Gleams & Notions
A SOLUTION FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
RAHN COSMETICS, a Swiss company whose products in the US are dis- tributed by Kinetik Technologies,
Hazlet, NJ, is promoting an ingredient for
sensitive skin called Defensil (INCI name:
octyldodecanol, echium plantagineum
seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower)
seed oil unsaponifiables,cardiospermum
halicacabum flower/leaf/vine extract).
This anti-irritant is registered and accepted in Europe, the US and Japan. It is
preservative free, but contains 0.05% tocopherol. Defensil has a two-year shelf
life, but should be stored under nitrogen
between 4 and 15°C, and protected from
It is an oily, olive green liquid with a
characteristic odor, which is non-toxic,
non-sensitizing, non-phototoxic, or non-mutagen, non-irritating (skin and eye)
and is readily biodegradable.
The three active ingredients work
together, according to the company.
Cardiospermum is a climbing plant found
in the tropics. It was so named because of
a white heart-shaped mark on the seed.
In pharmaceuticals, it is effective against
itching and allergic skin inflammation due
to the high amounts of phytosterols and
Harvey M. Fishman
Harvey Fishman has a consulting
firm in Wanaque, NJ, specializing in cosmetic formula-
tions and new product ideas, offering tested finished
products. He has more than 30 years of experience and
has been director of research at Bonat, Nestlé LeMur
and Turner Hall. He welcomes descriptive literature from
suppliers and bench chemists and others in the field.
44 • happi
Defensil calms skin and makes it less sensitive.
triterpenes present. Echium oil is extracted
from seeds by cold pressing. This oil is very
rich in stearidonic acid, an essential omega- 3 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory
properties. The high proportion of 7- to
12% gamma-linoleic acid helps protect
the skin barrier, as unsaturated fatty acids
regenerate the intercellular cement of the
epidermis. The unsaponifiable elements
of sunflower oil, which have high sterol
content, have a soothing effect on skin.
They also contain natural vitamin E and
squalene, which are very important to the
regeneration and care of the skin.
Among efficacy studies conducted was
an in-vivo stinging test, which measures
the skin’s sensitivity to lactic acid. It was
found that if a person with highly sensitive skin uses a cream gel containing 5%
Defensil for one month, his or her skin
will become less sensitive to lactic acid.
micro-circulation test in which the skin
is warmed by means of infrared radiation
activating the micro-circulation. Irritated
and reddened skin is normalized quickly
and effectively with Defensil.
Irritated skin, in addition to causing
redness, also increases the transepidermal
water loss. Defensil was compared to hydrocortisone and panthenol and 2% Defensil
had an immediate calming effect and reduced redness steadily over a long period.
Because of these properties, Defensil
(1 to 5%) is recommended for use in sensitive care products such as baby care,
after-depilation and aftershave products,
preshave, lip balm and after-sun products.
It is not recommended for use in sunscreen products.
A suggested skin product for the body
is as follows.
Acrylates/C 10-30, alkyl acrylate
Sodium hydroxide 10%
Procedure: Add third ingredient to water
and glycerin in tank by sprinkling in the
powder and stir until completely wetted (about 15 min). Neutralize with sodium hydroxide to produce a gel. Mix B
in separate container, then add xanthan
gum. Add this to A and homogenize until
homogenous. No heat is necessary in this