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Assessing Possible Synergy Between A Moisturizing Body Wash And Lotion

Keith Ertel, Ph.D.; Paula Hartwig, B.S.; Robert Bacon, B.S.

The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati OH, USA


Dry skin is a common symptom among dermatologic patients. Personal cleansing products are widely recognized for their potential to cause or exacerbate skin dryness, and dermatologists often recommend that their patients with dry skin use a mild cleansing product. These recommendations typically specify synthetic detergent (syndet) bars to minimize the potential for skin drying. In addition, dermatologists frequently recommend that their patients apply a lotion or moisturizer to help mitigate the signs and symptoms of dry skin. In recent years the range of available personal cleanser forms has expanded beyond traditional cleansing bars. In addition

to offering patients greater variety and convenience, a number of these new personal cleanser forms employ technologies that allow them to go beyond simply minimizing their potential to dry skin to actually improving dry skin condition. This raises the possibility that patients might experience a greater level of dry skin relief from a lotion or moisturizer by appropriate personal cleanser choice.


To assess the potential for dry skin improvement synergy between personal cleansing products and a moisturizing lotion.



  • A randomized design was used to compare regimens comprising a lipid-depositing moisturizing body wash + lotion and a synthetic detergent (syndet) bar + lotion.
  • The protocol was based on a published controlled wash method designed to assess personal

 cleansers' potential to improve dry skin condition.1

  • The lotion dose was 1 L/cm2. This dose was chosen to reflect consumers' use of these types of products2, 3 and to avoid a leveling effect of lotion on underlying cleanser skin effects.

Study Population

  • Twenty-one healthy, adult females with dry leg skin entered the treatment phase.
  • All subjects provided written informed consent.


  • Controlled leg washing was conducted daily over 5 days.
  • The cleansers were dosed on an equal weight basis. The body wash was applied with a

 cleansing puff, per label directions. The syndet bar was lathered and the lather was applied with   

 the fingers.

  • The legs were rinsed and patted dry, and lotion was dosed onto the skin and rubbed in with a

 cotted finger.

  • Expert visual evaluations and skin capacitance measurements were made at treatment

  baseline, 3 hours after the first wash, before the final wash, and 3 hours after the final wash. The

  grader and instrument operator were blinded to study treatments and assignments.

  • Mixed model techniques adjusting for study design parameters were used to analyze the data.


  A repeated measures model was used to obtain an overall estimate of relative treatment performance.


1. Int J Cosmet Sci 1999;21:383-97.

2. Br J Dermatol 1999;140:255-8.

3. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 1993;9:242-4.


Treatment Comparison - No Lotion Applied (earlier work)

  • The lipid-depositing body wash, syndet bar, and a water control were previously compared

in a clinical study conducted under a similar protocol. This work demonstrated the visual dry

skin improvement potential of the moisturizing body wash.

  • Erythema results are also shown; however, the limited exposure conditions used in this

protocol are not intended to discriminate products based on this parameter.

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  • This study also demonstrated that the lipid-depositing body wash improves stratum corneum

hydration (skin capacitance).

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Treatment Comparison - With Lotion Applied

  • Applying lotion after washing increased the magnitude of the dry skin benefit for both cleansing

products. However, the combination of lipid-depositing body wash + lotion provided a significantly

greater dryness benefit than the combination of syndet bar + lotion.

  • The lipid-depositing body wash + lotion combination also had an advantage for erythema, which is consistent with results generated in the absence of lotion.


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  • Skin capacitance values were also increased by the application of lotion. The combination of lipiddepositing body wash + lotion provided a significantly higher level of stratum corneum hydration than

the combination of syndet bar + lotion.


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The results of this study demonstrate the potential synergy between a personal cleansing product and a lotion or moisturizer and indicate that patients can enhance their dry

skin benefit by using a regimen comprising a lipid-depositing moisturizing body wash and a lotion.

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