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Strong in Protection Soft on Skin

Figure 1. Lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool. It is both an emollient and a humectant.

Intact skin serves as the first line of defense for oral health professionals, who are at increased risk of hand dermatitis. But keeping the skin healthy can be a challenge for clinicians because of constant handwashing and the need to don and doff gloves throughout the day. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand dermatitis is one of the most prevalent types of occupational illness, with approximate costs surpassing $1 billion annually. (1) In order to promote skin integrity, clinicians must take steps to ensure their skin retains moisture and to prevent dryness, which leads to dermatitis. To support oral health professionals in these endeavors, Cranberry has developed an innovative line of products that supports skin health, including gloves coated with a proprietary formulation of soothing lanolin and vitamin E.

Lanolin and Vitamin E Defined

In order to prevent problems with skin health, Cranberry coats many of its gloves with the soothing and natural ingredients—lanolin and vitamin E. Lanolin is an additive that moisturizes and soothes skin while preventing dry, rough patches from forming in the first place. An amber-colored substance that is extracted from sheep’s wool after it is shorn but before it is washed, lanolin is composed of fatty acids and natural compounds (Figure 1). Lanolin is well known for its ability to soothe skin and is commonly used in personal care products, such as lotions, lip balms, and hair conditioners.

Lanolin is both an emollient, or skin softener, and a humectant— meaning it absorbs moisture from the air. Dry skin results from the absence of water in the top layer or epidermis of the skin. Emollients, such as lanolin, trap moisture in the epidermis to prevent skin from drying and reduce the risk of cracks forming in the skin.

Vitamin E refers to a group of fat-soluble compounds that provide anti oxidant properties. The topical application of this essential nutrient penetrates the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. Essential to healthy skin, vitamin E provides a variety of anti-inflammatory benefits, including protection from free radicals and support of wound healing. Research also demonstrates that the topical application of vitamin E can improve skin moisture by boosting its ability to retain water.

The addition of this powerful combination—lanolin and vitamin E—to gloves is designed to significantly improve the skin of oral health professionals, which is almost always under attack. The lanolin creates a barrier on the skin’s surface to keep moisture in and prevent it from evaporating, while the vitamin E soothes angry skin and prevents additional damage. For clinicians who rotate between donning and removing gloves and frequent hand washing throughout the day, these potent additives can mean the difference between maintaining skin integrity and experiencing skin breakage.

Results of Clinical Testing

The benefits of using gloves coated with lanolin and vitamin E are well documented. The Switzerland-based Skin Test Institute, which specializes in the in vivo testing of the efficacy and safety of products designed for the skin, compared Cranberry gloves with the lanolin/vitamin E coating to traditional clinical gloves on the following parameters: transepidermal water loss, skin moisture levels, skin peeling, and visible skin condition. The testing was conducted using three different tests. Trans epidermal water loss was measured with a Tewameter® (Figure 2), which uses a probe applied to the skin to measure humidity and temperature gradients. The transepidermal water loss is calculated based on the resultant humidity and temperature scores. A Corneo meter® was used to evaluate the skin’s hydration levels. The capacity of skin to retain moisture is determined by the dielectric constant of the water contained in the superficial layers of the stratum corneum, which is measured by the corneometer. The D-Squame Dry Skin Test® assessed skin dryness through test strips that increase visibility of adhering skin cells.

Figure 2. The ability of Cranberry’s coated gloves to prevent transepidermal water loss was measured with a Tewameter®

In an in vivo experiment comparing the efficacy of both types of gloves in reducing trans epidermal water loss, the gloves coated with lano lin and vitamin E decreased water loss by 31.3% after eight wearing sequences (about 6 hours of use) compared to the noncoated gloves, which reduced water loss by only 3.4% (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Cranberry gloves coated with lanolin and vitamin E outperformed traditional gloves.

The gloves coated with lanolin and vitamin E also improved skin moisture levels more than traditional gloves. After four wearing se – quences, the coated gloves already improved moisture levels by 22%, compared to 5.4% and, at eight wearing sequences, the coated gloves improved moisture levels by 33.7%, outperforming the traditional gloves, which only improved moisture levels by 8.8% (Figure 3).

Individuals wearing traditional gloves experienced more severe symptoms of skin peeling compared to those using coated gloves. Wearing coated gloves reduced the amount of skin peeling by nearly 14%. The testing also observed the effects of wearing the coated gloves on the surface of the skin. Figure 4 shows the skin surface of a clinician with dry skin. The surface appears very rough and cracked. Cranberry’s coated gloves are designed to soothe the symptoms of dehydration and irritation, with the skin surface appearing smoother and softer in as little as 6 hours of wear (Figure 5). Study results also showed that the Cranberry’s coated gloves drastically reduced perceived skin roughness and dryness. Participants noted a 41.2% decrease in perceived skin roughness with the coated gloves compared to just 18.8% with traditional glove after eight wearing sequences (Figure 3). Perceived dryness was also diminished by 44.0% among those wearing coated gloves vs 19.6% with traditional gloves after eight wearing sequences (Figure 3)

Cranberry’s Skin Health Series

As demonstrated by the testing results, gloves coated with lanolin and vitamin E help clinicians maintain their skin health and integrity. This proprietary formulation is only available with Cranberry gloves. From powder-free latex gloves to nitrile exam gloves, the benefits of this special coating can be found in the glove type preferred by individual clinicians. Cranberry’s most recent product launch is AQUA Source Nitrile Powder Free Exam Gloves, which offer the lanolin and vitamin E coating in addition to a comfortable fit, improved tactile sensitivity, and enhanced grip capabilities.

Proven Results

In addition to gloves, Cranberry also carries the S3 Series Face Mask line, many of which offer skin health benefits. Coatings of aloe vera, vitamin C, and vitamin E naturally moisturize and nourish the skin through the internal air circulation created by the natural breathing process. The masks also offer excellent breathability, secure protection, and a cool and lasting soft feeling without irritation.

Figure 4. The skin surface of this clinician is very dry and cracked.

Figure 5. The use of lanolinand vitamin E-coated gloves can help the skin surface appear smoother and softer.


  1. United States Centers for Disease and Prevention. Skin Exposures and Effects. Available at: Accessed June 25, 2014.
  2. Gehring W, Fluhr J, Gloor M. Influence of vitamin E acetate on stratum corneum hydration. Arzneimittelforschung. 1998;48:772–775.
  3. Gonullu U, Sensoy D, Uner M, Yener G, Altinkurt T. Comparing the moisturizing effects of ascorbic acid and calcium ascorbate against that of tocopherol in emulsions. J Cosmet Sci. 2006;57:465–473.

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