Topical application of gluco-oligosaccharide (G-OS) and collagen tripeptide F (CTP-F) can improve skin smoothness, hydration, pH and the skin’s barrier function in sensitive skin sufferers, the study claims.
According to the study, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the G-OS is a water soluble oligosaccharide similar to those found in breast milk that help protect newborns from infection.
These oligosaccharides help protect from infection without having bactericidal effects and therefore do not induce bacterial resistance, wrote the researchers led by Enzo Berardesca at the San Gallicano Dermatological Institute.
They work by stopping the bacteria from adhering to the cell wall, one of the first steps in mounting an infection and appear to act on Staphylococcus aureus – a bacteria found in the majority of patients who suffer from atopic dermatitis and is thought to be related to skin inflammation.
CTP-F in the formulation was derived from fish skin and has been shown, according to the study, to be able to stimulate human fibroblast collagen production after topical application.
Twenty female volunteers applied a lotion and a milk containing G-OS and CTP-F to the face morning and evening respectively. Treatment continued for a four week period and a foaming face wash containing the same ingredients was used if and when necessary.
Another twenty female volunteers served as a control group using the placebo products. Allocation to the groups was random.
The researchers then tested a number of parameters including skin pH, skin volume and roughness and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), comparing the placebo group to those using the treatment formulation.
A significant decrease in skin volume was seen in the treatment group as was skin roughness, which the researchers claimed reflected an improvement of the surface homogeneity of the skin.
In addition, barrier function measured by TEWL was significantly reduced in the treatment group.
However, no significant difference was found between the active and placebo groups in the number of staphylococcus colonies, although there was a slight increase in the number in the placebo group.
According to the researchers, the fact that the volunteers chosen had sensitive skin and not atopic dermatitis could explain the relatively normal levels of bacterial colonies in both treatment and placebo groups.
Skin pH was also stabilised in the treatment group which is crucial for maintaining good skin barrier function, the study claimed.
According to the researchers, this research illustrates that normalization of the skin barrier properties and stratum corneum moisturization by a treatment such as this cam help improve the symptoms of sensitive skin.
Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science
2009, 31, pages 271-277
Effects of topical gluco-oligosaccharide and collagen tripeptide F in the treatment of sensitive atopic skin
E. Berardesca, E. Abril, M. Serio, N. Cameli.