Dermatology and Psychophysiology

The connection between skin and well-being

The dermatological effect, such as an improvement in the skin barrier or an increase in skin firmness, are decisive arguments for the use of skin care products.

Psychophysiological claims, such as an increase in well-being or a reduction in stress, supplement the promise of efficacy of cosmetic products and increase consumers' willingness to buy.

In order to be allowed to claim such effects, proof of efficacy is required, which must be stored in the product information file (Regulation (EC) 1223/2009, Art. 11). For this purpose, the Fraunhofer ISC and Fraunhofer IVV institutes offer a holistic claim-verification service, in which both skin efficacy in in vitro tests and product efficacy in in vivo tests can be investigated.

In vitro models revolutionize skin research

© K. Dobberke für Fraunhofer ISC

The Fraunhofer ISC Skin Research Group specializes in in vitro skin research, focusing in particular on the study of the skin barrier and the analysis of the effects of various substances on skin health and their potential effects.
Various in vitro models are applied to this research, including the use of RHE (Reconstructed Human Epidermis) in vitro skin, FTSE (Full-Thickness Skin Equivalent) in vitro skin, and stem cell-based skin organoids. This makes it possible to investigate both atopic and other application possibilities and to address the questions at different levels of complexity. The analyses include both non-destructive methods as well as endpoint analyses whereby detailed and significant information on the effects of the investigated raw materials and products can be obtained.

Available test models

  • Epidermal skin model
  • Full-thickness skin model
  • Full synthetic matrix skin model
  • Skin organoids from human iPSC
  • Various disease models

Usable test methods

  • Skin irritation / corrosion / penetration
  • Anti-oxidative effects
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Tailor-made test procedures according to the needs of the customer

Application areas

  • Wound healing
  • Infection studies of the skin
  • Drug testing

Current project examples


Studies on the effect of vegetable oils on the 3D skin model

Project example "Systematic investigation of natural oils" with Kneipp GmbH

Since 2013, there has been a ban on animal testing in the cosmetics industry.

The in vitro skin models of the Fraunhofer TLZ therefore offer the suitable alternative to find out how deeply natural oils penetrate the uppermost skin layer - by definition, cosmetics are not allowed to act on the lower skin layers, but only on the epidermis.