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Is Lipid Organization the Key Issue in Xerosis?


The International Journal of Cosmetic Science dove into lipid organization in xerosis to help characterize the disease from surface to molecular scale.

While xerosis, which is abnormally dry skin, is common among patients there is no in vivo global study on the disease, according to an article in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.1 Researchers for that reason aimed to characterize dry skin from surface to the molecular scale with in vivo and noninvasive approaches.

Of the 34 patients included in the study, 15 had normal skin and 19 had xerotic skin, which were selected by a visual score. The skin surface was determined with biometric measurements and the state of skin dryness was assessed by in vivo confocal microscopy. The molecular signature of xerotic skin was then determined by in vivo confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Then an identification of stratum corneum (SC) lipids was performed using normal phase liquid chromatography (NP-LC) with 2 detectors: Corona and High Resolution/Mass Spectroscopy (HR/MS).

It was found that data from the skin surfaced showed an increase in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and a decrease in hydration rate in patients with xerotic skin. The confocal microscopy also found a change in cell shape and the confocal Raman microspectroscopy showed in vivo and the noninvasive lack of organization and conformation of lipids in xerotic skin. The high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses revealed that the T3 ceramide sub-classes (NdS, NS, and EOP) significantly decrease in xerosis. Altogether, these results identify parameters for the characterization of xerotic skin compared to normal, the article wrote. 

“This study highlighted discriminative parameters from the surface to the molecular level in vivo and non-invasively between xerotic and normal skins,” the authors concluded. “These results will be useful for the development of new cosmetic active ingredients dedicated to xerotic skin.”


1. Vyumvuhore R, Michael-Jubeli R, Verzeaux L, et al. Lipid organization in xerosis: the key of the problem? Int J Cosmet Sci. 2018;40(6):549-554. doi:10.1111/ics.12496

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