The students who participate in the “Start-Up SPbU” have invented a cream to identify skin types with bio-compatible indicators and diagnose various diseases.

Dry, oily, normal or combined? Few girls, if any, were floppy about their skin type. The skin type is a reflection of your pH balance, and an accurate way of knowing your pH is by getting advice from a professional with a pH Meter. The team of the project “A-skinChem” has found a more convenient solution: a cream that changes its colour depending on your skin type.

— Today we have a clear classification of skin types which cosmetic industry use in skin care and beauty business, — said Nina Trubitsyna, an author of the idea to create the cream, biologist, post-graduate student at SPbU. — Just as ordinary people may find it difficult to know their skin type, so the tests that you can find in the Internet may not lead to reliable results here. Creating a special diagnostic technique is vital.

Every skin type has its pH level that refers to how acidic or alkaline a substance might be on a scale of 0-13, with 0 being most acidic and 13 being most alkaline; your skin sits at an acidic pH level of 5.5: anything over 7 is alkaline and usually oily, while anything under 5.5 is considered acidic and may be dry, said the young researcher. If you apply our cream with bio-compatible indicators on your face, your face will change its colour and you will know your pH level and skin type. The team has already tested the cream on red-cabbage juice that changes its colour (either red or violet) depending on pH level.

The project is headed by Andrei Shishov, Candidate of Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, SPbU, and comprises four students: Artem Samoilov, Capitan of the team, a first-year graduate student in history; Aleksei Pochivalov, a first-year graduate student in chemistry; Roman Gapechin, a second-year student in residency training in neurology; and Nina Trubitsyna, a second-year post-graduate student in biology.

The students have successfully passed a selection round held by the expert council and got qualified for the second round. With three months ahead, they have to choose a necessary substance-indicator, identify skin areas for diagnostics, and test the cream on those who are willing to try it. Even now the students predict how the cream may be used to diagnose various diseases in the future.

— You don’t have to figure out whether the cream will suit you or it will not, — said Artem Samoilov. — You can store skin-care products in special nano-capsules which will dissolve depending on your pH levels. Besides, this technology can be used in creating special indicators to monitor substances excreted by the skin as a screening test to assess your overall health.