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Reducing Facial Wrinkle Size and Increasing Skin Firmness Using Skin Care Polymers

Journal of Cosmetic Science | Vol. 69 No. 2
Authored by Marc N. G. De Mul, Tanya Uddin, Xi Yan, Amber Hubschmitt, Björn Klotz and Wendy Kin Man Chan


Many cosmetic polymers shrink on drying, producing a tensile force if coated on a substrate. This tensile force can be used to smoothen wrinkles and pores in facial skin. In this study, we evaluated two polymers, a polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and a polyacrylate, for skin tightening properties. We conducted a double-blinded, placebo-controlled and randomized clinical study with 32 female volunteers aged 35–65 years who perceived themselves to have a loss of skin elasticity. Both polymers were formulated in a model cosmetic emulsion with hydrogenated polyisobutene as the oil phase. We measured skin firmness and tightening parameters at baseline and after each product application. Also, facial images were recorded with a fringe projection instrument. The firming measurements indicated that both polymers instantly tightened facial skin, whereas the placebo product offered no significant tightening benefit. However, in clinical evaluation, only the polyacrylate polymer produced statistically significant improvements in wrinkle size and skin firmness on the face without significant consumer use complaints such as tackiness. We concluded that skin care products using PVP and polyacrylates have the potential to offer immediate and visible benefits to consumers with aged skin.

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