A study led by Binghamton University biomedical engineering professor Dr Guy German has found that the wettability of the top layer of the skin can be altered through treatment, offering opportunities for new cosmetics, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the study, the ‘wettability’ of the skin dictates the spread of chemicals, also determining how pathogenic microorganisms attach to it. Now, thanks to the research, it seems there could be a way to alter the wettability of the top layer of the skin (the stratum corneum) through the surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate.
Using the surfactant, often found in cleansers, could help achieve waterproof and ‘super soaking’ skin, thus aiding the spread of a skin care product.
Dr German said, “In this study, we have demonstrated that we can alter the wettability of the human skin surface using an ingredient commonly used in cosmetic cleansers: anionic surfactants.
“Skin acts as the first line of defense to the outside world and the wettability of skin plays an important role in contact inhibition of microorganisms, as well as the sensory perception of cosmetic products.”
Researchers were said to be able to make the skin hydrophilic (meaning attracted to water) or hydrophobic (repelled by water) – with the study thought to have been the first time anyone has been able to change the qualities of the skin through the use of chemicals working with the keratin in the skin, and surfactants.
The study could lead to the development of cosmetic products, says Dr German, “In this study, we have demonstrated that we can alter the wettability of the human skin surface using an ingredient commonly used in cosmetic cleansers: anionic surfactants.”
He continued, “If you wanted something to coat your skin however, such as a cosmetic product or ointment, you could make the skin more hydrophilic to enhance spreading.”