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Reformulating the Classics, Barrier Maturation and Microbiome: Baby Care in the Literature

Contact Author Rachel Grabenhofer
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The global baby care market was valued at US $5.67 billion in 2019, according to Grand View Research, and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2020 to 2027. Indeed, baby care has maintained its essential status during the pandemic.

In fact, some analysts project a future baby boom thanks to partners being quarantined together. Add to this the rising concerns over baby health and increasing awareness for personal hygiene in infants, and this segment is expected to experience an upswing. 

For these reasons—along with a boost in searches on our own website relevant to "baby care"—we offer this brief literature review of research pertinent to this budding market.

Personal Care Products for Infant and Toddler Stages of Life Development

U.S. Patent US10556740B2; assigned to Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Consumer Inc.; publication date: Feb. 11, 2020; available at: https://patents.google.com/patent/US10556740B2/en

Described in this J&J patent is a system of personal care products with relevant formulas, sensory cues and packaging for humans at stage 1 in life (birth to 6 months), stage 2 in life (6 to 18 months) and stage 3 in life (18 months to 3 years). The products may range from skin washes, lotions, shampoos, bubble baths, creams, etc., to oils, butters, powders, bars, wipes, etc. Each stage is defined as a period in which an individual has reached or is in the process of reaching at least two developmental milestones selected from: cognitive, emotional, social and/or physical. For example, a stage 1 product may include a simple color and one shape incorporating a fragrance associated with simple foods.

Patent accessed on Nov. 4, 2020

Dexpanthenol Protection for Baby Bottoms

Peltier, E., Mekideche, K., Branka, J.-E. and Trapp, S.; J Cosmetics, Dermatological Sci and App; available at: https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=100649

According to these authors, dexpanthenol-containing w/o preparations are widely marketed for diaper care to protect babies' buttocks and repair diaper dermatitis. To further investigate the protective properties of this and other formulas, an ex vivo model was utilized based on healthy human skin discs designed to evaluate protective and/or repair effects via the measurement of interleukin-1 alpha release following the application of different irritants. Results indicated the test formula with dexpanthenol significantly inhibited the release of inflammatory markers initiated by both a urine-like + urease preparation and SDS; although the authors noted these findings are preliminary.

Skin Properties of Gestational Aged vs. Age-corrected Premature Infants

Visscher, M.O., Carr, A.N. and Narendran, V.; J Perinatology; available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41372-020-0704-3

This work captured daily measurements for two weeks of skin pH, TEWL, erythema and rashes in 36 premature infants and 39 full-term infants. The goal was to compare the skin barrier integrity of infants born at term with that of age-corrected, prematurely born infants. Results underlined maturational differences that could influence premature infant skin responses to topical agents.

See related: New Findings and the Impact of Infant Skin Microbiota on Product Development

Microbiome Shifts in Infant Diaper Dermatitis

Teufel, A., Howard, B., Hu, Ping and Carr, A.N.; Experimental Dermatology; available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.14198

Procter & Gamble researchers published findings on differences in the infant skin microbiome in diapered areas under healthy and dermatitis conditions. Substantial shifts were observed between four sites evaluated as well as during periods of diaper dermatitis (DD). As DD increased, higher percentages of faecal coliforms such as Enterococcus and lower percentages of Staphylococcus strains were noted. The authors noted in higher‐rash samples the predominant Staphylococcus species was S. aureus, implicating it as a DD aetiological agent.

Reformulating Baby Care Classics

Kovács, A., Péter-Héderi, D., ... Berkó, S., et al.; Pharmaceutics; available at https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12080729

The current authors aimed reformulate traditional o/w baby care based on occlusive oils such as white petrolatum and liquid paraffin, and paraben preservatives with modern components that maintain or improve moisturizing properties, rheological parameters and microbiological stability. White beeswax, sunflower oil and phenoxyethanol were used as replacements, respectively. Cocoa butter, urea and glycerol were added to improve lasting hydration and support the barrier function of reformulated creams. The result was an o/w cream that reportedly provided longer-lasting hydration, supported the barrier function of baby skin without occlusion, and demonstrated adequate consistency, ease of spreading, pleasant skin feel, proper pH and good microbiological stability.

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