Skin care

Bioavailability: DO NOT make these mistakes with your skin care.

Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic doctor, liposuctionist)

Templestowe Lower, Berwick and Beaumaris Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2005, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More

Cosmetics set on a white background

The beauty God’s didn’t make all skin care equally, some of your products in your beauty bag don’t even reach the correct point in your skin to make a change. What makes cosmeceutical products far more superior to your standard off the shelf labels is their bioavailability.


Everyone has experienced skin care products that have worked wonders for their skin and others that have had little or no effect. Two people may be using the same ingredient yet one person gets a better result than the other. Have you ever wondered why this happens?

It all comes down to the bioavailability of the product.

The term bioavailable is starting to become more prevalent when describing a skin care range. As science develops in the creation of your cosmeceuticals we are raising the standards of what we expect from our skin care and the increase in results we can achieve. But what exactly does bioavailable mean? Let me explain.

Bioavailability refers to the way the product is delivered to the correct cells or structures within the skin undamaged. There’s no point applying an ingredient if it will only travel to the epidermis and not penetrate down into the deeper layers of the skin where the changes will become more evident. Questions we now need to ask when purchasing skin care are less about what percentage of active ingredients are contained within the product or how many times a day can I apply this to get more value from this ingredient. The focus is now on  how does the active ingredient travel where it needs to in the skin, that is without it being destroyed or broken down and becoming ineffective. take for example Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid. A company could simply add this to their product and highlight its percentage on the label, however Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is quite unstable when in water based serums. Your $20 water based “daily essential” with such a high percentage of vitamin C you are using to correct a skin concern will now provide you with little to no improvements but instead you get a lovely dint in your bank account.  Recent developments have found when encapsulated in a water free base it’s potency and efficacy is maximized. The base that the active ingredient is in is very important to it’s bioavailability.

As a skin therapist I have worked with many skin care brands. I have found some to be mediocre and some to be amazing. At the Victorian Cosmetic Institute all of our skincare ranges are bioavailable meaning I get results from putting patients on the right skincare plan for their skin type/condition. So when looking at skincare in the future keep in mind these factors. Ask your therapist the right questions “does it have a delivery system” “how much do I apply and how often” so you know that what you are purchasing is going to make the right an impact on your skin!