Researchers from Sweden’s Lund University have developed a method that makes it possible to see how individual molecules from solvents in creams and ointments affect skin molecules.
Fluid State Molecules
Although only a small portion of skin molecules are in a fluid state, the skin’s properties such as barrier function and elasticity are determined from the mobile molecules.
Utilizing a solid state nuclear magnetic resonance, researchers found that the fluid skin molecules change when interacting with molecules of other solvents.
Additionally, added molecules were found to be affected by interacting with skin molecules.
First Measurements of its Kind
Emma Sparr, professor at the Department of Chemistry at Lund University, explained how these types of measurements have not been studied before.
“Our results complement previous studies that have measured how molecules penetrate the skin under different conditions,” she said. “Our contribution is that we have now increased our understanding of how molecules—both added components and skin molecules—are affected by each other.”
A disinfectant should not affect the skin’s properties, despite ointment transporting active molecules and skin cream smoothing the skin.
“Through an increased understanding of molecular mechanisms we are able to more efficiently influence and regulate skin properties,” said Sparr.