Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Skin protectants/TEWL reducers for eczematous skin good in OIW emulsions?

  • Skin protectants/TEWL reducers for eczematous skin good in OIW emulsions?

    Posted by zink on April 15, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Dry skin takes many forms, but common to most seems to be the benefit of forming a protective barrier on the skin reducing TEWL. I have a good oil based moisturizing formula and I’m wondering what I should add to it, it already has:

    1% Dimethicone
    4% Glycerin
    8% Coconut Oil
    Jojoba Oil, High linoleic safflower seed oil + cetyl alcohol.

    Any other good contenders? I have a preference for ingredients that exist naturally in the skin. And If you have good experiences with other cosmeceuticals for this use then do LMK.

    MichelleReece replied 8 years, 10 months ago 5 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • zink

    April 15, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Some other ingredients I’ve seen used vs eczema, not specifically to reduce TEWL:

    Alpha Lipoic Acid
    Benzoin oleoresin
    Calamine - Anti itch FDA approved
    Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
    Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol
    Colloidal Oatmeal
    Colloidal Sulfur
    Emu Oil
    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
    Magnesium Sulfate Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) Extract
    Menthol - Anti itch FDA approved
    N Acetyl L Cysteine
    Silymarin from Milk Thistle Extract
    Sodium PCA
    Zinc Sulfate
  • bobzchemist

    April 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Personally, I’d use an organo-modified silicone wax, which will help couple the dimethicone into the formula, improve feel, and increase occlusivity.

    Something like this from Siltech:

    or this from Dow Corning:

    Also, read this:
  • bobzchemist

    April 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm
  • zink

    April 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Interesting, what do you mean when you say “couple”? I can get samples of the ones you suggested, any reasons one would be better than the other? Don’t know much about silicones.

    Dow Corning 2503 Cosmetic Wax (Stearyl Dimethicone and Octadecene)
    Dow Corning Silky Wax 10 (Stearoxytrimethyl silane and Stearyl Alcohol)
    Silwax D221M (Cetyl/Hexacosyl Dimethicone)

    The issue with these is that the MOQ is 13kg, enough material for > 10000 2 oz units used at 2%, not ideal when just starting out. Are there other options with smaller MOQs? Ideally available “off the shelf”.

  • belassi

    April 16, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Hmmmm. Myself, I would concentrate on curing the problem that causes the dry skin, rather than treating the symptoms. Occlusives, to me, are ‘treating the symptoms’.

    I would first replace the jojoba oil with chia oil, the omega-3 content of the chia really improves skin condition.
    Secondly, I would replace all the coconut oil with organic shea butter, at say 4%, the retinol content works wonders and will even fade photo-pigmentation damage quite dramatically given several weeks.
    Green tea extract as per your list, at say 0.2-0.3% gives good antioxidant action (again, looking to improve skin condition)
    Dry skin is often inflamed skin, so I’d use say 10% concentration of aloe vera extract (hydrosol) and 5% calendula extract (hydrosol) to calm things down.
    Add 1% urea and say 0.5% (active) of licorice extract.

  • zink

    April 16, 2015 at 5:24 am

    Yet do you really believe that applying a lotion daily is a cure? To me that’s still a temporary patch, and wouldn’t you be concerned that if you start feeding the skin from the outside, that it won’t be able to feed itself as well in the future - something to at least consider.
    And why not combine occlusives, which could act as a band aid letting the skin heal, and nourishing ingredients? 

    How much retinol does shea have btw? Do you think refined differs from unrefined? 

    Chia oil seems interesting, I’ll order a sample :)

  • belassi

    April 16, 2015 at 11:27 am

    It really depends on the cause, doesn’t it? If the cause is endemic - present continually - then anything we can create will merely temporarily relieve the problem. But if the cause is temporary (e.g. using a horrible dishwashing detergent, which was the reason I originally got into formulating) then applying a properly designed cream should work. Not necessarily every day.

    I don’t disagree with your opinion on occlusives. I simply hate the greasy sensation and the tendency to stain or leave greasy smears on things.
    I don’t know how much retinol shea has - it will depend on source and freshness. Refined is quite different from unrefined. You need to melt and filter unrefined so it’s a bit less convenient but it gives real results.
  • bobzchemist

    April 16, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    @ Zink, “couple” is the term used when you link insoluble materials with partially soluble materials to get a uniform mixture.

    For example, dimethicone + water = insoluble, not miscible, 2-phase
    dimethicone + dimethicone copolyol + water = insoluble, miscible, 1-phase
    dimethicone + dimethicone copolyol + alcohol + water = soluble, 1-phase
  • chemist77

    April 16, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    @Bobzchemist Simply great!!!!!

  • zink

    April 16, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Good point re endemic vs temp, I wonder how the demographic is though, how often is hyperpigmentation caused by one time exposure vs how much is chronic (either from internal or external causes).

    I’d rather add 0.5% retinol than rely on shea, but I like its skin feel, yet not sure its superior to coconut oil for this purpose - quite different fatty acid compositions.

  • MichelleReece

    April 17, 2015 at 12:05 am

    But occlusion is treating the problem with dry skin. Dry skin has an impaired/weakened barrier, and needs occlusion, especially when you add humectants so they don’t draw water out from the skin and exacerbate the problem. Mildly dry skin can recover on its own if you apply an occlusive. Of course, recovery would be faster if you combined it with a humectant.

    Colloidal oatmeal does form an occlusive barrier, and reduces itch. Applying anti-itch drugs stops the vicious itch-scratch cycle that prolongs and worsens eczema.

    A cheaper source of omega 3 fatty acids is cod liver oil, which is also a source of retinol and vitamin D. Cod liver oil is an FDA-approved skin protectant in 5% to 13.56% concentrations as long as you don’t exceed the vitamin A and D daily limit.

    I disagree with having that low concentration of green tea if you want any topical effect. From preliminary studies, it takes 1% to 5% EGCG in an acidic pH to have an effect.

  • MichelleReece

    April 17, 2015 at 1:39 am

    I should mention that in the US, colloidal oatmeal is approved for treating eczema whereas cod liver oil is not. For the latter, I’d recommend getting the lowest vitamin A and vitamin D content should you use cod liver oil.

  • zink

    April 17, 2015 at 5:30 am



    A skin protectant drug product containing cod liver oil as an active ingredient also must include mineral oil (tj 347.10(e)). In addition, a skin protectant drug product containing cod liver oil must be labeled so that the quantity used in a 24-hour period does not exceed 10,000 USP units of

    vitamin A and 400 USP units of vitamin D (cholecalciferol). A skin protectant drug product can
    contain colloidal oatmeal at a minimum of 0.007 percent or mineral oil at a minimum of 50 to
    100 percent as single active ingredients. However, a skin protectant drug product containing
    both colloidal oatmeal and mineral oil must include a minimum of 0.003 percent colloidal
    oatmeal and 30 to 35 percent mineral oil (5 347.10). “

  • MichelleReece

    April 17, 2015 at 7:04 am


    That looks like a draft.

    According to this (http://cfr.regstoday.com/21cfr347.aspx#21_CFR_347p10), cod liver oil may be combined with 0.5-2% allantoin, 50%+ cocoa butter, 1-30% dimethicone, 20-45% glycerin, 50%+ hard fat, 12.5-50% lanolin, 50%+ mineral oil, and 30%+ petrolatum and white petrolatum if you label them as active ingredients. This page doesn’t say that cod liver oil must combined with mineral oil, active ingredient or not.

Log in to reply.