Hand hygiene: a challenge for public health

The COVID-19 pandemic has trained us to consciously keep up a good level of personal hygiene, by adopting the habit of washing and sanitising our hands regularly. However, many adults, children and health workers face skin problems as a result of over-sanitising, such as dryness, irritation, contact eczema and cracked skin.

Find out more about how over-washing of your hands may damage your skin below:

Discover our article  "Regular handwashing : essential barrier gesture"


NAOS' commitment to our future

Good personal hygiene is the first line of defense against COVID-19 and many of us are likely to continue good hygiene practice even after the pandemic. Jean-Noël Thorel, the president and founder of BIODERMA, recognized that over-washing and/or over-sanitising of hands may cause skin to dry out and therefore damage the skin barrier. Convinced that there was an urgent need for a solution, he decided to act on it. 

A hand hygiene product with the expertise of BIODERMA

It all began during the first lockdown in spring 2020. BIODERMA contributed to collective efforts to produce hydroalcoholic solutions for health workers. Our dermatological expertise led us to question the risks and effects from the repeated use of hand sanitisers on our skin barrier. 

Although these preventive measures are essential, they do unfortunately increase the risk of skin problems. As a result, NAOS innovation resources, coupled with the expertise of BIODERMA, worked together to develop a hand hygiene product that ticks all the right boxes.

Ecobiology is a unique scientific approach used by BIODERMA. It is based on the principle that the skin is an ecosystem that evolves in interaction with its environment, and that its natural mechanisms must be protected. We believe it is important to identify and understand the root cause of skin imbalances. Rather than treating the visible signs on skin, we aim to provide solutions with lasting efficacy.

With Ecobiology in mind, BIODERMA has developed a hand sanitiser capable of eliminating viruses and bacteria, while also preserving the skin’s natural biological balance.

Biphase Lipo alcoolique - a double-action barrier hand care product tailored to the "new normal". 


Caution: Flammable. Always read the label and product information before use. 
  • Aurélie Guyoux, R&D director at NAOS
    Aurélie Guyoux, NAOS Research & Development Director.

    At the beginning of the first lockdown, we quickly mobilised our production sites to produce hydroalcoholic gel that was donated to health workers. But deep down, we knew that the formula wasn’t ideal for the skin.

    So, we decided to think of an alternative solution that would be more adapted. Why not associate alcohol with a fatty or oil substance? The challenge was finding the right doses to ensure these two largely incompatible elements didn’t neutralise each other. It was essential that the alcohol retained its disinfectant properties. The NAOS and BIODERMA teams rose to this challenge in just a few months, which is quite a feat!

    Aurélie Guyoux, NAOS Research & Development Director.

Biphase Lipo alcoolique : an ethical innovation

Biphase Lipo alcoolique was created first and foremost as a response to the need to protect the skin on our hands against the effects of frequent barrier gestures. In addition to this practical contribution, 100% of the profits generated by the sales of Biphase Lipo alcoolique in our NAOS countries subsidiaries will be donated to foundations, associations and NGOs working to prevent epidemics.

Find out more about NAOS donation commitment. 

Research inspired by BIODERMA's eco-biological approach

BIODERMA has developed an eco-biological approach that considers the skin to be an ecosystem that interacts with its environment. We need to respect it, preserve its resources and, if necessary, restore a healthy skin barrier. 

4 eco-biological criteria for preserving the cutaneous balance

  1. Develop a dual-action formula that disinfects and replenishes lipids
  2. Successfully restore natural lipids while also killing germs
  3. Use biomimetic lipids directly inspired by those already present in our skin  
  4. Reinforce the skin barrier to prevent the skin from drying out

Hydration isn’t enough: replenish lipids with Biphase Lipo alcoolique

To kill germs, alcohol-based hand sanitisers attack the lipids in their membranes. These fatty substances are very similar to those in our own epidermis. The skin’s hydrolipidic film and intercellular cement, which ensures cohesion between the cutaneous cells, are the first targets. The protective shield formed by these two elements is unable to resist attacks from alcohol. That is why, using significant amount of hand sanitisers can dry out and hence may damage the skin.

Biphase Lipo alcoolique contains biomimetic lipids that not only hydrate the skin, but also help restore the cutaneous barrier, while compensating for the dry effect of alcohol.

Discover more about Biphase Lipo alcoolique from BIODERMA, the new care act for handwashing

Imagine pouring water on a dry surface: it hydrates the surface momentarily, but the water will eventually evaporate. Similarly, this happens to our skin, and the evaporation effect is also known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL).

Hydrated hands skin

Lipids (fatty substances) enables the skin to restore its barrier function by rebuilding its hydrolipidic film and intercellular cement. The skin maintains its natural protection and is better at retaining the water, hence preventing the skin from drying out.

In line with BIODERMA's ecobiology principle, Biphase Lipo alcoolique is designed to act on the causes rather than the consequences. The lipidic phase in Biphase Lipo alcoolique compensates for the reduction in lipids caused by alcohol, while replenishing lipids. Thanks to biomimetic lipids, it cares for the skin beyond the surface, while eliminating micro-organisms.

Skin barrier restoration