the skin," said Uta-Christina Hipler, director of the laboratory at the clinic for dermatology at the university in Jena about 250 km southeast of Hanover.
Garments with microcapsules that contain certain skin-pampering agents such as vitamin E or scents such as lavender or orange oil are sold widely. The capsules are made from a variety of materials that open and release their contents when rubbed, pressed or warmed by body heat.
Wearing the garment and washing it reduces the number of microcapsules, and the item loses is extra functions. To counter this, manufacturers recently began offering consumers packets to refresh the supply of microcapsules, Buschmann said. These packets can be emptied onto the garment after it's washed. Buschmann said he was sceptical about this actually being affective.
Clothing with cyclodextrines is different, and they fulfil two functions. They can release not only scents and personal care products, they also can store unpleasant odours such as sweat or cigarette smoke, leaving sport coats still wearable after a night out at the bar.
The body's moisture releases the active ingredient. The same thing happens in the washing machine, but the cyclodextrines are not destroyed in the process and can be refilled after every wash by spraying the garment with a favourite perfume, for example. If the scent isn't wanted after a period of time, the only thing required is moistening the garment.
"It will smell strong for a short time, and the hollow compartments will be empty again," Buschmann said.
Cyclodextrines work the other way around when it comes to sweat and tobacco smells. They encapsulate the scent and store it until the next wash. Shirts and jackets with these functions already are on the market. Clothing with cyclodextrines that contain personal care agents is not yet available for sale, according to Buschmann.
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