Scalp Care, Science, and Sustainability: Clariant Active Ingredients launches EquiScalp

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (pigphoto)
© Getty Images \ (pigphoto)

Related tags Scalp care Hair care microbiome Stem cells

The personal care ingredient maker’s newest scalp care launch leverages plant stem cell technology and promises to decrease scalp desquamation (that is, peeling skin).

EquiScalp, the new scalp care ingredient technology, relies on phloridzin a plant metabolite “with anti-inflammatory, anti-lipogenesis and barrier improvement activities,” ​according to a Clariant spokesperson.

Phloridzin is a flavonoid, and “in order to make the apple stem cells produce this interesting compound,” ​explains the company, “a stress condition is induced.” ​That makes the cells generate more phloridzin, which is then extracted.

Making sustainable personal care ingredients with plant stem cells

Plant stems cells, taken from plant tissue known as meristem, have been used by beauty makers for years. But technology like that which Clariant is using is becoming more commonplace and ensures that the quality, consistency, and availability of these nearly natural inputs is reliable.

And the technology is seen as sustainable because once stem cells are gathered (in this case from Fuji apples), they can be reproduced in an industrial facility, rather than repeatedly sourced from nature. “One of the benefits of using plant stem cells is this one,” ​affirms Clariant.

“Raw material was acquired once to start the project. Then, stem cells are cultivated endlessly,” ​explains the company spokesperson. “This is a sustainable process, widely protecting biodiversity access, not food competitive and limiting water use compared to regular farming. Thanks to complete controlled of environmental conditions, extracts are reproducible and quality maintained. Also, the technology does not use agricultural lands.”

And there’s another important aspect to the sustainable personal care ingredient production technology. “This is the second benefit of the technology: there is limited waste generated,” ​notes Clariant. “For instance, most of the plant extracts obtained by plant extraction generate a lot of plant waste, in case of plant stem cells culture there is none.”

A scalp care ingredient that mitigates inflammatory response mechanisms and doesn’t disrupt microbiota

“Interestingly, [EquiScalp] tackles key disorders related to scalp sensitivity: desquamation and redness, excess of sebum, while respecting the scalp’s microbiota,” ​the Clariant spokesperson tells Cosmetics Design. “All these parameters have been improved after 28 days: desquamation decrease by 20%, and scalp sebum production reduction by 20% compared to the placebo.”

Explaining the ingredient functionality in more detail, Clariant says,“We have been able to demonstrate on volunteers’ scalp, thanks to innovative biochemical analysis, its irritation process modulation capacity. This is particularly uncommon to evaluate active ingredient efficacy directly on people’s scalps. We believe it is particularly important to understand the biological mechanism of a product in real condition. Two irritation markers, IL-1Ra and S100A8/9, known to be overstimulated during the inflammatory process such as sensitive scalp conditions, were reduced.”

EquiScalp was tested is a shampoo formulation at 2%. And Clariant notes that the new scalp care ingredient is also suited for applications such as oily scalp treatments, sensitive scalp formula products, and scalp-itch erasers.



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders. For more information about Deanna and here work, CLICK HERE​. 

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