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Patent Pick: Solving the Efficacy vs. Irritation Equation

Contact Author Rachel Grabenhofer
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According to these inventors, many skin care and cosmetic ingredients can cause irritation. Benzyol peroxide, alpha-hydroxyl acids and derivatives thereof, as well as salicylic acid, natural plant extracts, sunscreen actives, urea and preservatives are a few examples.

Also, surfactants such as SLS, and retinoid and its derivatives can cause local irritation manifested as mild erythema and stratum corneum peeling; not to mention inflammatory skin conditions alone.

Typical approaches to reduce irritation include reducing the concentration of the inflammatory ingredient; using alternative or formulation/delivery approaches such as encapsulation, controlled release and compartmentalization; and the inclusion of non-irritating excipients.

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But none of these has successfully reduced irritation while retaining efficacy. As such, Gojo Industries identified a gap for substances that mitigate skin irritation while enhancing barrier function. This is the subject of a new patent application.

Compositions for mitigating skin irritation and enhancing barrier function
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/161074
Publication date: Oct. 6, 2016
Assignee: Gojo Industries, Inc.

Disclosed in this patent application are methods and compositions for improving skin barrier function and hydration. More particularly, synergistic combinations of acetyl hexapeptides in a cosmetically or pharmaceutically acceptable carrier that reduce inflammation and protect and heal damaged skin. Carriers that lend a liquid crystalline aspect to the compositions are beneficial.

The technologies of interest maintain cell viability and/or enhance cell to cell junctions, thus improving skin barrier function. The resulting invention is a topical cream formulation that is easy to apply, physically stable (i.e., without phase separation), chemically stable and is well tolerated by and suitable for use in individuals with sensitive, reactive, easily irritated or damaged skin.

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