Behind the science – Of Eucerin AQUAporin ACTIVE

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Skin needs moisture to look and feel good and to be healthy.
But good skin hydration is about more than drinking lots of water. What really matters is how effectively moisture is distributed to where it’s needed.

Eucerin has explored an almost revolutionary way to stimulate skin’s own moisture network to ensure that it gets the hydration that it needs.

The story behind a new generation of moisturisers

Scientists discovered a fundamental principle of moisture transport from cell to cell: Aquaporins.
The Beiersdorf Research and Development center is based in Hamburg.

In 2003, American biochemist Peter Agre won the Nobel Prize for chemistry for a groundbreaking discovery. He got to the root of how osmosis works by discovering that proteins form microscopic channels in cell membranes that facilitate the transport of water and other molecules from cell to cell. These channels are called Aquaporins.

Aquaporins are found in the cell membrane of various organisms.

Since his initial discovery, 13 different variants have been identified - all with the capacity for a rapid water transport into and out of cells up to three billion molecules per second. One type of Aquaporin, Aquaporin 3 (AQP3), is the most abundant in human skin and conducts water and Glycerol across skin cells.

Aquaporins form a vital network to moisturise the skin. The more of them there are, the better the transport of moisture in the skin.
Rainer Wolber, PhD, Head of Research & Development Eucerin

Aquaporins make up a network that conveys moisture through the different epidermal skin layers.

“Our scientists at Eucerin were inspired by this discovery and determined to find a way to stimulate the formation of Aquaporins in skin cells in order to improve skin moisturisation.”

Artificial skin models were specially grown to detect and study Aquaporins under the microscope, says Wolber: “We tested numerous bioactive substances in an attempt to find the ideal active ingredient. Gluco-glycerol proved to be the key.” Read more about the intensive search for solutions at Eucerin.

Reduced moisture level due to a limited number of Aquaporins.
Intense moisturisation even in deeper epidermal skin layers thanks to an increased number of Aquaporins.

In nature, Gluco-glycerol (also known as Glyceryl Glucoside) is utilised by organisms such as blue-green algae to help them survive in extreme conditions of dehydration. Scientific tests proved that Gluco-glycerol could penetrate into the deeper epidermal layers of the skin and stimulate the production of AQP3. As Wolber adds: “We now needed to formulate Gluco-glycerol and develop effective and appealing products.”

The result is the unique Eucerin AQUAporin ACTIVE range of face and body moisturisers. Demanding clinical and dermatological studies on volunteers with dry and dehydrated skin have demonstrated the moisturising benefits of the products.

Wolber highlights the fact that results are: “immediate and intense. Just 24 hours after first use we saw an impressive increase in skin moisture levels.” These benefits increase over time, with results demonstrating improved moisturisation after regular use and, importantly, “the results are long-lasting. Skin continues to be well moisturised for a while even after the volunteers stopped using the products.”

As Wolber summarises “Eucerin AQUAporin ACTIVE moisturisers give the skin the hydration that it needs. In the long term, the products help to improve skin´s moisture, strengthening its barrier function and making it more resistant to the environment.”

Medical studies approve good moisture results after first and regular usage of Eucerin AQUAporin range.