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Beiersdorf develops active ingredient to soothe sensitive skin

By Andrew McDougall+

22-Aug-2014
Last updated on 22-Aug-2014 at 12:55 GMT

The R&D-team of Dr Gitta Neufang
The R&D-team of Dr Gitta Neufang

Beiersdorf has conducted research into skin irritation and its causes and used this information develop its new active ingredient that will be used in its Eucerin skin care range.

The new active, SymSitive, will be used in the Eucerin UltraSENSITIVE and AntiREDNESS care series, claiming to stop irritation before it’s felt and calms nerves in the skin.

“My team studied sensitive skin very carefully in recent years and discovered notable differences from normal skin,” says Dr Gitta Neufang, Head of R&D Medical Management at Beiersdorf.

“Sensitive skin reacts much stronger to irritants. We used capsaicin, the pungent component of black pepper to mimic skin irritation.”

Calcium stream

In its study, the Beiersdorf R&D team applied capsaicin to the skin surface to activate a protein on sensory nerve fibre endings, the TRPV1 channel.

After bonding, the channel becomes permeable to calcium ions that then flow into the nerve fibres, transferring the irritation further along the fibres until it can be felt.

“We have tested a series of ingredients to see if they can prevent this calcium stream caused by capsaicin and the irritation that results from it,” Neufang explains.

“SymSitive was clearly the best. When used nerve fibres hardly reacted at all and the irritation was not transferred further.”

Testing

According to the German firm’s tests, SymSitive has a calming effect on very sensitive skin: the prickling or burning sensation of the skin from the irritant capsaicin is soothed just minutes after using the active and doesn’t even occur if products containing it are used beforehand.

The cosmetics company, which also manufactures skin care line Nivea, says that this kind of intensive skin research and the systematic search for ingredients in a lab and proving their effectiveness in test subject studies, are the basis of many of its lines, particularly the care series.

“The results are very positive and seem to speak for themselves. The products can noticeably and sustainably help people with hypersensitive skin,” says Neufang.

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