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Scientific characterization of subclinical skin changes by noninvasive biophysical methods for development of more efficacious skincare products

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In 1966, after finishing only my first year of a residency program, I went to the US to study for 2.5 years with Dr Albert M. Kligman the analysis of functional properties of various skin changes in vivo using aged skin, various types of dermatitis and topically applied steroid-induced atrophy as experimental models. Ten years later, I luckily found that measurements of high frequency conductance and capacitance of the skin enable us to evaluate the skin surface hydration state that determines the softness and smoothness of the skin and in particular to detect even subtle skin changes induced by changes in our environmental or by the application of skincare products and cosmetics. Employing such noninvasive biophysical instruments, I have analyzed the functional properties of normal and abnormal skin changes including subclinical skin changes such as atopic xerosis, senile xerosis, scars and effects of various topical and systemic agents. From these studies it became apparent that as long as a certain level of barrier function was retained skin surface hydration is a more important factor for enjoying a good quality of life. We also succeeded in confirming the effect of corneotherapy, the term so pertinently suggested by Dr Kligman for the beneficial effects of skincare products. We could show that their daily application definitely improves the condition of subclinical skin problems. Further progress in such instrumental analysis of skin properties will greatly aid us in the future in selecting a more desirable skincare product on an individual basis.
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Document Type: Abstract

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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