How do moisturizing products effect skin barrier repair?

female with moisturizing creme on a finger tip wearing a yellow towel around her hair
female with moisturizing creme on a finger tip wearing a yellow towel around her hair.

Source: BB_SHOTPRIME STUDIO – stock.adobe.com_180658171

In a recent study Jane Snatchfold and Darren Targett from CK Clinical, Chesterfield, UK  explored two different clinical methods of assessing the effect of a moisturizing product on stratum corneum (SC) barrier repair in female subjects with dry skin, with the objective of identifying an assessment method for accelerated barrier repair for use in future studies.

Methods used

In this single‐centre, split‐body study, women with dry skin applied moisturizer before (method A) or after (method B) SC barrier perturbation using “D‐Squame” stripping discs. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and residual protein on D‐Squame discs were assessed over 14 days.

Future work required

Findings from method A suggest that the moisturizing treatment, while appearing to improve apparent SC barrier quality and SC thickness, did not produce accelerated physiological improvement in the SC barrier under the conditions of this study. Findings from method B, using both analysis methods, demonstrated a decrease in TEWL over time from the post‐stripping value at baseline for both the treated and untreated areas, indicating SC barrier repair over the course of the study. The results of this study precluded validation of the accelerated barrier repair methodology. In addition, it was not possible to determine whether the product or the methodology was responsible for the results. Further exploratory work would be required to develop and validate a clinical method to assess accelerated skin barrier repair.

The study was published in the open access journal Skin Research & Technology on 02 April 2019


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