Eucerin – Medical Skin Science that Shows

Picture taken from www.eucerin.com/sg

Eucerin Singapore contacted me on running a charity sale on its 13,000 fans’ Facebook page to donate 20 per cent. of the sales proceeds to Singapore’s first eczema fund for low income patients (a fund that is initiated by my donation and administered by the Asthma Association). I wanted to find out more about Eucerin, especially when I read that it has a product that’s inspired by a Nobel-prize discovery. In this interview, Marcie Mom catches up with Royston Ho, Brand Manager of Eucerin Singapore to find out more about its products, particularly its benefits to children with eczema.

First: A Company with a Long History

I’ve seldom seen a skincare company that has such a long history and it is a pleasant surprise to see a product that’s started by a doctor (Dr. Lifschutz) in 1900 with the same properties that we’d want in a good skincare product today – stable, smooth, not irritate but to protect and care. Eucerin is a brand under Beiersdorf AG, an international company based in Hamburg, Germany, that has 21,000 employees worldwide and has other brands such as Nivea and Hansaplast.

MarcieMom: Royston, do you think that having more than 100 years of history help Beiersdorf produce a better product? Does Beiersdorf continually reformulate its product based on clients’ feedback, clinical trials and the latest list of allergens?

Royston: Yes, in fact Eucerin owns the largest skin research centre in Hamburg, Germany and we employ 650 international scientists at our research facilities to ensure that the products work on human skin before they are being introduced commercially worldwide. Certain products are also reformulated and improved from time to time using after numerous clinical testings and using quality pharmaceutical grade ingredients. Our long history of 111 years and counting is testimony to the efficacy of the products that has benefitted generations with varied skin concerns.

Medical Skin Science that Shows

MarcieMom: I read the message by K. Hannig, Corporate Vice President of Beiersdorf, that Eucerin is ‘Medical Skin Science that Shows’. Some terms used in her message include ‘highest dermatological standards’, ‘active ingredients’ and ‘clinical proof’. Can you explain the above terms, in particular, the activities or initiatives Beiersdorf take to ensure that its product lives up to these terms.

Royston: Eucerin products are able to claim highest dermatological standards as the products are formulated by dermatologists for dermatologists to recommend to patients. We undergo numerous clinical trials at our labs to ensure that the safety and efficacy of our products. Active ingredients are components in our skincare products which provide some pharmaceutical value, these ingredients are literally “active,” performing a specific function upon application. We will choose the right active ingredients and are trying thousands of different combinations to establish which set of ingredients would be the best in terms of efficacy and tolerability. All skincare products undergo clinical testing and we will do it before we launch any new product.

Database of Ingredients

One feature that I love about Eucerin’s website is its Ingredients Database. Ingredients are listed from A to Z, and you can click to see which of Eucerin’s product contains and which does not contain a particular ingredient. For this to be useful, a parent or consumer would have to be able to read the product label and understand what are the ingredients that can help eczema or which should be avoided. Also, if a patch test has been taken (suitable for older children and adults), then it would be easy to avoid a product that contains ingredients tested allergic to.

MarcieMom: Royston, one of the ingredients that I read with interest is gluco-glycerol, an active ingredient used in your product that can stimulate the formation of aquaporin channel, that helps to transport water and increase moisture in the skin. Which of your products contains gluco-glycerol and is this clinically tested to be suitable for children with eczema, i.e. moisturizing their skin with reduced likelihood of allergen?

Royston: Aquaporin is an amazing moisturizer, for hydration, but it does not contain ingredients like Omega 6 acids and Licochalcone that alleviate the symptoms of eczema such as itching, scaling etc. Aquaporin will help as a very good emollient and help in terms of moisturizing but for a more holistic care of Eczema, the product will have to do more than just hydration. The effects of this moisturising cream is amazing as it helps in facilitating moisture ions between different layers of skin cells through the stimulation and opening up of more water channels in your skin.

Suitable for Eczema Children

MarcieMom: I noted that Eucerin has a product, Eucerin Soothing Lotion 12% Omega, that specifically states for Eczema and is suitable for babies above 3 months old. What are the key ingredients in this product that makes it suitable for children with eczema?

Royston: The main reason for dry and Eczema skin is a defect of skin’s barrier function which results from a deficit of natural moisturising factors and a lack of lipids, essential for a stable barrier function, which also protects from moisture loss. Impaired barrier function leads to dryness, redness, itch and sometimes even inflammation.

Eucerin Soothing Lotion 12% Omega, specially developed for the needs of dry, reddened, itching and inflamed skin, contains highly concentrated Omega-6 fatty acids from natural Evening Primose Oil and Grape Seed Oil, and Licochalcone, an anti-inflammatory agent extracted from the licorice root.

Omega-6 fatty acids replenish the skin with lipids. The damaged skin barrier is strengthened and the trans-epidermal water loss normalised; Licochalcone reduces the synthesis of pro-inflammatory agents responsible for the skin’s inflammation and redness.

You can expect intense hydration, reduced itchiness, redness and tightness long lastingly. This product is suitable for adults and children above 3 months old and is fragrance, colourant and lanolin free. It can also be used on both face and body.

MarcieMom: Thanks so much Royston for helping us understand Beiersdorf and Eucerin, and as always, an insightful interview helps parents with eczema children learn how to evaluate products their children use.

Note: I didn’t receive any money from the above for this interview, and any monies raised from the charity drive goes directly to the eczema fund through Asthma Association.

Eucerin’s Facebook Sales Fund Raising for Singapore Eczema Fund

Eucerin is running a fund raising for Singapore Eczema Fund where 20% of the total sales proceeds from the sales of their set of Eucerin Aquaporin UVA (40ml) + Aquaporin Eye (15ml) products will be donated to the eczema fund!

What’s even better is that they are selling it over their very active Facebook page, of over 13,000 fans, and it’s at the price of $50 instead of the usual $75!

What’s even even better is that I will be matching their donation with advertising space on this blog, since all proceeds from advertising on my blog goes to this eczema fund anyway!

Personally, I think this is very neat harmony of charity and social media for the promotion of skincare products/brand that’s relevant to eczema patients. Thank you to the brand manager of Eucerin for contacting me and being proactive in helping the needy eczema community in Singapore!

note: MarcieMom did not receive any money for this post or for participation in this charity drive, which last till 20 April 2012.

First Eczema Fund in Singapore

Asthma and Allergy Association of Singapore

I’ve always been passionate about helping children with eczema, particularly those from low income families. For the low income, they may not be active online and thus, may not benefit from my blog, my children book or my support group mailing group. Thus, I’ve specially designed 2012 calendars for distribution in hospitals and also make sure that I’m available to meet every two months at convenient and inexpensive locations. NOW, finally, the eczema fund has started and can directly help the low income with their eczema treatment!

FAQ on Eczema Financial Assistance Scheme

1. How did it get started?

There’s no eczema fund in Singapore and in July 2011, I got to know Dr Liew, President of  Asthma Association (AA), through Chris who’s running a blog for parents with allergy kids.  I indicated to Dr Liew that I’d like to subsidize the cost of moisturizers for low income children with eczema but I haven’t found a suitable organization to administer the money. The AA is founded in 1993 by doctors and has in place a fund to help low income asthma patients. Dr Liew sought approval from the executive committee and got approval in September 2011 for the go-ahead of the eczema fund.

2. How can it help Eczema patients?

The fund will subsidize treatment for low income eczema patients, and is currently extended to include adults. From January 2012, patients who are Singapore citizen/permanent resident with eczema (only) confirmed by dermatologist can work with the hospital’s medical social worker to apply for the fund. The patient must be seeking treatment at public hospitals and has explored government medical assistance schemes before applying for the fund.

The fund can help subsidize the cost of treatment that includes topical creams and moisturizers. I imagine this will be a great relief for low income, particularly when moisturizers are not cheap (and not paid for by government). Whenever I think of a child who itches so much, scratches so much yet unable to get the treatment he/she needs, my heart aches. Morevoer, if the parent is uneducated, it’s unlikely to know that the child is really suffering and not scratching cos naughty.

3. When does it start?

It already started! I’ve donated the seed money for the fund and anyone interested to do so can email cheque to:

“Asthma and Allergy Association” (also payable to)

14 Robinson Road
# 13-00 Far East Finance Building
Singapore 048545

Indicate Eczema Fund at back of cheque, as the association has another fund for asthma.

If you’ve done so, will you drop a comment here so that I’ll know or email me at mommarcie[at]gmail.com; a BIG THANK YOU from Marcie & me!

Marcie Mom and Marcie

Do Low Income Eczema Children Suffer More?

Prevalence of Eczema in Singapore Schoolchildren

We all know the cost that goes into managing our children’s eczema, it’s not only expensive, it is also stressful for the parents. Have you wondered how much worse off you would cope if you can’t afford moisturizers, can’t afford specialist treatment, can’t afford bath oils and have to take two jobs to make ends meet? This has been a burden in my heart ever since my baby has eczema, I’m thinking “How do low income eczema children cope? Do they end up overusing steroid cream? Do they even seek a treatment or even know that their children are suffering from eczema?”

In a study conducted as part of Phase 1 of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), it is observed that “children in lower socioeconomic groups tended to have more severe atopic disease”. Phase 1 was conducted in 1994, so $1k is considered as low income, and children in this income group experienced the highest incidence of persistent rash without clearing. (I wish I could find Phase 3 study online but I couldn’t get any information except that eczema increased from 1994 to 2001). In a study conducted in US, it was also noted a higher prevalence of eczema for low-income individuals, coupled with a low rate of physician diagnosis.

I am working with a non-profit in Singapore to set up an eczema fund to pay for the cost of moisturizers for low income eczema children. Will update everyone when the fund is ready, target sometime early 2012; if you are interested in contributing (even your two cents) to the fund, do email me, thanks!

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