Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 310, Issue 6, pp 495–504 | Cite as

Amelioration of lactic acid sensations in sensitive skin by stimulating the barrier function and improving the ceramide profile

  • Hiroshi Nojiri
  • Koichi Ishida
  • Xueqiu Yao
  • Wei Liu
  • Genji ImokawaEmail author
Original Paper


We determined whether compensating ceramides in the stratum corneum (SC) may ameliorate the impaired barrier function and subsequently attenuate the enhanced skin sensitivity. Treatment for 4 weeks with the ceramide complex cream or the placebo cream significantly ameliorated the intensity of lactic acid sensations in 39 female subjects with sensitive skin, the degree of which was attenuated to a greater extent at 1 week by the ceramide complex cream compared with the placebo cream. The amelioration of skin sensations was accompanied by a significant increase in total ceramide content in the SC elicited by the ceramide complex cream that was significantly more effective than the placebo cream at 4 weeks. Consistently, TEWL and conductance values were significantly decreased or increased at 1 and 4 weeks, respectively, to a greater extent by the ceramide complex cream than by the placebo cream. TEWL levels were significantly correlated with the increased levels of SC total ceramide in the ceramide complex cream-treated skin but not in the placebo cream-treated skin. Thus, the amelioration of lactic acid sensations by topical application of a ceramide complex cream, provides a deep insight into the pathophysiology of sensitive skin as a reduced barrier function-dependent sub-clinical sensory response.


Sensitive skin Barrier function Ceramide Stinging test 



Stratum corneum


Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry


Trans-epidermal water loss




Atopic dermatitis



We thank Drs A. Naoe and H. Tsujimura (Kao Corporation, Japan) for lipid analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors state no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Skin Care Products Research LaboratoryKao CorporationOdawaraJapan
  2. 2.Kao (China) Research and Development Center Co. Ltd.ShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Integrated Medical Research LaboratoryKao (China) Research and Development Center Co. Ltd.ShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of DermatologyGeneral Hospital of Air ForceBeijingChina
  5. 5.Center for Bioscience Research and EducationUtsunomiya UniversityUtsunomiyaJapan
  6. 6.Research Institute for Biological FunctionsChubu UniversityKasugaiJapan

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