Assessment of Viscoelasticity and Hydration Effect of Herbal Moisturizers Using Bioengineering Techniques

Pharmacogn Mag. 2010 Oct;6(24):298-304. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.71797.


Background: A number of moisturizers are available containing natural hydrating, moisturizing, fi rming and occlusive property-imparting agent in the form of herbal extracts, juice and oils. The aim of this study is to assess the hydration and viscoelastic effect of commercially available herbal moisturizers, containing different herbs, on human skin, after a single and 3-week period of application using skin bio mechanical and electrical techniques.

Materials and methods: Twenty selected herbal moisturizers (HM) were coded as HM1-HM20. Forty volunteers, mean age of 40 ± 9 years, were participated in the short- and long-term study. Skin properties in terms of hydration and viscoelastic parameters were measured by multitester and cutometer, respectively. Measurements were done before and after 1, 2, and 3 h (single application) and for the 3-week period of daily application.

Results: After single application, significant increase has been observed in both the skin electrical (P < 0.001) and mechanical properties (P < 0.01) as compared to the control, at which no products were applied. After the 3-week period, both effects are maintained and found to be significant at P < 0.001. Short-and long-term study revealed that out of 20 herbal moisturizers, HM8 and HM10 show pronounced increase in skin hydration (90-100%) and HM8, HM10, and HM11 shown marked increase in skin viscoelasticity (90-95%).

Conclusion: The possible reason of maximum effects obtained by these products is multifunctional effects of active ingredients of incorporated herbs. Combined used of both non invasive techniques is useful to substantiate the hydrating and viscoelasticity claim of herbal moisturizer. Short- and long-terms study revealed the best performing herbal moisturizer.

Keywords: Bioengineering techniques; herbal moisturizer; hydration; viscoelasticity.