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J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2011 Mar;4(3):41-4.

Reduction of "Ashiness" in Skin of Color with a Lipid-rich Moisturizing Body Wash.

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  • 1Unilever Research & Development, Trumbull, Connecticut.



In people with darkly pigmented skin, classified as Fitzpatrick type IV, V, or VI skin, xerosis or dry skin can be associated with a whitish coloring and a reduction in skin shininess known as "ashiness." The authors investigated whether mild and moisturizing cleansers can repair dry skin in people with type IV, V, or VI skin by improving barrier function and reducing ashiness.


This study has a balanced, randomized, double-blind monadic design comprising two cells of approximately 30 participants per cell. PARTICIPANTS were randomly assigned to either receive the marketed directly esterified fatty isethionate-based moisturizing body wash or the marketed syndet bar for general bathing purposes for three weeks.


A clinical testing facility in Dallas, Texas.


Healthy women with visible signs of ashy skin on their lower legs, forearms, and elbows.


Skin assessments were performed at six defined sites and included expert visual grading of dryness, dermatologist grading of ashiness, instrumental measurements, and a self-assessment questionnaire.


Twenty-seven participants received body wash and 28 participants received the syndet bar. Use of body wash was associated with significant improvement in transepidermal water loss and expert- and self-assessed dryness. PARTICIPANTS reported reduced ashiness at all sites after use of body wash. Similar results were seen with use of the syndet bar.


In study participants with type IV, V, or VI skin, regular use of the body wash or syndet bar repaired the condition of the skin, improving barrier function and reducing visual dryness. Support of the epidermal barrier by mild and moisturizing cleansers was associated with reduced ashiness.

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