As the 'Dry Skin Cycle' produces continuous deterioration, cosmetic xerosis (flaky, dry skin) is one of the major concerns to most consumers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the moisturizing effect of oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion components. There are numerous types of oils, waxes, polyols and surfactants used as ingredients in skincare products. However, the moisturizing effect of each ingredient and understanding each use to make an effective moisturizing products are still not well understood.
To provide answers to these questions, we investigated the moisturizing effect of widely used 41 components (four different classes) in a simple O/W emulsion using capacitance methods. 106 different single oils, and combinations of oil with oil, wax, humectants, and surfactant were formulated and tested.
In this study, we found that most of the O/W emulsion components had hydration effects on the skin. (i) The average relative water content increase (RWCI) rate of a single oil-based emulsion was 11.8 ± 5.2% (SE) and 7.9 ± 6.0% (SE) at 3 and 6 h, respectively. (ii) An oil combination emulsion showed an average RWCI rate similar to that of a single oil-based emulsion, 12.6 ± 6.0% (SE) and 12.1 ± 6.4% (SE) at 3 and 6 h, respectively (iii) A combination of waxes with oil showed an average RWCI rate of 16 ± 5.6% (SE) and 12.4 ± 4.5% (SE) at 3 and 6 h, respectively. (iv) Humectant combinations showed the highest average RWCI rate 28 ± 7.3% (SE) and 22.2 ± 7.5% (SE) at 3 and 6 h, respectively (v) Surfactant combinations had an average RWCI of 10.8 ± 4.5% (SE) and 6.0 ± 4.0% (SE) at 3 and 6 h, respectively.
Interestingly, it was difficult to find moisturizing power differences among samples in the same group. Only the humectants group showed significant differences among samples. Glycerine and urea showed significant skin hydration effects compared with other humectants. We also found a significant moisturizing effect by analysing the chemical functional groups; amide class had a higher hydration effect than betaines and disaccharides in humectants combination.