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Fighting the Good Fight: Hydration’s Role in Keeping the Skin Healthy

Written By: The Serum Guru

Our new TelomErase 6-in-1 Multi-Corrective Serum is a treatment serum, but some of its components are remarkably effective at moisturization, reducing TEWL (trans epidermal water loss), and maintaining proper barrier function.

Here's some great information on hydration, and how it's lacking in many skincare products:

Fighting the Good Fight: Hydration’s Role in Keeping the Skin Healthy

"Dehydrated  skin"  is  a  concern  I  come  across  in  the  clinic  frequently.  The  signs  my  clients  complain  of,  associated  with  epidermal dehydration,  are  feelings  of  tightness  and  discomfort  that  go  hand  in  hand  with  a  dull,  ashy  skin  appearance.  Dehydration  can  also stimulate  excess  oil  production  and  make  the  facial  skin  feel  patchy.  Having  reviewed  the  key  principles  of  moisturizing technologies1  and  the  advances  in  mapping  of  facial  skin  hydration,2  the  topic  of  skin  hydration  remains  one  of  the  most  important  in skin  biology.

Increased  hydration  should  be  regarded  as  an  essential  performance  parameter  for  any  effective  skin  care  product.  Stratum  corneum (SC)  hydration  state  has  a  profound  influence  on  skin  biomechanical  properties,  bulk  rheology,  turgor  and  topography;  increased hydration  promotes  a  smoother  surface  with  fewer  wrinkles.  Hydration  also  optimizes  the  activity  of  desquamatory  enzymes,  which contributes  to  further  incremental  smoothing  of  SC  surface  topography.3

Dehydrated  skin  can  be  caused  by  multiple  environmental  factors.  Signs  of  dehydration  tend  to  fluctuate  depending  on  climate  and season,  or  even  lifestyle  activities,  such  as  swimming  or  using  a  sauna  frequently.  Quite  often  it  is  also  the  result  of  using  harsh  or irritating  ingredients,  or  it  can  be  due  to  the  inappropriate  use  of  too  many  skin  care  products  at  once  in  a  combination  that  a  specific skin  type  cannot  tolerate  (e.g.,  alpha  hydroxy  acids  in  combination  with  high  concentrations  of  ascorbic  acid,  retinol  derivatives, ethanol  and  mechanical  exfoliators).  This  response  can  be  highly  individual,  so  I  encourage  my  clients  to  pay  attention  to  their  skin feel  and  adjust  their  skin  care  routines  accordingly.

However,  it  is  not  only  combinations  of  active  ingredients  that  can  present  problems.  Even  single  formulations  containing  highly effective  retinol  and  its  derivatives,  which  deliver  a  variety  of  dermatological  benefits,  have  trade-­offs  to  skin  health,  including irritation,  dryness,  peeling  and  erythema.

Retinol-­induced  irritation  (2  %)  manifests  as  mild  erythema  and  peeling  of  the  SC.  Pro-­inflammatory  cytokines  (MCP-­1  and  IL-­8) have  been  reported  to  mediate  “retinol-­induced  dermatitis.”  The  changes  in  mRNA  expression  of  these  cytokines  were  observed  in animal  models.  Clinically  these  cytokines  represent  good  markers  of  retinol-­induced  irritation  for  anti-­irritant  screening.4

Nowadays,  randomized  double-­blind  vehicle-­controlled,  split-­face  studies  are  carried  out  to  demonstrate  the  efficacy  of  skin  care products.  In  terms  of  improving  clinical  endpoints  associated  with  photo-­aged  facial  skin,  skin  hydration  is  one  of  the  most  important factors.

The  increase  in  SC  hydration  is  measured  by  an  increase  in  capacitance;;  a  concurrent  improvement  in  SC  barrier  function  inferred by  a  reduction  in  trans-­epidermal  water  loss  (TEWL)  is  expected  to  confirm  better-­hydrated  skin.  However,  all  objective  instrumental measurements  have  to  be  validated  by  blinded  live  visual  grading  for  the  consumer  to  appreciate  the  skin  improvement.

Facial  skin  is  always  exposed  and  seasonally  affected.  It  shows  much  poorer  functional  properties  of  the  SC  in  the  dry  and  cold winter  months  compared  to  the  warm  and  humid  summer  months.  Mild  sub-­clinical  inflammation,  as  well  as  the  efficacy  of  a moisturizer  in  alleviating  its  clinical  symptoms,  has  been  described  previously  in  a  key  study  conducted  on  facial  skin  in  Japanese participants.

The  objective  parameters  of  that  study  included  reduced  skin  surface  hydration  (measured  by  high-­frequency  conductance  TEWL, and  the  skin  surface  lipid  levels  on  the  cheeks.  Obtaining  the  SC  from  the  skin  surface  by  adhesive  tape,  interleukin  (IL)  1alpha,  IL-­1 receptor  antagonist  (IL-­1ra)  and  the  cornified  envelope  (CE)  maturation  were  determined.  Moisturizing  the  face  significantly increased  the  conductance  values  representing  skin  hydration  and  lowered  TEWL,  accompanied  by  a  decreasing  IL-­1ra/IL-­1alpha ratio  and  presence  of  immature  CEs.  The  study  confirmed  the  efficacy  of  the  daily  moisturization  for  improving  mild  subclinical inflammation  induced  by  the  winter  environment.5

Using  a  novel  facial  mapping  approach  beyond  the  single  point  measurement  of  skin  hydration  highlights  the  immense  complexity  of facial  skin  hydration.  It  also  enables  the  evaluation  of  the  effect  of  facial  moisturizers  in  different  facial  areas.  Clearly  visible  maps have  shown  remarkable  capacitance  gradients  within  short  distances  at  selected  areas  of  the  face;  these  gradients  are  distinctive  in different  ethnic  groups.

Overall,  the  moisturizer  tested  showed  higher  efficacy  for  Africans  compared  to  Caucasian  and  Indian  skin.  Poor  hydration  around the  nasolabial  fold  has  been  followed  by  the  most  pronounced  moisturizing  effect  in  this  area  after  the  four-­week  treatment  in  all three  ethnicities.6

As  many  as  70%  of  women  can  be  affected  with  dryness  on  their  faces,  feeling  discomfort,  such  as  prickling  and  tight  and  pulling sensations.  Research  has  shown  that  current  skin  care  products  do  not  completely  meet  consumer  needs  for  moisturization. Modern moisturizing  technologies  bring  about  an  improvement  in  skin  hydration  but  also  SC  barrier  function,  skin  topography,  biomechanical properties  and  corresponding  clinical  appearance.

REFERENCES
1.  http://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/formulating/function/moisturizer/premium-­Adapting-­Formulas-­to-­Skin-­Moisture-­Needs-­A-­ Review-­209584151.html
2. http://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/formulating/category/skincare/Advancements-­in-­Facial-­Mapping-­of-­Skin-­Biophysical-­ Parameters-­361945751.html
3.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25940759
4.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14615068
5.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14571069
6.  Voegeli,  R.  et  al.  Facial  color  mapping  of  stratum  corneum  hydration  of  different  ethnic  groups  and  the  effect  of  a  moisturizer;;  23rd IFSCC  Conference,  2015,  Zurich

By: Katerina Steventon, Ph.D., Independent Skincare Consultancy East Yorkshire, U.K.
Reprinted from: http://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/formulating/category/skincare/Fighting-the-Good-Fight-Hydrations-Role-in-Keeping-the-Skin-Healthy-377310301.html

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