption to occur optimally.

    CLEAR CELL Salicylic pads


    Masks, such as the AGELESS total resurfacing masque, also help to sweep away dull, congested skin with a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids. They work together with buffing micro-crystals to remove dead skin and reveal more even tone.

    AGELESS total resurfacing masque


    Though exfoliation is beneficial for every skincare regimen, don’t overdo it. Aggressive exfoliation can damage the skin barrier, leading to dryness and irritation. Balance is essential, so it’s best to start conservatively and gauge your skin’s tolerance.


       2. Try a Professional Peel

    If you’re seeking deeper exfoliation beyond traditional scrubs and masks, a chemical or enzyme peel are excellent options to maximize skin absorption.

    Enzyme peels utilize gentle, fruit-based enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells. Ideal for all skin types, especially dry or sensitive skin, they deliver powerful skin rejuvenation and visible results in just one treatment.

    Chemical peels help reverse the visible effects of damage in two ways. First, they power away dead cells to illuminate the skin and reduce fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, clogged pores and blemishes. Then, they support collagen for firmer-looking skin over time.


    These clinical-grade peels are administered by a board certified dermatologist or our Image Skincare Pros. Book a treatment with an IMAGE Skincare professional in your area to experience the targeted varieties and benefits of a deeper, exfoliating peel. 

      3. Steam Your Face

    When estheticians apply a warm towel to your skin before a facial, there’s more to it than providing a spa-like experience. Steam opens your pores, making it easier for skin absorption to take place and your beauty products to penetrate easier.

    When you expose your skin to steam, the heat causes your pores to dilate, allowing them to release impurities and toxins. When your pores are open, your skin can absorb moisture and nutrients more effectively.

    Another benefit of face steaming is improved circulation. The heat from steam causes blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow to your skin. This can help deliver oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells, promoting healthy skin function.

    4Apply Products to Damp Skin

    Ever notice how smooth and soft your body feels when you moisturize right after your shower? Your face is the same. When you apply products to damp skin, the water on your skin's surface helps create a barrier that locks in moisture, allowing products to absorb more effectively.

    Applying your skincare products to damp skin can also prevent waste. On dry skin, products can evaporate before your skin has a chance to absorb them fully. By applying products to damp skin, you're creating a barrier that helps lock in moisture and prevent evaporation. Be mindful skin is damp and not wet, to avoid diluting the formula.



     5. Layer Your Skincare Products Properly

    The order in which you layer your skincare products matters. Active ingredients like retinol or vitamin E contain smaller molecular weights, so they are accepted by skin cells easier. Ingredients with larger molecular weights, often present in creams, won’t pass through as easily and will hang out around skin cells.

    The first product layer will penetrate best, so whatever your main skin concern is, the active ingredient for that concern should go on first. Then, apply other products in order of density, starting from the thinnest to thickest: toner, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen for day and creams or oils for night.

     6. Use a Retinol Product

    Retinol is a derivative of A, is popularly known for reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture. Beyond its visible benefits to the skin, retinol can boost skincare absorption beautifully.

    Retinol helps accelerate cell turnover, revealing fresher, brighter, and more radiant skin more quickly. It also helps improve the effectiveness of other skincare ingredients by increasing their ability to penetrate more deeply. IMAGE’s AGELESS total overnight retinol masque is a favorite for its time-released retinol technology that improves skin’s clarity, moisture and suppleness while you sleep.

    AGELESS total overnight retinol masque

    It's important to note that retinol can be harsh on the skin, especially if you're new to using it. It's best to start with a low concentration and gradually work your way up to higher strengths.

     7. Massage Your Face

    Facial massage can help improve skincare penetration in several ways:

    Improving circulation: Massage stimulates blood flow, which brings oxygen and nutrients to the skin. When blood flow is increased, the skin is better able to absorb skincare products, making them more effective.

    Promoting lymphatic drainage: The lymphatic system helps remove toxins and waste from the body, including the skin. When the lymphatic system is sluggish, toxins can accumulate in the skin, leading to dullness and other skin concerns. Facial massage promotes lymphatic drainage, which improves overall skin health and can enhance the absorption of skincare products.

    Opening pores: Massage can help open the pores, allowing skincare products to penetrate more deeply. This can be especially beneficial for products that contain active ingredients like retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids, which need to penetrate the skin to be effective.


     8. Try Facial Tools

    There are several facial tools that can help increase skincare penetration, including:

    Facial rollers: These handheld tools are typically made of jade, rose quartz, or other materials and are designed to gently massage the skin. Using a facial roller can help improve circulation and promote lymphatic drainage, which can enhance the absorption of skincare products.

    Gua sha: This traditional Chinese practice involves using a smooth tool, usually made of jade or rose quartz, to gently scrape the skin. Like facial rollers, gua sha can improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, helping to increase the absorption of skincare products.

    Microneedling: This process involves using a roller or device with tiny needles to create microchannels in the skin. These channels allow skincare products to penetrate deeper into the skin, increasing their effectiveness.

    LED light therapy: LED light therapy uses different wavelengths of light to target specific skin concerns. When used in conjunction with skincare products, it can help increase absorption and improve their effectiveness.

    9.  Take a Healthy, Holistic Approach

    Your skin is your largest organ. Your face is what you show to the world. It’s worth taking care of. By reframing your skincare routine as both a habit and ritual, you’ll stay motivated to maintain it.

      10. Be Patient and Consistent

    Finally, be patient. Seeing the benefits of skincare penetration takes time. Beautiful results will not happen overnight, but they will happen with diligence and consistency.

    In conclusion, increasing skincare penetration is key for getting the greatest benefit from your cherished skincare products. Taking a mindful, diligent approach will pay off with healthier skin over time.

    Although there are many tips to integrate into your routine, trying them all at once isn’t necessary. Start by choosing the methods that work best for you and your current lifestyle. Be intentional, consistent and patient about your approach, and you will reveal more radiance in no time—and beautiful skin is a lovely thing to aspire to.


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