July 17, 2017 Congress reports

Babies do have a sensitive skin: Mustela proves it

Today, the notion of high skin sensitivity in adults is well-known, but in children, no study had demonstrated it so far. Out of almost 700,000 publications in the scientific literature on this type of epidermis, not a single one focuses on babies’ skin. And yet, more and more parents go see a dermatologist for very specific skin problems. And Mustela has unveiled the results of their latest study, which provides evidence of the existence of this type of epidermis in babies and children.

Gaëlle Bellemere, Head of Innovation, Life Science & Scientific Communication at Laboratoire Expanscience, and Clarence de Belilovsky, Dermatologist and member of the Mustela Expert Circle, presented the study results.

So far, three skin types were acknowledged in children and identifiable to the naked eye by their parents.
Normal skins: they are characterized by their smooth, soft aspect and even colour, but they still require daily hydration.
Dry skins: they can be detected thanks to their light desquamation. The epidermis feels a little rough and may peel. Usually, these phenomena occur in winter, due to a lipid barrier deficiency.
Atopic skins: the scales are highly visible, because the epidermis is extremely dry. There can also be deep red eczema bursts. Causes are rarely identified.
Nevertheless, Clarence de Belilovsky explains that this canonical classification is now shaken up by the characterization of a new skin type ‘increasingly observed in children. It seemed necessary to prove its existence in order to best treat suffering babies. From now on, we need to consider there are four skin types,' she specifies.

Study design

Gaëlle Bellemere partnered with Professor Misery, Director of the Dermatology Centre of Brest, Brittany, to launch a global epidemiological study. What for? To search for the existence and signs of this epidermis. The panel covered five countries and gathered almost 8,000 babies and children, in collaboration with 420 paediatricians. Researchers aimed to measure the prevalence of very sensitive skins, and also identify clinical signs and triggering factors.
Parents had to talk for their kids. It is important to understand that this skin syndrome is declarative, which means it is usually the subject himself that declares his skin is sensitive. Doctors can detect redness and skin dryness, but without really being sure it is the mark of a sensitivity syndrome. Consequently, researchers' work was based on the need to be able to demonstrate that what parents said resulted from a biological reality observed on the skin. To this aim, they set up an evaluation questionnaire to be filled in by parents, with the help of paediatricians. Then, two groups were formed according to the babies' skin types: normal and sensitive skins.

Based on this distribution, the study's very architecture relied on the comparison between two different skin types. Gaëlle Bellemere explains they ‘measured visible clinical signs, like redness and skin dryness, but also tried to document invisible signs such as stinging and tightness, which show the baby is uncomfortable with his own skin. Lastly, we tried to determine whether, biologically, this sensitive skin was any different from a normal skin, because that is what is important to best design the products intended to take care of these epidermises.'
The duration, intensity, and frequency of these signs were measured. Researchers realized sensitive skins presented these epidermal troubles much more often, and for a longer period of time.

The last testing phase was dedicated to highlighting the existence of factors triggering the skin hypersensitization process. Gaëlle Bellemere asserts that ‘there are actually internal reasons that make the skin react. These skin inflammation markers are higher for sensitive skins than normal ones.'

Highly sensitive skins: how to recognize and take care of them

Highly sensitive skins in children are characterized by a lower tolerance level and an abnormal reaction to the usually well-tolerated daily aggressions and external stress sources. These factors trigger redness, stinging, and other skin discomfort.
Clarence de Belilovsky indicates that ‘triggering factors may be related to climate conditions like the wind, cold, or heat. But chemical factors are also responsible for these troubles. On top of the list are hard water, the presence of detergents in washing powder, and the contact between the father's beard and his baby's skin.'

How to take care of them
Clarence de Belilovsky explains that ‘due to the presence of mechanic triggering factors, it is essential to apply products that easily penetrate the skin, do not need to be massaged in for hours, and are easily rinsed off. Cosmetics should offer perfect affinity with the skin. Such a delicate epidermis requires skincare that guarantees optimum tolerance to limit these neurogenic inflammations inducing redness.'

Thanks to this breakthrough, Mustela developed a new product range dedicated to fragile skins. Based on schizandra and avocado perseose, these cosmetics are free from any perfume and provide the most demanding babies with high tolerance.


© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
Your comments

Please login to see all comments

All articles [85]
LW  © CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
January 15, 2018 Congress reports
Baby cosmetics: how to make consumers trust them again?

The baby cosmetics sector is no stranger to worrying controversies on product safety. Ingredients are regularly targeted as potentially hazardous, all sorts of advice can be found telling parents to avoid certain products… Within this stressful context, brands usually do not react much... [Read more ]

© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
January 10, 2018 Congress reports
Time to make cosmetics follow the skin’s rhythm

The principles of chronobiology were revealed more than two centuries ago. But the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2017 is the opportunity to rediscover this science and exploit its knowledge, including in cosmetics. At the 8th annual Jean-Paul Marty Days held in Paris in December,... [Read more ]

October 23, 2017 Congress reports
One new customer a day in beauty salons: the keys to make it

All shopkeepers would like to boost their turnover by getting a stable, growing number of customers – including in the beauty industry. At the Beauty Forum show held in Paris last October 8-9, training expert Karen Leporini deciphered the founding pillars to help beauticians gain one new... [Read more ]

July 12, 2017 Congress reports
The importance of the environment in CSR

According to the European Union, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a ‘concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.’ The second edition of Rencontres du... [Read more ]

July 5, 2017 Congress reports
When beauty and data become one

Customer data has been a real gold mine for companies for a few years. It represents significant trade and marketing advantages if it is efficiently used. Of course, the cosmetics industry is also concerned, since it gathers and processes considerable volumes of data. At the e-Beauty conference... [Read more ]

© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
June 21, 2017 Congress reports
Sun exposure: the right balance

Attention is often drawn to the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays on the skin and health. At the Sun Protection Conference held in London on June 6-7, 2017, Professor Robyn Lucas, epidemiologist at the Australian National University (ANU), highlighted the other, more beneficial side of... [Read more ]

June 19, 2017 Congress reports
When the selfie generation influences the cosmetics industry

The population aged 25-35, also known as the selfie generation, represents a chunk of people who are hyper-connected and deeply concerned about their image and how it is conveyed on social media. As a result, they are increasingly more demanding with the cosmetics they use. At the Comet... [Read more ]

June 14, 2017 Congress reports
Chinese e-commerce: a new Eldorado for French cosmetics!

French cosmetics are much valued in China, where they are considered prestigious. Their reputation is firmly established, and yet, French companies’ presence on the Chinese territory is still a little tentative. Other than overcoming regulatory barriers to settle there in the long term, it... [Read more ]

© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
January 2, 2017 Congress reports
A history of sun protection in 15 dates

At the 3rd CosmeticDays organized by Cosmed, Estelle Loing, Biologist at Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, presented a short history of sun protection in cosmetics. Apart from short periods, humans have always had a tendency to protect themselves from the effects of the sun on the skin. But our means to do... [Read more ]

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
August 1, 2016 Congress reports
Beauty and data: the tracking business

As products and customer relationships are getting more and more personalized, data is one of the main concerns of cosmetics brands. Social networks, mobile apps, web browsing… all consumer behaviours can be tracked, recorded, and analyzed to increase brands’ performances. A round... [Read more ]