Scratching the science of itching

Instant Anti-itchWhen Symrise first launched SymMollient W/S in 2007, the hydrophilic emollient was positioned to improve skin’s suppleness by restoring its lipid content (refatting effect). Its efficacy was proven in a series of in vitro and in vivo studies, confirming its anti-dehydrating effect and that it improves skin’s tolerance of surfactants

This aqueous blend of Trideceth-9 and PEG-5 Isononanoate was put to the test again in 2015 to confirm its soothing properties and ability to help combat itching.

Addressing global concerns

Scalp irritation is linked mainly to
dandruff though it is not limited to this condition. According to Symrise, irritations such as itching and redness are often associated with aggressive treatments
like relaxers, an oily scalp or external factors such as cold and dry climates. Product intolerance is a key concern for consumers with scalp irritation issues. When purchasing hair and scalp products these consumers first want to make sure the products won’t irritate their scalp.

To assist customers in meeting consumers’ evolving personal
care needs, like scalp irritation, Symrise screened more than 15 000 compounds to establish their itch- inhibition abilities. Lars Jung, product manager from Symrise explains: ‘The combination of ingredients in SymMollient W/S provided the best itch- inhibition performance. This includes PEG-5 Isononanoate, which is a unique Symrise product produced specifically for our company and not freely available on the market.’

After establishing in vitro the itch-relief properties of SymMollient W/S, Symrise went on to test the hydrophilic emollient in vivo on 20 Caucasian volunteers (13 males and 7 females).Longterm scalp soothing

Two percent SymMollient W/S formulated in a common mild shampoo base was tested in a clinical randomised single-blind study versus a placebo. The volunteers, ranging in age from 18 to 60, all suffered from itchy scalp. Each volunteer tested both shampoos, one by one, according to a randomisation chart. Evaluation was conducted on both the short and long-term effects of SymMollient W/S, as well as its overall tolerability. The results are detailed in Figures 1 and 2.

‘Study protocol followed a two-fold approach to evaluate the instant and long-term bene ts of SymMollient W/S. Firstly the instant itch decrease was evaluated after one, ve, 15 and 30 minutes, while the long-term scalp soothing bene ts associated with itching and erythema were assessed after seven days,’ Jung concludes. 

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