Designing Mild Personal Care Products: A Case Study

Oct 1, 2012 | Contact Author | By: Paul Cornwell, PhD, and Jeremy Goodwin, PhD, Z Cussons (UK) Ltd.
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Title: Designing Mild Personal Care Products: A Case Study
irritant contact dermatitisx patch testingx allergic contact dermatitisx human repeated insult patch testx eczemax
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Keywords: irritant contact dermatitis | patch testing | allergic contact dermatitis | human repeated insult patch test | eczema

Abstract: This article reviews the mechanisms underlying skin irritation and sensitization, and methods used in a case study to test cosmetic products for their potential to cause irritation. It also covers the main skin conditions that can influence susceptibility to irritation, as well as ingredients affecting the mildness of cosmetic products.

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P Cornwell and J Goodwin, Designing mild personal care products: A case study, Cosm & Toil 127(10) 706-716 (Oct 2012)

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There are many different methods for testing the mildness of personal care products, and numerous factors that can affect the data collected. As a result, the definition of mildness will differ between laboratories. Therefore, one could argue that mildness is in the eye of the beholder.

Recent work at the author’s company, shown here as a case study, has involved the development of mild body washes for sensitive skin, and examples of the tests used to describe the mildness of the products developed are given. Also, to understand skin’s responses to such tests, e.g., irritation and sensitization, an overview of the mechanisms involved and skin conditions affected by cosmetic products are described, including skin barrier function and variations in skin sensitivity linked to skin disease, body site, ethnicity and age.

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Figure 1. Mechanisms underlying skin irritation

Figure 1. Mechanisms underlying skin irritation

Overview of mechanisms underlying skin irritation and sensitization, and the main factors affecting them

Figure 2. Human skin soap chamber test

Figure 2. Human skin soap chamber test

Human skin soap chamber test for assessing the irritancy potential of body wash formulations on a panel of 22 subjects with self-assessed “sensitive” skin

Figure 3. Human skin irritation patch test

Figure 3. Human skin irritation patch test

Human skin irritation patch test, 2 x 23-hr exposures, for assessing the irritancy of body wash formulations on a panel of 31 subjects self-characterized as “atopic”

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