Absorption and Penetration of Topicals

Whats the difference between “absorption” and “penetration” when applied to the skin? In marketing pieces these are used interchangeably though they are different. 

Penetration is when a material can pass through the exterior of the skin and work its way into deeper layers but does not get into the bloodstream.

Absorption is when the material can pass through the skin and get into the blood stream.

For skin enhancement, products should Penetrate and deliver the benefits to various skin layers. If small amounts of material that can be absorbed are included, they may mostly be utilized by the skin first before making its way into the blood stream. If absorption is the goal more of it may be needed.
As a general guide molecules less than 500 Daltons could pass through skin or particles less than 100 nanometers. Daltons are a measure of weight and nanometers a measure of size. The Daltons guideline is at the individual molecule level and since most oils clump together into around 2,000 nanometers, though CBD is around 314 Daltons, because of the clumping effect, very little is Absorbed unless nano emulsified.
Nano emulsions are often described as water soluble when in fact they are water miscible. Water miscible means that it appears to be water soluble but it is actually suspended in the water and does not settle.
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