A Commercially Available Skin Care Lotion with a pH of 4.5 and 10% Urea Improves Skin Surface pH, Stratum Corneum Hydration and Epidermal Barrier Function in Subjects with Dry Skin and Atopic Diathesis

Authors: Jürgen Blaak, Christiane Theiss, Marina Schleißinger, Isabel Simon,
Nanna Y. Schürer, Peter Staib

OBJECTIVE: The physiological skin surface pH is crucial for several epidermal barrier functions, like stratum corneum integrity, cohesion and restoration. Alterations of the “normal” acidic nature of the skin surface have been shown to correlate with specific skin conditions like aged or inflamed skin and are leading to impaired skin barrier function and formation. It is previously demonstrated that topical acidification in atopic dermatitis improves stratum corneum function, skin barrier structure and clinical signs in dermatitis. Against this background, we examined the impact of a slightly acidic skin care product containing urea on stratum corneum hydration, skin surface pH and epidermal barrier function in subjects with dry skin and atopic diathesis. METHODS: Stratum corneum hydration, skin surface pH and transepidermal water loss were biophysically measured before and after a 4-week treatment period with the test product (pH 4.5, 10% urea) compared to the reference product in 25 volunteers. In addition, dynamic epidermal barrier parameters like stratum corneum integrity, cohesion and recovery were investigated by using a previously described tape stripping approach. RESULTS: It was shown that the test product (pH 4.5, 10% urea) significantly elevated stratum corneum hydration and improved the acidic nature of the skin surface by lowering the skin surface pH to a greater extent compared to the reference product. After the 4-week treatment period a significant faster barrier restoration was detected on the test site treated with the test product compared to the reference product. Moreover, the test product strengthens the skin barrier integrity and cohesion. CONCLUSION: The present marketed skin care lotion was shown to increase epidermal barrier function after 4 weeks of application. Balancing and controlling the skin surface pH in subjects with dry and atopic-prone skin by application of the herein tested o/w emulsion with a given pH of 4.5, in combination with a 10% urea content seems to be effective and beneficial. The results are important for the formulation of topical products for dry and atopic-prone skin.


Journal: Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications
DOI: 10.4236/jcdsa.2020.103014(PDF)
Paper Id: 102760


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