Complexities of facial skin hydration and barrier function shown in different skin ethnicities

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Complexities of facial skin hydration and barrier function shown in different skin ethnicities

Related tags: Skin

DSM Personal Care has demonstrated noticeable skin hydration and TEWL gradients within short distances on the face as well as differences between the different ethnicities.

The findings are part of a study the company performed looking into facial skin and environmental factors.

The face is generally the part of the body most exposed to the external environment, and facial skin is particularly sensitive and its stratum corneum is thinner than elsewhere.


DSM’s R&D centre found large differences in hydration and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) values on different parts of the face, and these differences appear to vary among different ethnic groups; opening up substantial innovation opportunities for more efficient, multi-ethnic moisturizing care.

“Our data will impact not only on the design of future efficacy studies but also on concepts for future facial care products,”​ explains Rainer Voegeli, Senior Scientist Skin Biology at DSM and one of the authors of the findings.

“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."


In its research, DSM Personal Care partnered with the University of Limpopo, South Africa; Newtone Technologies, France; and AVR Consulting, UK, and ran 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 colour maps are now available for the first time.

Preliminary data have already been presented, and the final detailed findings will be shown at the upcoming IFSCC Conference in Paris.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Skin Care

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