Generally, my research involves the investigation of how various cosmetic components affect the mechanical properties of the skin. A key part of this investigation is learning how these species diffuse into the skin. The rate limiting step in this process is the diffusion of the chemical species through the Stratum Corneum (SC), the uppermost layer of the epidermis. We can experimentally obtain the diffusion rate by employing Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR).
Of particular interest to me is a class of cosmetic molecules known as emollients - compounds that give the skin a softer feel and aid in keeping it moisturized. I am working with several emollients possessing varying physical and chemical properties, testing how these properties affect each emollient's diffusivity into the SC.