G. N. Stamatas, J. de Sterke, M. Hauser, O. von Stetten and A. van der Pol, “Lipid Uptake and Skin Occlusion Following Topical Application of Oils on Adult and Infant Skin,” Journal of Dermatological Science, Vol. 50, No. 2, 2008, pp. 135-142.
JOURNAL NAME: Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, Vol.1 No.4, December 1, 2011
ABSTRACT: The structure of the stratum corneum contributes to the barrier function of the epidermis. Skin barrier recovery is of utmost importance after epidermal tissue damage. The aim of this study was to describe, at the cellular level, the structural effects resulting from topical application of a hand-cream onto normal skin and to investigate the potential repair mechanisms induced by the emollient on altered tissue. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to compare the architectures of the horny layers from: 1) ex-vivo cultured human skin; 2) skin treated by topical application of a hand-cream emulsion; 3) explants exposed to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS); 4) SLS-treated explants that underwent subsequent topical application of the emollient emulsion. These TEM assessments allowed identifying the structural changes occurring in the stratum corneum of skin explants exposed to SLS and/or treated with an emollient. Results strongly suggest that both, SLS-induced damage and emollient-driven repair process take place in the stratum corneum, at the cellular level. One can envisage that the observed restructuring effects after topical application of the skin-care product are likely to ameliorate or restore the barrier function of the stratum corneum. In this, the properties of the emollient go beyond the cosmetic feel.