DSM Personal Care sets a milestone in unraveling the complexities of facial skin hydration and barrier function in different skin ethnicities
Paradoxically, although the face is generally the part of the body most exposed to the external environment, facial skin is particularly sensitive and its stratum corneum is thinner than elsewhere. But facial skin not only differs from the skin of other parts of the body, it is also multi-facetted even within itself. Indeed, our R&D center has found large differences in hydration and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) values on different parts of the face.
Moreover, these differences appear to vary among different ethnic groups, opening up substantial innovation opportunities for more efficient, multi-ethnic moisturizing care. To gain deeper insights in this field, DSM Personal Care has partnered with the University of Limpopo, South Africa; Newtone Technologies, France; and AVR Consulting, UK, and has run an extensive study to generate detailed hydration and TEWL mapping of the faces of Chinese, Caucasian, Indian and Black African subjects.
A special algorithm was developed to automatically detect skin pixels and interpolate a measured value for each of the subjects after superimposing the various bio-instrumental data on the images. As a result, full continuous facial skin hydration and TEWL color maps are now available for the first time. DSM has made it possible to demonstrate and – more importantly – to visualize not only noticeable skin hydration and TEWL gradients within short distances on the face but also remarkable differences between the different ethnicities. Preliminary data have already been presented, and the final detailed findings will be shown at the upcoming IFSCC Conference in Paris.
Rainer Voegeli, Senior Scientist Skin Biology at DSM and one of the authors of the findings, comments: “Our data will impact not only on the design of future efficacy studies but also on concepts for future facial care products. Moisturizing creams need to consider the different characteristics of various facial anatomical locations as well as the various requirements of the skin of different ethnicities. Our results will support and boost the deeper understanding of the different needs of different skin types.”