With summer here already, many of us are turning focus to being “beach body ready”. At BBTG, we believe every body is already beach ready, but if do you fancy a little primp and pamper before you hit the sand you may encounter a few problems. A common pre-beach grooming downside is shaving rash and ingrown hairs, especially in the bikini line area. To tackle this issue intimate hygiene brand SASS have created their Intimate Perfect Skin Concentrate. It’s a serum is marketed to not only prevents ingrown hairs, but minimise re-growth. Intriguing! There has to be some pretty savvy science behind those attractive claims, so let’s investigate.

Kelisoft™ – from plants to pampering!
The active ingredient is a fancy little patented compound known as Kelisoft™, which is marketed to contain the chelidonine. This is a plant-derived molecule, and a quick google will have your screen filled with reports of its ability to slow down hair growth and reduce their diameter. This is supposedly by blocking enzymes of the biochemical pathway that is essential for hair formation. The resulting minimal re-growth means that you could go longer between shaving or waxing.

This all sounds great – but we really couldn’t find any reliable scientific studies showing this property on any hair type! We were bombarded with product websites promising us the world, but we couldn’t find any scientific backup for them apart from patents! Maybe the beauty world just isn’t sharing its secrets on this one, but without the evidence The Geeks can’t recommend this ingredient!

That irritating itch…
So how does Intimate Perfect Skin Concentrate tackle the itchy nightmare that is shaving rash? Well, Chelidonine is also marketed to have anti-inflammatory properties. The claims really seem science, with clever-sounding molecules like PGE2, IL8 and VEGF being mentioned. Well, a little digging revealed that this molecule has been shown to dampen production of pro-inflammatory molecules (like NO and PGE2, which are promoters of inflammation) in some cells grown in the lab. This is about as much as we could find, and is certainly a long way off properly showing that applying it to the skin will have substantial anti-inflammatory benefit! We have to admit, we’re getting a little disappointed with this molecule’s scientific backbone.

From the New to the tried-and-tested…
This product also contains quite a few familiar ingredients that have passed under our microscope before. Glycolic acid is present in the form of Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract. This alpha hydroxy acid has collagen production boosting powers that have made it a popular ingredient in facial skin care, but it’s the exfoliate powers of this plant-derived acid that makes it a great addition to this product. When hairs become ingrown it can be due to dead skin cells accumulating in the hair follicle, trapping the hair underneath and forcing it to grow sideways. This can also become infected, leading to inflamed regions around the ingrown hair. Mild exfoliation around the newly shaved/waxed area can slough off the dead skin cells and prevent clogging, allowing the hair to grow up and out of the skin surface.

bisabolol salicylicSalicylic acid is another common facial skincare ingredient with exfoliate powers preventing ingrown hairs. Like glycolic acid, it promotes exfoliation of those potentially-follicle-clogging cells. It is also thought to have analgesic (pain-relieving) properties when applied topically, which might help to soothe post-pampering irritation. You’ll find some claims of anti-inflammatory properties of salicylic acid around the web (salicylic acid is linked to the active form of aspirin after all!), but this benefit hasn’t really been shown in studies using topical salicylic acid on the skin.

Bisabolol, on the other hand, is a familiar molecule with proven topical anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to block skin inflammation triggered by the pesky pro-inflammatory molecules TNF and IL-6 (clever sounding molecules!). Bisabolol is thought to be responsible for the soothing benefits of chamomile, so we’re a big fan of this one!

Moving on, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (aka the old gem Aloe Vera), is also well known for its soothing properties, and is older than The Geeks can even remember! (For more info on these skin care specials, check out our posts devoted to Salicylic acid and Bisabolol!).

So what else is in the bottle?
The ingredients list strays from the well know skin care favourites by introducing “fruit enzymes”. These are derived from Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract and Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract. It looks like together these ingredients may contribute extra mild exfoliating properties with the added benefit of some topical Vitamin C, but a search didn’t reveal any benefits specific for this intimate product.

The Verdict
As this product is designed for the bikini line, it’s super gentle and has been tested to ensure that it is safe for this area. As with any chemical exfoliating product, be on the lookout for reactions, but like all SASS products it is dermatological tested, gynaecologist approved (and not tested on animals). Very reassuring! Looking back at the claims, we’ve seen action against ingrowing hairs, but were disappointed with the scientific backup on slowing hair regrowth. If you’re looking to prevent ingrowing hairs and soothe with anti-inflammatory action, it’s a yes from us. If you’re looking at slowing down hair growth, we haven’t seen the data to recommend it! Maybe it’s all hidden behind the patents, but The Geeks can’t sign off on that benefit yet!

If you would like to test this out for yourself, click HERE (to get it at the best price!)