Restoring the scalp microbiome can reduce itch and dandruff

Though the term ‘microbiome’ was first coined in 2001, the Ukranian scientist Sergei Winogradsky, a Ukranian scientist, was the first person that recognised the need to study microbes in their natural contexts and hence the father of microbial ecology as an avenue of research.

 A healthy scalp microbiome is a beneficial ecosystem of living bacteria that, when in balance, can be defensive against microbial or environmental changes, and can also easily recover when subjected to these changes. The Malasezzia species – a yeast species – is part of the natural cutaneous microbiota of healthy individuals. It metabolises human sebum and produces oleic acid as a breakdown product. However, when the scalp microbiome is out of balance because of diet, stress or chemical treatments which affect the scalp pH, and sebum production is increased, Malasezzia produces more oleic acid as a metabolite. The overproduction of oleic acid as a metabolite penetrates the stratum corneum and, if not already compromised by external factors, disrupts the skin barrier function and the scalp becomes dry, itchy and eventually develops into full-blown dandruff.

Glucaveen, (Avena sativa (oat) bran extract) or oat beta-glucan powder, a very water-soluble form of beta-glucan is a natural humectant that forms a film on the surface of the scalp which helps to slow down the evaporation of water and protects the scalp. In addition to this, in an in-vitro study to evaluate its prebiotic effect on the growth of Malasezzia furfur, the growth of the yeast decreased by 25% in a 72-hour period.

Ingredients that reduce sebum will also help to keep the microbiome in balance. We supply Rice Silk HR200 (Oryza sativa hull powder) and MSS-500/3H, a silica microsphere. These are oil-absorbing powders that can be used in dry shampoos or scalp masks. Our HA Oil (Ricinus communis seed oil (and) sorbitan olivate (and) sodium hyaluronate (and) caproic acid), an oily dispersion of hyaluronic acid, also has sebum-reducing properties and can be used in anhydrous applications such as hair pomades and scalp massage products.

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