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Fundamentals of Skin Science

Course Summary

This course is designed to provide a fundamental introduction to the structure and function of skin, skin measurement methods and some basic effects of skin care products for those new to the skin care field. It will also serve as detailed introduction to prepare students to study more advanced topics in skin care science presented in the Advanced Skin Science course.

Course Outline

Fundamental Skin Anatomy and Physiology            

  • Introduction 
    • Reflections on 40 years of skin science
    • Functions of Human Skin
    • Hair follicles, sweat glands and finger nails
  • The Epidermis- Basics 
    • The dermal epidermal junction
    • Keratinocytes – the workhorse cell of the integument
    • Keratins – Key structural proteins of the skin (and hair and nail)
    • The stratum granulosum and formation of the stratum corneum 
  • The Stratum Corneum (SC) Barrier-Basic Structure- Bricks and Mortar 
    • SC Barrier Lipids – The mortar
    • The Corneocyte Bricks
    • Skin penetration pathways and alleged pathways - basics
    • Filaggrin and Natural Moisturizing Factors - basics
    • Corneodesmosomes, digestion and desquamation

The Science and Technology of Skin Cleansing 

  • Short intro to skin cleansing technology evolution
  • Surfactants and their interactions with skin proteins and lipids
  • Skin mildness – understanding skin irritation and dryness
  • Importance of skin sensory in cleansing
  • Advanced care from cleansers – moisturisaiton and beyond
  • Technologies for compromised skin conditions – infant skin, ageing skin, sensitive skin

Skin Moisturisation Technologies 

  • Factors leading to dry skin
  • Outside-in approach
    • Occlusives
    • Humectants
    • Lipid technologies
  • Inside-out approaches
    • Lipid-precursor technologies
    • Activating skin to make better barrier – PPARs
  • Assessing barrier quality
    • TEWL tape strip methodologies
    • In-vivo spectroscopic methods - ATR/IR

Non-Invasive Testing of Skin Function: Basic Methods

  • Transepidermal water loss and skin barrier function
  • Electrical measurements and skin hydration
  • Mechanical properties – the Cutometer
  • Skin Color measurements-meters and photographic techniques
  • 3 D Texture Analysis
  • Biomarker analysis – the wave of the future?
    • Markers of barrier function
    • Markers of inflammation
  • Gender and ethnic differences in biophysical properties
    • Gender differences – are they real
    • Ethnic differences in skin properties
      • Differences in baseline properties
      • Is response to irritant different among ethnic group?
      • Is it ethnic origin or only skin pigment type that matters

Instructors: K.P. Ananth, PhD & R. Randall Wickett, PhD

Format: SCC In-Person CEP Course

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 
(9:00am - 4:30pm PT)

During California Suppliers' Day


Long Beach Convention Center (Room 103)
300 E Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802

This course will take place on October 24, 2023, the day before the California Suppliers' Day exhibition show (October 25-26, 2023). 

The registration link above is for the CEP course only. You will need to register separately on the event website if you would also like to attend California Suppliers' Day.




  • $440 - SCC Member
  • $570 - Non-Member
  • $265 – SCC Junior or Student Member

Registration price includes breakfast and lunch, as well as a selection of coffee and other beverages throughout the day. View our CEP Course Pricing and Refund Policy.

Note: companies registering 5+ SCC members for this course receive $25 off per registration. Companies registering 10+ SCC members for this course receive $50 off per registration. Discounted group registrations need to occur during the same online transaction. If you would like to submit a group registration of 5+ or 10+, or have any other questions about this event, please contact us at

If also applying for SCC membership, please allow up to five business days for application processing. Member pricing will not be in effect for CEP registrations until after the membership application is approved. 

About the Instructors

K.P. Ananth, PhD

University of Cincinnati

Dr. Kavssery P. Ananthapadmanabhan (K.P. Ananth) is a professor and the director of the Cosmetic Science Program at the College of Pharmacy at University of Cincinnati. Ananth obtained his B. Tech from Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai in 1974. He obtained his MS and D. Eng. Sci. degrees in 1976 and 1980 respectively from Columbia University in New York, specializing in surfactants and colloids. Ananth spent 3 years as a post-doctoral fellow and adjunct faculty at Columbia University and then joined Union Carbide Corporation, at their Surface Chemistry Skill Center in Tarrytown, New York. In 1990, Ananth moved to Unilever R & D, initially in Edgewater, NJ and then in Trumbull CT and spent the next 26+ years in various capacities in the personal care area including leading their longer-term skin cleansing research. He is an author/co-author in 120+ publications and 35+ patents. He also co-edited a book titled, “Interactions of surfactants with polymers and proteins: with Des Goddard. Career achievements include Unilever's Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Science in 2016. After retiring from Unilever in 2016, Ananth joined the College of Pharmacy as a professor and director of their Cosmetic Science program.


R. Randall Wickett, PhD

University of Cincinnati

Dr. Wickett holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Oregon State University. During his industrial career he worked at Procter and Gamble and the SC Johnson Company performing research on skin and hair care products at both companies. Since 1991 he has been at University of Cincinnati and is now Emeritus Professor of Cosmetic Science in the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy. He has had an extensive consulting practice for more than 25 years. Dr. Wickett has authored more than 120 scientific publications and several patents and given more than 100 invited presentations. He is a Fellow of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) and has received numerous technical awards from the SCC including the Maison G. de Navarre Medal Award, the SCC’s highest honor for technical achievement. He was editor of the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists from 1991 to 1997, chairman of the International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin from.2000-2005, is past President of the SCC (2011) and is currently chairman of the International Society for Stratum Corneum Research.