Ask a formulator: How to increase the efficacy of your products and serums - Okoko Cosmétiques Official Site

Ask a formulator: How to increase the efficacy of your products and serums

In this article, we are sharing some tips to get more results with your everyday skincare.

How to increase the efficacy of your products and serums

  • By using a face scrub or manual exfoliator

Exfoliation allows to sheds the dead skin cells from the outer layers of the skin and reveal fresh skin. There are many ways to exfoliate such as by using a loofah or exfoliating glove (which is convenient for the body but not recommended for the face) or using exfoliating agents. If you are concerned with dull, lacklustre and dry skin with clogged pores, consider exfoliating your skin weekly. Exfoliation increases blood circulation, brightens and improving your skin's appearance.

Exfoliation doesn’t need to be harsh or to involve concentrated acids, you can effectively exfoliate the skin by using organic clay masks, fruit acids and gentle serums with an average of 5% AHAs or by using products with BHAs for example. To avoid damaging your skin it is recommended not to over exfoliate. Once to twice a week should be sufficient. Also, avoid using overly strong acid peels which can irritate, burn and damage your skin. There are lots of great products found on the market that use exfoliating plant powders (clays, oats, plant powder, adzuki beans, bamboo powder, etc.) that are effective to remove the barrier of dead skin cells clogging the skin when massaged gently. Afterwards, your skin is better prepared for moisturizing products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them more effective. If you have certain skin conditions such as cystic acne, rosacea or eczema, then exfoliation is not recommended.

  • By using a clay-based face mask

Most clay-based face mask formulations have the ability to exfoliate the skin and clean out pores, especially masks made using plants based, gritty ingredients that have like a “scrubbing” effect when massaged onto the skin. Apply the mask once to twice a week. When you wash it off, massage your skin gently in a circular motion to exfoliate and let your skin breathe at ease. By doing so you are manually exfoliating the skin by removing dead skin cells which results in a refined skin texture and skin tone that looks clearer.

In fact, did you know that using a clay mask is one of the best ways to increase the efficacy of your serums?

PRO TIP #1: Refining facial polisher: For a quick boost, gently massage your favorite facial clay in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells, refine texture, and help regenerate skin to reveal a fresh and glowing complexion. For best results, it is recommended to perform manual exfoliation once to twice a week.

  • By including AHAs in your routine

AHAs are known to exfoliate the upper layer of the skin (stratum corneum) by breaking down the substance that holds dead skin together revealing a fresher, smoother and younger looking skin. They keep your complexion naturally bright by preventing a build up of dead skin cells that dull your skin.

According to UK based supplier Aromantik "using fruit acids enhances penetration of other actives or skin nutrition such as vegetable oils. They will be better absorbed and will be penetrating the fresher skin and not the dead skin cells (found on the surface). This way, they will be much better absorbed and utilized."

PRO TIP #1: Use preferably at night. Acids get better results at night because your skin is in repair mode and acidic ingredients increase cell turnover.

PRO TIP #2: Apply AHAs on dry skin 10 minutes after washing since wet skin is more absorbent.

PRO TIP #3: If you are new to AHAs, build up to daily use by applying the AHA product once every other day for two weeks, then once a day for two weeks.

Before sun exposure, it is recommended to apply sunscreen on the regions where the product containing AHA was applied.

  • By using serums with an effective delivery systems

Did you know that not all ingredients and cosmetic actives can be effectively delivered into the skin? Many cosmetic products do not offer a proper absorption or transport of the ingredients into the skin. This could affect the performance and efficacy of the products you use as the ingredients will remain on the surface of the skin and will not get absorbed.

One of the biggest challenges for formulators and cosmetic chemists is ensuring a correct delivery of the high-performance botanicals and cosmetic actives added in theirs formulas. It has been discussed that a lot of ingredients have stability challenges that prevent from correctly delivering them into the skin. According to, “ advanced active ingredients must be correctly paired with delivery systems that work to deliver their benefits most efficiently and yet remain stable and intact. “ Reference

This has inspired (cosmetic, pharmaceutical and dermatological) companies to offer innovative cosmetic preparation using liposomes. One of the reasons for interest in liposomes in the cosmetic industry is their ease of preparation and the ability to improve the absorption of high-performance ingredients by skin, according to some experts, they help increase actives efficacy.

To get the ultimate results from your skincare products and your serums, it is recommended to use products that have been formulated in a way that they remain stable and uses delivery systems that work to transport the actives and deliver their benefits efficiently to provide a better functioning product. Products with delivery systems such as liposomes can enhance absorption of cosmeceuticals thereby providing enhanced efficacy and generate enhanced product performance. In consequences, they may help to reduce the amount as well as the frequency of the application with increase performance. To learn more, I invite you to do a quick research online about liposomes.

Cosmetic ingredients and antioxidants like retinol, super-oxide dismutase, coenzyme Q10, vitamin A, C and E for example, have been incorporated into liposomes to increase their delivery.