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Skin Res Technol. 2016 Nov;22(4):505-512. doi: 10.1111/srt.12292. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Analysis of absorption and spreading of moisturizer on the microscopic region of the skin surface with near-infrared imaging.

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National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Shiseido Research Center, Yokohama, Japan.



Near-infrared (NIR) light with high water absorption enables us to visualize the water content distribution appeared in the superficial skin layer. The light penetration depth with the wavelength of 1920 nm is almost 100 μm from the skin surface. Thus, the water distribution in the stratum corneum can be effectively imaged by detecting the wavelength band around 1920 nm. The aim of this article was to measure the time-lapse behavior of the tiny droplet of the moisturizer spreading on the skin surface by imaging in 1920 nm wavelength band for investigating the correlation with the traditional index of the skin condition such as the water content and transepidermal water loss (TEWL).


Experiment is performed with three moisturizer products and seven volunteer subjects. The NIR image is acquired by an originally designed imaging scope equipped with the white light of the strong brightness [super continuum (SC) light], the bandpass filter with the center wavelength of 1920 nm, and the NIR image sensor. A tiny droplet of the moisturizer is put on the surface of the skin and the time-lapse images are saved. Each acquired image is analyzed from a view point of the droplet area and elapsed time for absorption into the skin. The water content and TEWL of all subjects are measured by the conventional electrical method for investigating the relationship with the measured droplet dynamics parameters.


Elapsed time for moisturizer droplet to be absorbed into the skin, the droplet area just before absorption for three moisturizer products, skin water contents, and TEWL for seven subjects were measured and correlation coefficients for each parameters were calculated. It was found that the skin with higher water contents or lower TEWL absorbed the moisturizer faster and spreads moisturizer wider. Also absorption and spreading speed depend on moisturizer property (moisturizing or fresh) which is originated from the moisturizer constituents.


The correlation values between the moisturizer dynamics on the skin surface and the traditional index of the skin property were clarified. It was found that the skin with the high water content or low TEWL absorbs the moisturizer droplet fast. The spreading area depends not only on the skin property but on the constituents of the moisturizers.


Monte Carlo simulation; NIR imaging; light penetration; moisturizer; skin property

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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