Scalp microbiota plays a major role in scalp homeostasis. This complex and dynamic community of micro-organisms protects the scalp from more pathogenic species and produces molecules that can benefit scalp health. Any modification of this ecosystem can unbalance it and lead to adverse reactions. Therefore, it is important to preserve it, especially when applying cosmetic products for hair and scalp treatments that could modify sebum production, or which contain harsh ingredients.

For the 40% of the population suffering from scalp sensitivity, quality of life can be impacted. These consumers search for efficient treatments that could relieve the symptoms. They look for products with anti-irritants, sebum control, or anti-dandruff properties amongst others. Offering them products with strong and efficient active ingredients, proven to preserve their scalp microbiota, could help solve their sensitive scalp on the long term without generating new issues.

New EquiScalp is this kind of active ingredient. Rich in phloridzin, a molecule known for its anti-irritation properties, EquiScalp from Clariant Active Ingredients is a new sustainable active ingredient obtained from Fuji apple stem cells technology. It modulates biological reactions that lead to sensitive skin, and consequently reduces visual surface markers of this sensitivity, such as redness and squames.

In a clinical trial conducted on 40 volunteers selected for their scalp sensitivity, an innovative test was performed to demonstrate the activity of EquiScalp on two irritation markers after 28 days of use. The participants were divided into two groups, one using a formulation shampoo (rinse-off application) with 2% EquiScalp and the other using a placebo. After sampling scalp surface with a swab, the levels of IL-1Ra, a key irritation mediator, and S100A8/9, a central antimicrobial peptide overexpressed in sensitive scalp conditions, were measured through ELISA method. Clariant’s experts believe this is the first time this non-invasive method has ever been used on the scalp to measure IL1-Ra and S100A8/9 levels.


Clariant Equiscalp Mode of action 700


Reduces itching and sebum overproduction

On the volunteers showing the highest levels of sensitivity, EquiScalp was able to decrease IL-1Ra by 27%, and S100A8/9 by 45.6%. In addition, in-vitro tests demonstrated that EquiScalp at 0.02% reduces histamine release by 54%. As a consequence, downstream activation, itching and sebum overproduction are reduced, as confirmed by additional clinical results showing decreases in both sebum production and squames by 20.4%.

Mild to scalp microbiota

In addition to demonstrating its soothing performance on sensitive scalp symptoms, EquiScalp’s effects on the scalp microbiota were also evaluated. The population of living bacteria (number and diversity) on volunteers was assessed. After 28 days, there was no significant change in this population, demonstrating the product is mild to the microbiota and preserves it. This shows that a high clinical and biological performance can be achieved in scalp care treatments without changing the microbiota.

Microbiota-friendly and efficient in relieving scalp sensitivity, offers formulators new potential to develop powerful soothing scalp care formulations for consumers keen to reduce their symptoms and be gentle to their scalp.

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