Deciphering Anti-acne Formulations

Oct 1, 2011 | Contact Author | By: Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd.
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Title: Deciphering Anti-acne Formulations
acnex anti-inflammatoryx benzoyl peroxidex salicylic acidx
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Keywords: acne | anti-inflammatory | benzoyl peroxide | salicylic acid

Abstract: Acne vulgaris (acne) is a skin disease that can be caused by multiple chronic issues including: hyperkeratinization, sebaceous gland hyperplasia with seborrhea, Propionibacterium acnes proliferation and inflammation.

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E Abrutyn, Deciphering Anti-acne Formulations, Cosm & Toil 126(10) 684 (2011)

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Acne vulgaris (acne) is a skin disease that can be caused by multiple chronic issues including: hyperkeratinization, sebaceous gland hyperplasia with seborrhea, Propionibacterium acnes proliferation and inflammation.1, 2 Seborrhoeic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin dermatosis that is observed as red plaques covered with greasy, yellowish squames that are pruriginous and predominant in the seborrhoeic areas. Seborrhoeic dermatitis produces an excess of sebum that can be periodically more susceptible to infection from bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Seborrheic inflammation can be considered as a form of acne vulgaris, an obstruction of the sebaceous flow that can cause the formation of pimples.

Excess amounts of sebum in the sebaceaous duct and on the skin acts to block or stagnate the continuous flow of sebum from the follicle duct, which in turn produces a thickened sebum that becomes the solid plug known as a comedone or “blackhead.” The oily, waxy substance excreted from the sebaceous gland (sebum), which is physiologically associated with skin protection and lubrication, can become blocked by dead skin cells, dirt, pollutants and cosmetics, where a nutrient-rich anaerobic environment is established. This blockage can also be due to diet, stress, poor hygiene, steroidal medications and hormonal changes. The usual result is an elevation of the skin surface (papule), which is often contaminated with bacteria that can cause a secondary infection. Deeper inflammation can form a red or white small elevation based on necrotic inflammatory cells (pustule). Still deeper inflammation can result in the formation of a closed sac called a cyst, an epithelial lined cavity containing liquid or solid matter; or hard swellings called nodules, similar to a papule but deeper and larger. These occurrences characterize the disease today known as acne—development of P. acnes (saprophytic bacterial flora), and in lesser severity, seborrhea. The management of acne can be complex, often requiring aggressive combination therapy and a long-term therapeutic strategy.3-5 Maintenance therapy is necessary for many acne patients, as acne lesions have been shown to return after discontinuing a successful treatment regimen.

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Table 1. AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Pore Cleanser from University Medical Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Table 1. AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Pore Cleanser from University Medical Pharmaceuticals Corp.

This rinse-off foam, pictured in Figure 3, is formulated with 2.5% micro-benzoyl peroxide, which reportedly stays in the pores after rinsing.

Table 2. Garnier’s Skin Naturals Pure Exfo-Brusher Oil Control

Table 2. Garnier’s Skin Naturals Pure Exfo-Brusher Oil Control

This treatment, shown in Figure 4, cleanses skin with salicylic acid and Himalayan crystals.

Table 3. Avon’s Mark Help Wanted Anti-Acne Exfoliating Cleanser

Table 3. Avon’s Mark Help Wanted Anti-Acne Exfoliating Cleanser

This cleanser, pictured in Figure 5, contains kaolin, (natural, oil-absorbing clay) apple and cinnamon extracts and salicylic acid.

Table 4. Vichy Laboratories’ Normaderm Triple Action Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion

Table 4. Vichy Laboratories’ Normaderm Triple Action Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion

This lotion, shown in Figure 6, was formulated to fight acne blemishes, blackheads, clogged pores, dry skin and shine.

Figure 1. Structure of salicylic acid

Figure 1. Structure of salicylic acid

Salicylic acid, a monohydroxybenzoic acid shown in Figure 1, is a lipid-soluble phenolic beta hydroxyl acid that is colorless with limited water solubility.

Figure 2. Structure of benzoyl peroxide

Figure 2. Structure of benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide, shown in Figure 2, can be used to initiate free radical polymerization, bleach hair and teeth, and prepare flour.

Figure 3. AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Pore Cleanser from University Medical Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Figure 3. AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Pore Cleanser from University Medical Pharmaceuticals Corp.

This rinse-off foam, pictured in Figure 3, is formulated with 2.5% micro-benzoyl peroxide, which reportedly stays in the pores after rinsing.

Figure 4. Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Exfo-Brusher Oil Control

Figure 4. Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Exfo-Brusher Oil Control

This treatment, shown in Figure 4, cleanses skin with salicylic acid and Himalayan crystals.

Figure 5. Avon’s Mark Help Wanted Anti-Acne Exfoliating Cleanser

Figure 5. Avon’s Mark Help Wanted  Anti-Acne Exfoliating Cleanser

This cleanser, pictured in Figure 5, contains kaolin, (natural, oil-absorbing clay) apple and cinnamon extracts and salicylic acid.

Figure 6. Vichy Laboratories’ Normaderm Triple Action Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion

Figure 6. Vichy Laboratories’ Normaderm Triple Action Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion

This lotion, shown in Figure 6, was formulated to fight acne blemishes, blackheads, clogged pores, dry skin and shine.

Biography: Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.

Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.

Eric S. Abrutyn is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, a Cosmetics & Toiletries scientific advisory board member, and chairman of the Personal Care Products Council’s International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) Committee. Recently retired from Kao Brands, Abrutyn founded TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc., a personal care consultancy. He has more than 35 years of experience in the raw material supplier and skin and hair care manufacturer aspects of personal care.

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