Science of the Skin

This on-line course has been specially formulated for those who are interested in or are already formulating skin care products. It does not require any previous qualifications or knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. It will also be of great benefit to anyone working with the skin, such as Facial Massage.

Human skin is a very complex organ. Until around 40 years ago it had been thought of as an inactive body covering, an impermeable barrier, it now attracts much attention and scientific research. As scientists are unravelling the intricacies of skin physiology and identifying the chemical substances and their interaction within it the cosmetic industry is trying to follow those discoveries by introducing new components to their formulations.

The skin is a complex organ comprising numerous specialised cells that support skin function. Understanding skin anatomy, physiology and various skin types is crucial to product performance as it allows for more effective formulation. New preparations are constantly developed in hope of better skin maintenance or reduction of ageing and other skin related problems. In fact a large number of new ingredients have been incorporated into cosmetic products in the last 10 years and this is expected to continue at a fast pace. For example, discovery of the natural hyaluronic acid in the skin lead to its inclusion in the skin care products. As the modern day pressure to look good goes through the roof the global cosmetic industry continues to expand rapidly. The search for ‘miracles in a jar’ continues. As the dietary habits and nutritional value of the food deteriorate, the need for ‘skin food’ keeps growing. Both the public and the product makers continue to search for most beneficial, most active products and ingredients.

Interestingly, skin has the poorest nutritional supply – studies show that majority of ingested nutrients are used by vital organs such as the brain and heart or liver and very few nutrients actually reach the skin. Luckily, unlike many other organs, skin nutrition can be enhanced directly through topical applications. Topical application of natural micronutrients (from vegetable oils, essential oils, herbs, etc.) can complement dietary consumption of food, leading to a stronger, healthier skin for the body.

Numerous scientific references can be found indicating that our bodies absorb directly into the bloodstream close to 60% of the topical products or materials with which the skin comes into contact! As our understanding of skin function grows, so does the public’s demand to improve safety of the skin care products.

Healthy skin has the ability to respond to challenges that would otherwise undermine its structure and function. Understanding the skin makes it easier to formulate preparations that meet its needs – cosmetics that adversely affect the biological and physical functions of the skin often correspond to skin issues and less attractive appearance.

  • Skin functions
  • In depth anatomy and physiology of the skin:
    - Skin layers - Epidermis: keratynocytes, melanocytes, melanin, keratin, corneocytes, ceramides, etc - Skin hydration - natural moisturizing factor (NMF), transepidermal water loss (TEWL), natural glycerine and hyaluronic acid - Dermis – fibroblasts, collagen, elastin, mast cells, skin turgor, etc - Derivative skin structures – sweat glands (apocrine and eccrine), sebaceous glands, acid mantle, skin pH

  • Skin flora
  • Skin colour and tanning behaviour
  • Facial skin types (dry, normal, oily, combination) and sensitive skin
  • General skin care regimen elements
  • Skin permeability and absorbency
  • Allergy, irritation, sensitivity & cross-sensitisation inc. susceptibility to skin irritation; patch testing
  • Racial skin differences


This is an on-line course.
To complete this course you will be required to complete a number of short tasks

Course fees include:

• All on-line tuition
• An MSCM Certificate of Completion
• 5 cpd points

Course details


Home study course

Home Study Course - start anytime

Cost: £50.00 (+VAT)

Payable in full on booking

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Please note - all deposits and course fees are non-refundable.
All transfers are at the discretion of the school and would be subject to an administrative charge of £25.00 (+VAT)