Natural, Sustainable Skincare10 September 2021
Stability Issues9 November 2021
More than half of the world’s population currently live in urban areas – and this is expected to reach 70% by 2050. While city living can be dynamic and exhilarating, it also exposes the hair and scalp to a range of factors that affect their beauty and vitality. Stress, pollution and hairstyling can cause the sebaceous glands in the hair follicles to produce too much sebum, which makes hair greasy or oily. And – less well known until recently – dust or pollution can form deposits on the scalp and hair fibres that gradually asphyxiate the important microbes living there, leading to skin discomfort, irritation and sometimes dandruff.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the need to counteract the impact that their urban lifestyle has on their hair and scalp. A recent survey by Mintel showed that in Italy, for example, 52% of respondents are interested in haircare products that prevent the build-up of pollution, while 31% of people in India indicate that stress has an impact on the appearance of their hair. In Brazil, 54% of consumers are worried about the health of their scalp. These concerns are driving the trend for specialised hair care products around the world.
There has been renewed focus on the skin’s microbiome or microbiota. Essentially this is an ecosystem of bacteria on the skin’s surface. It works to guard against pathogens that could affect your skin and overall health. When your microbiome is balanced, your skin looks and feels healthy. However, it can become unbalanced when there’s more harmful bacteria than helpful bacteria, leading to issues like dryness and itching.
The scalp is essentially skin and is therefore no different – it supports several types of micro-organisms living in harmony with human scalp cells. The combination of grease and pollution changes the physical parameters of the scalp – and this disrupts the fragile balance of the microbiome. Despite this, most of the solutions on the market focus on managing dandruff with anti-fungal ingredients rather than purifying the scalp and resetting its microbial system.
With this in mind, ingredient and active manufacturers including BASF have been developing new solutions for this modern-day problem. One of these is Scalposine (INCI: Sarcosine). It has been developed to remove grease and impurities while replenishing beneficial strains of microbes in the scalp. The active takes advantage of the amino acid derivate Sarcosine. This is naturally found in the skin and is known as a health and wellness booster since it is a precursor of glycine, an essential amino acid which participates in the building of major skin macromolecules such as elastin and collagen.
Reducing oily scalp
Studies have indicated that Sarcosine controls the production of sebum and has an immediate soothing effect on the scalp. Some volunteers even saw their flakiness decrease by up to 75% after one month. This is an important outcome because dandruff is a pressing concern for many adults worldwide.
The global trend for urbanisation is driving consumer demand for solutions that counteract the negative impact that stress, pollution and hairstyling products have on their hair and scalp. By reducing sebum production and encouraging beneficial strains of microbes, new cosmetic ingredients such as Sarcosine help prevent scalp asphyxiation and reduce flaking, itching and a greasy appearance.
For more information on sustainably sourced ingredients and formulation advice contact Botanichem.