KP Ananthapadmanabhan PhD,a James J. Leyden MD,b Stacy S. Hawkins PhDc
aJL Winkle College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH bDepartment of Dermatology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA cUnilever Research & Development, Trumbull, CT
system, one approach to increasing the overall mildness is by reducing the level of the surfactant in the formulation. This is commonly practiced in the liquids area and the recent launch of micellar water is an example of this approach. In the bars area, there have been attempts to make the bars milder by reducing the total fatty matter (TFM), ie, the surfactant active in the bar. Addition of polyols and other mildness enhancers can further improve their mildness.Cleansing Technologies for Vulnerable Skin Conditions Cleansing technologies for sensitive skin and other vulnerable skin conditions such as infant skin and atopic skin generally differ from the typical adult cleansing systems. Even in adult cleansing, “gentler” technologies are thought to be ideal for facial cleansing.Infant Skin Cleansing Infant skin at the time of birth is not as fully developed as the adult skin and it takes as much as a couple of years before it is fully matured.50 Recognizing that the infant skin barrier is relatively weak, extra care should be exercised in the development of baby cleansers. In addition, some of the recent findings suggests that early skincare, particularly during the first year of birth, can help prevent such conditions as atopic dermatitis and other allergies in the future.51 Noting that skincare starts with skin cleansing, the importance of mild cleansing for infants cannot be overemphasized.Currently available baby cleansers include both bar and liquid formats. It is well established that the neutral pH syndet cleansing bars are milder than the alkaline pH soap bars.1,10 With regard to weakly acidic pH skin cleansing, as discussed in an earlier section, typical anionic surfactant rich bars under acidic pH conditions have a higher skin drying potential than the neutral pH syndet bars.10 Thus, neutral pH bars may be preferable for infant cleansing.In the liquid cleansing area, there are several options for milder surfactant combinations and additives that enhance the mildness of surfactants. Typically, the baby cleansing products have lower level of surfactants than that in adult formulations. They also tend to have higher ratios of amphoteric and/or nonionic surfactants to anionic surfactants. A balanced formula that takes into account both protein and lipid damage potential of surfactants, as discussed in the earlier section, is more appropriate for baby cleansing. In this regard, formulations containing skin lipids such as fatty acids that can mitigate some of the lipid damaging tendencies of surfactants are more appropriate for infant cleansing.Cleansers for Sensitive Skin Even though the percentage of self-perceived sensitive skin population has been increasing steadily in the recent past, the reasons for sensitive skin are still poorly understood.52 A weaker skin barrier is thought to be one of the factors that results in sensitive skin in at least part of the sensitive skin subjects.53 Therefore, the general approach has been to limit or avoid the type of ingredients that have an inherent tendency to penetrate deeper into skin and cause irritation. Specifically, this includes avoidance of harsh surfactants and fragrance and limiting pre
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