ABSTRACT: We propose that skin electrical current measurements can be used in vitro to effectively rank aqueous solutions containing surfactants and humectants (the enhancer) contacting the skin, relative to a PBS aqueous solution (the control) contacting the skin, based on their ability to perturb the skin aqueous pores. Specifically, we develop an in vitro ranking metric using the increase in the skin electrical current induced by an enhancer relative to the control. Aqueous contacting solutions containing (i) surfactants [SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate)] and C(12)E(6) [dodecyl hexa (ethylene oxide)], (ii) humectants (glycerol and propylene glycol), and (iii) a control (PBS) were studied. Utilizing the new in vitro ranking metric, these aqueous contacting solutions were ranked as follows (from the mildest to the harshest): glycerol < propylene glycol < PBS < C(12)E(6) < SDS. In order to further develop this ranking methodology, which can potentially lead to the reduction, or elimination, of costly and time-consuming procedures, such as human and animal testing and trial-and-error screening in vivo, it was important to correlate the findings of the in vitro ranking metric with direct in vivo skin barrier measurements. For this purpose, in vivo soap chamber measurements, including transepidermal water loss, visual skin dryness, and chromameter erythema measurements, were carried out on human volunteers using the aqueous surfactant-humectant solutions described above. The results of these in vivo measurements were found to be consistent with the ranking results obtained using the in vitro ranking metric. To further explore the validity of our model and to verify the skin barrier mitigating effect of glycerol, in vivo soap chamber measurements were carried out for aqueous SDS solutions containing 10 wt% added glycerol. These in vivo measurements support our recent in vitro finding that glycerol reduces the average radius and the pore number density of the skin aqueous pores, such that SDS micelles are hindered from penetrating into the skin and inducing skin barrier perturbation.
Journal of cosmetic science 58(6):599-620. · 0.28 Impact Factor