The ability of electrical measurements to predict skin moisturization. I. Effects of NaCl and glycerin on short-term measurements.J Cosmet Sci. 2001 Jan-Feb; 52(1):13-22.JC
Non-invasive methods to evaluate skin hydration by measuring electrical properties are widely used in the cosmetic industry. However, there is still some controversy about factors that affect measurement. For example, concerns have often been expressed about the possible confounding effect of salts, either in the formulation or on the skin. Ionized salts on the skin may increase electrical conductivity and may lead to changes in electrical properties that are not related to increased water content. We have performed a systematic study of the effects of salt, i.e., sodium chloride, and glycerin on the electrical properties of skin as measured by the three most commonly used instruments, the Nova DPM 9003, the Corneometer CM 825, and the Skicon 200. Formulations containing salt from 0-3% and glycerin from 0-10% were tested for their effects at one and two hours after a single application. Salt lowered the readings in the absence of glycerin and increased the reading in the presence of glycerin. For all three instruments, there was a linear correlation between the measurement and the glycerin level in the presence or absence of salt.