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Hard water softening effect of a baby cleanser

Authors Walters RM, Anim-Danso E, Amato SM, Capone KA, Mack MC, Telofski LS, Mays DA

Received 30 April 2016

Accepted for publication 10 July 2016

Published 11 October 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 339—345

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S111729

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg


Russel M Walters, Emmanuel Anim-Danso, Stephanie M Amato, Kimberly A Capone, M Catherine Mack, Lorena S Telofski, David A Mays

Skin Care Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., Skillman, NJ, USA

Background: Hard water is associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema). We wanted to determine if a baby cleanser and its individual components altered free ionized calcium (Ca2+) in a simulated hard water baby bath. For these studies, an in vitro determination of free Ca2+ in a simulated hard water baby bath, and an in vivo exploratory study of free Ca2+ absorption into skin from hard water were performed.
Methods: Free Ca2+ was measured with an ion-sensitive electrode in vitro in hard water (100–500 ppm, Ca2+) before and after addition of the cleanser and/or its components. In an exploratory study, absorption of Ca2+ into skin from hard water was determined in three female participants (aged 21–29 years).
Results: At an in-use dilution of 1%, the test cleanser reduced free Ca2+ from ~500 ppm to <200 ppm; a 10% in-use dilution bound virtually all free Ca2+. The anionic surfactant component contributed the most to this effect. In the exploratory in vivo study, we measured a reduction of ~15% in free Ca2+ from simulated hard water over 10 minutes.
Conclusion: Baby cleansers can bind free Ca2+ and reduce the effective water hardness of bath water. Reducing the amount of free Ca2+ in the water will reduce the availability of the ion for binding to the skin. Altering or reducing free Ca2+ concentrations in bath water may be an important parameter in creating the ideal baby bath.

Keywords: bath, cleanser, hard water, infant, neonate, surfactant

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