dermaviduals – Modular Product Systems

by | 17 December 2013

By Dr. Hans Lautenschläger


dermaviduals are skin care products which are freshly prepared right on the spot in the beauty institute. This article shows how cosmeticians can prove their skin care competence by offering this individual service.


Approved beauty institutes will always endeavour to provide the individually optimal product for their clients. The result is a large number of different products with only a small number of pieces. Consequently, the terms of purchasing and payment will not be too favorable. On the other hand the optimal product in not necessarily the best product as its composition is already preset and the competence of the institute is inevitably restricted to the selection of the products in the market.
Individual modular systems may be the alternative here. These systems do not only include the competence of the beauty institutes but they even challenge it.
The term “dermaviduals” refers to individual skin care products, which are freshly prepared on the spot in the beauty institutes. Dermaviduals will be individually designed according to the demands of the clients and the institutes. This has the advantage that the sum total of the institute’s experience can be brought in. The clients do not only feel that they received an excellent service but they also are convinced of it.

Special creams as a basis

Of course, there have been first signs of dermaviduals in form of very individual treatments, e.g. freshly prepared face masks. However, the new systems have different concepts. The basic idea is to enrich base creams with special “additives”, as base creams are very well tolerated by the skin and already contain the essential components the skin requires. The most recent development in this field are DMS-base creams (see below) whose composition is similar to the natural components of the skin (DMS = Derma Membrane Structure). DMS-base creams are pH-neutral on the skin, do not contain conventional emulsifiers and are also free of preservatives, perfumes, dyes, mineral oil components, silicones and amines.

Active agents are added

The outstanding feature of DMS-base creams is their capacity to assimilate water soluble “additives” like NMF, vitamins and vegetable extracts, including dispersions of liposomes and nanoparticles as well as vegetable oils and waxes by simple manual stirring. This makes them so different from conventional W/O or O/W emulsions where a similar procedure is not practicable.
As the “additives” mentioned can also be used as independent products similar to ampoules and are subject to the same strict criteria which apply for DMS-base creams, the skin will not be stressed with unnecessary additives. This is an advantage for sensitive skin and skin susceptible for abnormalities. The effectiveness of vitamins and oils with essential fatty acids remains intact and will not be impaired by the storage of finished products.

A call for practicability

A precondition for such systems, however, is their practicability in the beauty institutes. In this respect, the manufacturers were pretty creative. DMS-base creams are supplied in dispensers ready for use in the institute and also for sale. The dispensers are easy to open, the additives necessary for the treatment are measured with the help of pipettes and then added, the preparation is stirred briefly and the unit will be closed – a very clean and uncomplicated procedure.
A very interesting fact is that dermatologists use DMS-creams for the prevention and treatment of neurodermatitis due to their composition and assumedly because of the high content of hydrogenated phosphatidylcholine (PC) in combination with phytosterols, squalane, ceramides and triglycerides. Hydrogenated PC also is an essential component in new products for the occupational skin protection: PC effectively avoids the wash-out of cream components. This is also one of the reasons that the effects of the DMS-base cream regarding skin smoothness, skin moistness and skin firmness are still visible 72h after the treatment was discontinued.

Interesting synergies

Let’s go back to service. The example of dermaviduals shows another important component which leads to maximum customer benefit and a high value added for the institute. This component is synergy which means the interplay and mutual stimulation of different activities.
The skin analysis may be easily combined with an individual treatment with dermaviduals. Synergy also is developed when the arguments used during a consultation on cosmetic products have a convincing and scientific background instead of just publicity character. The more watertight the arguments are, the easier it is to convince the clients.

Preventive health care

Already today it can be assumed, that beauty institutes based on a synergetic service concept which includes their core competence as a whole, will be very successful in the future, especially before the background of the upcoming economic driving motor, the preventive health care. This is exactly the point, where a continued vocational training with respect to dermatology will pay off. Dermaviduals will play an important role.

DMS-base creams

The basis of DMS-base creams is saturated phosphatidylcholine (INCI: hydrogenated lecithin). This substance can also be found naturally and has properties similar to the ceramides. Thus phosphatidylcholine is able to combine with lipids and hydrophilic substances. However, in contrast to conventional emulsifiers, stable creams can only be produced on the basis of a complex procedure involving high energy consumption. Saturated phosphatidylcholine just like the ceramides strengthens the skin barrier function and stabilizes the natural transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Therefore, saturated phosphatidylcholine has been used in high-quality skin care products lately.
Besides phytosterols, squalane, ceramide and triglyceride, DMS-base creams contain glycol which moisturizes the skin and also guarantees the microbiological stability of the creams due to its high dosage. The shelf life therefore is more than 30 months. The shelf life of DMS-base creams which were enriched with additives depends on the active agents added. Whereas jojoba oil basically has no influence on the shelf life of the finished cream, the shelf of perishable active agents in high doses like e. g. vitamin A nanoemulsions has to be taken into account. This is exactly why the fresh preparation of creams is a big advantage as the vitamin activity is not impaired because of extended storage and transport time but can effectively be made use of.