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Evaluation of in vivo THz sensing for assessing human skin hydration

Sep 15, 2021

Lindley-Hatcher, Hannah, A. I. Hernandez-Serrano, Jiarui Wang, Juan Cebrian, Joseph Hardwicke, and Emma Pickwell-MacPherson. “Evaluation of in vivo THz sensing for assessing human skin hydration.” Journal of Physics: Photonics 3, no. 1 (2020): 014001.


Terahertz (THz) in vivo reflection imaging can be used to assess the water content of the surface of the skin. This study presents the results of treating 20 subjects with aqueous, anhydrous and water-oil emulsion samples and observing the changes induced in the skin using THz sensing. These regions were also measured with a corneometer, the present gold standard for skin hydration assessment within the cosmetics industry. We find that THz sensing is effective at observing the presence of oil and water on the surface of the skin, these results can be verified with the measurements of capacitance taken by the corneometer. The THz measurements reveal a distinction between the responses of subjects with initially dry or well hydrated skin, this observation is particularly noticeable with the oil-based samples. Additionally, moderate correlation was found between the THz reflected amplitude and capacitance of untreated skin with a correlation coefficient of r = −0.66, suggesting THz sensing has promising potential for assessing skin hydration.