Researchers have found a serious lack of proper studies into the most used active ingredients for sensitive skin in facial care products.
In ‘Sensitive skin: Active ingredients on the spotlight’, an article published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in November 2021, F. Almeida and others sought to “unveil the most used active ingredients for sensitive skin in facial care products from the pharmacy and parapharmacy channel”.
They analysed a pool of 88 products from 19 multinational brands the pharmacy and parapharmacy channel whose label included the expressions ‘sensitive skin’, ‘reactive skin’ or ‘intolerant skin’. The active ingredients were identified from product compositions and ranked in order of occurrence. The scientific evidence of each ingredient’s mechanism of action and efficacy was also compiled.
The most commonly used active was niacinamide, followed by Avena sativa, allantoin, glycyrrhetinic acid and derivatives, and Laminaria ochroleuca. Ingredients that can reduce skin inflammation and act on the skin barrier were used in more than half of the products analysed.
“The clinical studies regarding the active ingredients used in these products remain sparse and lack methodological quality,” the researchers found. Among the top ingredients, only niacinamide, panthenol and acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester have been studied on volunteers with sensitive skin, while acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester and palmitoyl tripeptide-8 were designed to act on the molecular targets involved in this condition.