The viral hypochlorous spray is a god-sent for skincare lovers, acne-prone skin - Hindustan Times
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The viral hypochlorous spray is a god-sent for skincare lovers, acne-prone skin

ByAbigail banerji
May 28, 2024 04:17 PM IST

This trending skincare product is is safe for use on almost all parts of the body, including the face, arms, legs, torso and even the scalp.

If you’ve been scrolling on SkinTok lately, you are bound to have come across videos of women spraying their faces with a red-ish, orange bottle in their car after a hike or returning from the gym or on an aeroplane. You would’ve seen them touting the importance of adding Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) to their post-exercise skincare routine as they use the Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray. This new product has prompted a skincare trend on social media. But how beneficial is this for your skin and skin barrier? Dermatologists share expert opinions.

Hypochlorous Acid seems to be amassing loyal users whenever someone uses it(Unsplash )
Hypochlorous Acid seems to be amassing loyal users whenever someone uses it(Unsplash )

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Hypochlorous Acid seems to be amassing loyal users whenever someone uses it(Unsplash)
Hypochlorous Acid seems to be amassing loyal users whenever someone uses it(Unsplash)

What’s hypochlorous spray?

Amassing loyal users whenever someone uses it, Hypochlorous Acid is gaining popularity due to its gentle cleansing and fungal and microbe-fighting capabilities. Produced naturally by the body’s white blood cells, it gets rid of bacteria and harmful organisms. While HOCl is unstable in its natural state, in its commercial form, the spray typically consists of hypochlorous acid in a water-based solution. It may also contain salts and stabilizers to enhance shelf life.

“This spray makes for an effective topical antiseptic agent for wounds as it creates a clean environment. It reduces risks of infection and facilitates the healing process,” shares Dr Rashmi Shetty, Dermatologist and founder, RA Skin and Aesthetics.

Agreeing, Dr Jaishree Sharad, Cosmetic Dermatologist at Skinfiniti Clinic, says, “Based on research, HOCl’s antimicrobial properties can reduce the acne-causing bacteria, soothe skin affected by eczema and help manage flare-ups by disinfecting areas prone to eczema. It can reduce inflammation and irritation.” It is also used for atopic dermatitis and post-surgical care to reduce the risk of infections. It can be used to treat minor skin irritations, burns, etc.

Valued $4039.1 million in 2022, the forecast suggests that the global Hypochlorous Acid Market will grow to $5153.2 million by 2029. Countries like China, India, and Japan, it is experiencing rapid growth in this market as it’s driven by urbanisation, industrialisation and increasing awareness regarding hygiene and sanitation.

Varying uses for different skin types

The experts are in consensus that HOCI spray is safe for use on almost all parts of the body, including the face, arms, legs, torso and even the scalp. It can also be used around sensitive areas like the eyes and mouth, as it is non-toxic and does not sting or irritate when applied. “How frequently you use it varies as it depends on the condition being treated,” says Dr Chytra V Anand, Dermatologist and founder of Kosmoderma Skin Hair & Body Clinics, adding. “For general skincare or mild conditions, it can be used one to two times a day, daily. In severe cases, it may be applied more frequently, as directed by a healthcare professional.”

Hypochlorous is produced when salt and water are electrolysed to separate the molecules and recombine them into HOCl. It's recognised for its safety across all skin types, largely because it lacks typical skincare irritants like fragrances and preservatives. Dr Rashmi Shetty suggests that with its gentle nature and great for cleansing, it’s helpful for those with oily skin and soothes dry skin. Those with sensitive and combination skin may benefit from its ability to address irritation and excess oil without harsh chemicals.

The slayer of aeroplane acne?

A real struggle faced by travellers, airplane acne can show up as pimples, whiteheads or blackheads after a long flight. It can pop up on the face and neck. Humidity on an airplane decreases by 20%, so dry skin can accumulate excess oil under dehydrated skin cells and those with oily skin may experience an increase in oil production. Coupled with recycled air with potential irritants, along with travel stress and changes in your diet can further cause breakouts.

Instead of using hypochlorous sprays, dermats suggest focusing on hydration and drinking sufficient water while in transit. It's also advisable to skip alcohol consumption. Consider facial wipes if you want a quick refresh without the use of harsh chemicals. Cleanse your skin to remove sweat, oil and any impurities. Use a lightweight moisturiser. The excess oil production on a flight causes airplane acne, so keep a few blotting papers on hand.

Word to the wise

As with any skincare product, one should not overuse it. This product is formulated for daily use and is generally safe, but it should be used in the correct concentrations. Too high a concentration might irritate the skin, cautions Dr Jaishree Sharad. People who are allergic to chlorine should exercise caution, as HOCl is a form of chlorine.

On the other hand, Dr Chytra V Anand says, “Remember, this is used as a disinfectant for pre-procedure in clinics and hospitals so as doctors we don’t advocate daily use of this product. Women who are pregnant or nursing should consult a healthcare provider before use.”

Are there alternatives?

For those who prefer not to use HOCl, Dr Chytra V Anand says, maintaining a good skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, moisturising, and regular use of sun protection is optimal. “Products with anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial properties, like benzoyl peroxide can be considered, depending on the skin condition,” she adds.

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