Research aims to unravel the secret to happy skin

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Skin care products Skin

UK scientists have begun a study to tackle the question of what personal care formulations can make skin feel good.

The research is being headed by Professor Peter Olmsted of the University of Leeds, who, together with his team, will be using atomic force microscopy, computer simulation and theoretical physics to determine the answer.

The study forms part of a collaborative project with Dr. Massimo Noro, from Unilever’s UK research and development center, with the overall aim of redesigning skin care products to give them more consumer appeal.

Study focuses on skin's out layer

Professor Olmsted’s research will center on the properties of the lipid bilayers that are found in the stratum corneum membrane, the outer most layer of the skin, which is about a tenth the thickness of paper.

“Essentially our work is an attempt to understand in scientific terms what ‘feeling good’ means,”​ said Professor Olmsted.

The research team will also investigate the composite structure of skin, in order to better understand its elasticity, and strength, ultimately constructing a profile of its lipids.

Ingredients action on skin

This research will lead to theoretical models of how the skin behaves at a molecular level to various ingredients from personal care products.

“It’s about caring for the natural barrier which is the skin surface,”​ said Professor Olmsted.

“We will be testing the various ingredients used in these products to see what effects they have. We wish to link these effects to the science of the mechanics and permeability of complex membranes.”

The researchers will also be looking at the how the special features of the skins molecular characteristics contribute to its elasticity and strength.

Ultimately this should help the scientists to devise ways to make personal care work better and have more appeal for users.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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