Clinical evaluation of the efficacy of a facial serum containing dioic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, LHA, citric acid, and HEPES in treating post-inflammatory hyperchromia and controlling oily skin in patients with acne vulgaris

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Jun;20(6):1766-1773. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14016. Epub 2021 Mar 18.


Background: Acne is a chronic disease that affects the pilosebaceous follicle and is characterized by the presence of non-inflammatory and/or inflammatory lesions, affecting both adolescents and adults. Inflammatory acne lesions are capable to increase their melanin production and promote a post-inflammatory hyperchromia.

Aims: To assess the efficacy of a serum containing dioic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, LHA, citric acid, and HEPES in treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and controlling skin oiliness in Brazilian patients with acne vulgaris.

Patients/methods: A single-center, prospective, open-label clinical study included 42 subjects, from both genders, presenting acne (grade I or II), oily skin and a clinical diagnosis of acne post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The study was conducted for 56 days, with clinical (skin quality and the number of post-inflammatory hyperchromic lesions) and instrumental (Sebumetry) evaluations after 7, 28, and 56 days of treatment. Standardized pictures were obtained using a VISIA-6® device.

Results: A significant decrease in the grade of post-inflammatory hyperchromic lesions was observed after 28 and 56 days, while the number of lesions decreases by 29.4% after 56 days (p < 0.001). Sebumetry values showed a significant decrease of 30.7% in the oiliness after 7 days of treatment, and then stable during the study conduction period of 56 days (p < 0.001 for all measurements).

Conclusions: The daily treatment using the investigational product showed an interesting decrease both in the grade and the number of post-inflammatory hyperchromia acne lesions after 56 days, and in the oiliness after 7 days, being stable for all study period.

Keywords: acne vulgaris; cosmetic; dioic acid; hyperchromia; post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation; skin oiliness.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Citric Acid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Salicylic Acid* / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Citric Acid
  • Salicylic Acid

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