Technology – Helping hands

Published: 13-Sep-2012

Hands are the most exposed, frequently washed area of the body and as such are prone to dryness and sun exposure. Silicone rich barrier creams and products with a high level of oils and humectants are essential. And active ingredients to minimise the appearance of liver spots are desirable, too. Feet, in contrast, are often encased in footwear and therefore suffer from issues like sweat and odour. Here, the inclusion of antimicrobials in formulations is useful to combat bad smells and fungal infections, as is the use of ingredients to reduce the build up of hard dead skin and to maintain skin\'s flexibility and softness

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A range of ingredients have been developed to care for hands and feet, targeting age spots, cracked skin and other common problems, as John Woodruff reports

Most skin care regimes, other than sun care, are aimed at the face and neck. But the body with its much greater surface area has its own problems, many of which may be alleviated by the topical application of cosmetic products. An obvious example is the hands, which may appear to age more quickly than the face. This is not surprising as the backs of the hands are exposed to sunlight, resulting in pigmentation disorders. And as hands are also the most frequently washed part of the body, they are subject to loss of barrier properties and excessive dryness.

Frequent exposure to soaps and detergents removes skin lipids and destroys their natural barrier properties. Barrier creams tend to be water in oil (w/o) emulsions, frequently with a high content of silicones. The simple formula from specialty ingredients distributor Azelis, shown in figure 1, is a good example of this product type.

Kodasil Drytouch 701 from Koda Corporation is a combination of alkyl and other silicone compounds compatible with low to medium polar organic emollients such as triglycerides, esters, hydrocarbons and waxes. It is said that the silicone content enhances skin feel and offers water repellent properties, making it of interest for hand creams and barrier creams.

From the same company, Kodasil 171 is a silicone copolymer network comprising a C30-45 alkylated-silicone gel in cyclopentasiloxane that provides a dry tack-free skin feel with moisturising and water repellent activity. If silicones are to be avoided, Kodanol D and Kodanol P may be suitable as replacements. They are described as ready to use moisture binding polymeric dispersions to enhance the texture, moisture and flexibility of formulations and they spread evenly without leaving a tacky after feel.

Bimiol BSC 033 from BSC Skincare Development is a lamellar system that regenerates the lipid barrier of the skin because it imitates the skin’s own barrier function. It is a ready to use mixture containing triglycerides, fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides, all of which are present in the skin’s natural defence system.[1] Also forming lamellar liquid crystals and with a structure said to be identical to ceramide is Eldew PS-203 from Ajinomoto. It is an emollient derived from glutamic acid and phytosterols with a high water binding capacity to provide an improved skin feel on the outer side of the hand without making the palm feel greasy.

Ingredients that form lamellar structures are a speciality of Lucas Meyer, which supplies Simulskin, a mixture of phospholipids and fatty acids designed to act as a second skin barrier and enhance its moisture holding capacity. Lucas Meyer also supplies Hydraporine [INCI: Betaine, aqua, glycerin, hydrogenated lecithin, honey and pectin] which acts on the aquaporin channels, providing intense moisturisation.

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