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Kao Develops Selective-hydration Skin Care

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Kao Corp. inventors have developed what they describe as a "large water-content α-gel" with a unique oxazoline-modified silicone (OXP-SI) polymer that can selectively absorb to micro-scaling regions of the skin.

Results demonstrating the efficacy of this system will be presented at the 58th annual meeting of the Japan Oil Chemists' Society, to be held Sept. 24-26, 2019, in Tokyo, and at Okinawa Colloids 2019, to be held Nov. 3-8, at the Okinawa Prefecture.

Gel + Polymer

In a recent press announcement, the company explained the lamellar structure of the gel was designed to hold large amounts of water between lipids. Plus, the unique polymer targets micro-scaling; i.e., skin in areas where the horny layer is thinly exfoliated in pieces. The goal was to provide physical re-adhesion of the corneocytes on this outermost skin surface as it approaches an exfoliated condition.

To identify the ideal polymer, the search focused on polymers and their multipoint adhesion characteristics. Following intensive screening, a unique oxazoline-modified silicone (OXP-SI) polymer was shown to form a flexible membrane as well as a capability to be combined with the large water-content α-gel.

Market Need

According to the company, a large number of Japanese women suffer from dry skin and this ratio increasing. In a survey conducted by Kao of the actual skin state and awareness of working women with dry skin problems, more than 90% were found to have micro-scaling. The present trial took these findings into consideration, along with consumer demand to see effects sooner—possibly within 3 to 7 days.

Confirmed Efficacy

Fluorescent microscopy confirmed the applied large water-content α-gel combined with OXP-SI polymer was selectively absorbed in regions with micro-scaling. Furthermore, when applied to the model area twice daily, rough skin areas showed significant improvement from the second day of application.

Based on these findings, researchers concluded that rough skin surfaces were quickly repaired and smoother, as the absorbed complex functioned to re-adhere regions with scaling to maintain a pseudo-healthy skin state. The company notes these results will be used to develop advanced skin care technologies in the future.