Hand hygiene: a challenge for public health

In the context of COVID-19, everyone agrees that it’s important to adopt the most essential act of hygiene: regular handwashing. But how do we manage the destructive secondary effects – dryness, irritation, contact eczema, cracking and splitting – of using soap and liquid hand sanitizers on the skin? The multiple skin problems suffered by adults, children and health workers requires a solution. And fast!

Discover our article  "Regular handwashing : essential barrier gesture"


NAOS commits to our future

Scientists keep stating it. And we’ve all understood. There will be a before and an after. In the case of hygiene, this couldn’t be truer. Faultless hand hygiene will, without doubt, be part of the post-Covid world. Thanks to hand hygiene education, the good habits adopted during lockdown are set to continue. And, that’s very good news. But for Jean-Noël Thorel, NAOS President-Founder, it was unimaginable that such an essential hygiene act could also provoke exponential skin problems. Convinced that the situation was urgent, he decided to act.

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. NAOS dermatological expertise led it to question the risks of repeatedly using hand sanitizers on skin barrier efficacy. These preventive measures are essential, but they do unfortunately increase the risk of skin lesions. Working for more than 40 years in close collaboration with dermatologists and hospitals through its BIODERMA brand, NAOS has paid close attention to the dermatologist’s point of view that confirm the harmful effects of frequent handwashing and repeated use of hand sanitizers on skin quality. Simultaneously, NAOS innovation resources with the expertise of BIODERMA, develop a hand hygiene product that ticked all the right boxes. Ever loyal to its eco-biology stance and values, in record time, NAOS developed a hand disinfectant capable of eliminating viruses and bacteria, while also preserving the skin’s natural biological balance. Biphase Lipo alcoolique is a hand hygiene and care product tailored to the "new normal". 


  • 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 make hydroalcoholic gel that was donated to health workers. But deep down, we knew that the formula wasn’t ideal for the skin. So, we soon decided to think up 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 virucide properties. The NAOS teams rose to this challenge in just a few months, which is quite a feat!

    Aurélie Guyoux, NAOS Research & Development Director.

Biphase Lipo alcoolique : a generous innovation

NAOS is a company with a purpose, committed to helping humanity. This is why 100% of the profits from sales of Biphase Lipo alcoolique will be donated to NGOs and foundations acting to prevent epidemics. Biphase Lipo alcoolique invents a new gesture with meaning and a positive impact. 


Find out more about NAOS donation approach 

Research inspired by NAOS eco-biological approach

NAOS 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 its natural mechanisms by acting on the underlying causes of any misfunctioning.

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 eliminating bacteria and viruses
  3. Use biomimicking lipids directly inspired by those in the skin  
  4. Reinforce the skin barrier to prevent the skin from drying out

Hydration isn’t enough: replenishing lipids with biphase lipo alcoolique

To destroy viruses and bacteria, alcohol-based hand sanitizers 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 amounts of hand sanitizers, and even hand sanitizer with moisturiser, can damage the skin.

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


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

Some ingredients, like aloe vera or glycerine, are known to hydrate the skin. If your hands are dry from repeated washing, they provide water to compensate. However, they have no effect on the cause of this drying. It a bit like filling a colander with water – it stays wet but doesn’t hold any of the water.

Hydrated hands skin

Providing 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 – preventing the skin from drying out. Biphase Lipo alcoolique is designed to plug the gaps in order to act on the causes rather than the consequences, in line with NAOS eco-biology principles.

Skin barrier restoration