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Skin creams can make skin drier

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New research confirms that many typical skin creams used by thousands to help moisturise their skin may in fact be making skin drier than if no cream was used as all.

9 December, 2008 – 12:10

The research, published in the 2008 October edition of the American Journal of Pathology, found that in a seven-week trial carried out by the Swedish Research Council on different oils typically used in common skin creams, no difference was established between mineral oil and a vegetable oil. Both oils resulted in the skin being less able to cope with external stresses. Treatment with a more complex cream compound, however, resulted in more resistant skin with no signs of dryness.

Tissues samples taken from the treated skin areas also show that the weakening of the skin’s protective barrier can be tied to changes in the activity of certain genes involved in producing skin fats, among other functions. The conclusion is that the contents of creams impact these effects on the skin. This knowledge enhances our potential to develop creams that reinforce the skin’s protective barrier in a positive way, without making the skin drier. Such creams would mean that various groups of patients with dry skin, for example eczema, could enjoy a better quality of life.

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