The findings in Izabela Buraczewska’s dissertation confirm what many have suspected: creams can make the skin drier. She has studied what happens in the skin at the molecular level and also what positive and negative effects creams have on the skin. Her research shows that differences in the pH of creams do not seem to play any role. Different oils were also studied in a seven-week treatment period, but 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 and ichthyosis, could enjoy a better quality of life.
“My findings show that creams differ and that knowledge of the effect of various ingredients is important for us to be able to tailor the treatment to various skin types,” says Izabela Buraczewska.