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Testing Hydration Levels

Posted on: June 8th, 2023 by Brian Ecclefield

Testing and monitoring the skin’s hydration levels with bio-instrumentation is vital for claim validation of skincare products. Hydration is a major focus of topical products. As people age, the body has a natural tendency to lose moisture and hydration at a more rapid pace. This can lead to a more dried-out appearance that many consumers aim to combat. Skincare products with hydration claims may act as an antidote to the problems, with specific technology that locks and seals moisture to prevent a reduction in hydration. Validated Claim Support uses several methods to test and monitor hydration levels with bioinstrumentation.  

Utilizing Hydration Monitoring Devices

Several devices are available that can provide real-time monitoring of hydration levels. Here at Validated Claim Support, we use the Corneometer®, the Nova Dermal Phase Meter, the Tewameter®, and the EpiD Moisture Meter as our primary instruments to test skin hydration. 

Corneometry uses a tool to test the stratum corneum (superficial layers of the skin). As the device probes the surface of the skin, it measures its dielectric constant, which indicates how much electrical energy it retains. Similar to the Corneometer, the Nova Derma Phase Meter is a device used to determine how certain products affect electroconductivity. The data acquired from a Nova Derma Phase Meter provides a relative measure of how much water is retained after using a skincare product, which is a direct indication of the hydration levels it provides. 

Similar to those mentioned above, the Tewameter® is an open chamber probe measuring device that analyzes trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). This tool probes the surface of the skin for 30 seconds, during which time sensors detect changes in water vapor density. TEWL is a key indicator of the skin barrier function, which makes the Tewameter the most widely accepted measuring device for its analysis. This tool has been used in hundreds of international dermatological and cosmetological studies to measure skin functionality as it pertains to skin barrier function. If a product is found to have good barrier function properties, it will allow moisture to be retained for a longer period of time This is commonly referred to in a claim as “moisture lock. Validated Claim Support uses the Tewameter to test in vivo transepidermal water loss in skincare tools and products.

The EpiD Moisture Meter is yet another way to test hydration levels with bioinstrumentation. This tool helps validate claims set in place by cosmetic and skincare manufacturers about the hydration capacity of their products as they pertain to the deep hydrating effects on skin. The EpiD Moisture Meter measures the skin’s water content at the epidermis to evaluate the efficacy of products that claim to enhance skin hydration.

Addressing Hydration Claims

Hydration claims made by skincare or makeup providers refer to the ability of their products to moisturize the skin. Hydration involves supplying the skin with moisturizing ingredients to enhance overall health and appearance. Skincare and makeup products that claim to provide hydration often incorporate ingredients like humectants, which attract moisture to the skin, or emollients, which aid in moisture retention. These providers’ hydration claims may include statements about improving skin hydration levels, preventing dryness, or diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Although these claims may be appealing to consumers, it is essential for skincare and makeup providers to substantiate their claims with reliable evidence to ensure accuracy and truthfulness. This is where Validated Claim Support comes in. Our testing and claim substantiation procedures excel in providing invaluable support for both consumers and brands.

VCS works with skincare and makeup providers to validate hydration claims by furnishing scientific evidence to support them. In the case of hydration claims, providers should work with FDA registered third-party independent laboratories to conduct clinical studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of their products in enhancing skin hydration levels. These studies involve measuring skin moisture levels before and after product use, utilizing validated methodologies to ensure accurate results. Validated Claim Support enables skincare and makeup providers to foster trust with their customers by delivering evidence-based claims and bolstering the credibility of their hydration claims.

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