Content » Vol 79, Issue 2

Investigative Report

Correlation Between the Greasiness and the Plasticizing Effect of Moisturizers

Gregor B.E. Jemec, Hans Christian Wulf
DOI: 10.1080/000155599750011318


Moisturizers are used as cosmetics and as adjuvant therapy in dermatology. The strength or relative efficacy of moisturizers is poorly described and thus advising patients is difficult. It has been suggested that lipidization of the skin by moisturizers and the changes in skin mechanics following the application of a moisturizer may be useful measures of outcome. The aim of this study is to describe the relative efficacy of 5 different moisturizers, a barrier cream and a gel in terms of changes in skin mechanics and electrical capacitance before and after application. Assessment of the greasiness or absorption of the cream was made by standardized blotting of unabsorbed residue. Lipid-rich creams (Vaseline®, Locobase® and Decubal® creme) caused increased skin distensibility, while no differences were found in hysteresis changes. In contrast, the relative efficacy in increasing skin capacitance was significantly greater in the moisturizers with a lower lipid content (Clinique®, Nivea®) and gel. The results suggest that lipidization is of major importance to the plasticity of the skin. When moisturizers are used to improve skin plasticity it is suggested that lipid-rich formulations be used. Cosmetically more acceptable creams and gel were however better at increasing skin capacitance which has been interpreted as a measure of skin hydration. The difference may reflect a design adaptation of these creams to a specific outcome measure and our results raise the question of appropriate outcome measures in future moisturizer studies.


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