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The outer layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum (SC), helps keep the skin hydrated by absorbing moisture and preventing water evaporation. P&G Beauty & Grooming scientists used confocal raman microspectrometry (CRM) and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) measurements to assess the effect of three different anti-aging products on SC thickness. The products tested included a moisturizing cream containing niacinamide and hexamidine, a moisturizing serum containing niacinamide, Lys’lastine, peptides and caffeine and a lotion containing alpha lipoic acid.
After four weeks of treatment, study results demonstrated that the SC thickened relative to baseline with each product. The niacinamide/hexamidine cream and niacinamide/Lys’lastine serum both produced statistically significant plumping of the SC relative to no treatment and treatment with the niacinamide/Lys’lastine serum thickened SC significantly more than alpha lipoic acid lotion treatment.
Additionally, all products significantly reduced TEWL after four weeks of treatment relative to no treatment, but the niacinamide containing products reduced TEWL significantly more than the alpha lipoic acid lotion.
Overall, products containing niacinamide and hexamidine or niacinamide and Lys’lastine plumped the SC and improved barrier function. Researchers believe the changes in SC thickness may be associated with the improvement in skin barrier function.