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Nutrinvent Balance – a novel encapsulate to deliver sebum reduction on the scalp

We’ve all found ourselves in the same predicament at one time or another – to wash or not to wash? Finding the perfect hair wash schedule in between our busy lifestyles can be near impossible, and we are constantly searching for time-saving solutions to help maintain our freshly washed tresses for longer! Some of us are fortunate to be able to able to wash our hair once or twice a week, but depending on your hair texture and natural level of greasiness, you may find yourself wanting to wash your hair more often. Nutrinvent Balance is our latest hair care innovation and has been designed to deliver instant sebum reduction to the scalp, helping to keep your hair cleaner for longer. This novel hair care ingredient utilises encapsulation technology that delivers many benefits both in use and in formulation. Renata Raffin, our technology expert, will explain more about this later, but the first important question to understand is, what causes our hair to become greasy in the first place?
Nutrinvent Balance
Sebum is an oily substance composed of various substances including triglycerides, wax esters, squalene and cholesterol, secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin. As a result, the skin on your head (known as your scalp) can become oily, just like the skin on your face. Its production is a normal biological function for us all and is essential in order to maintain scalp wellness. It can provide a protective barrier against external aggressors and help to maintain moisture within the hair and scalp at an optimum level, whilst also supporting healthy hair that is smooth and shiny. In the same way that we all have different skin types, from dry to oily to combination, the level of sebum naturally produced on our scalps can also vary, with more than one quarter of the world population suffering with excessive scalp oiliness [Mintel]. However, genetics is not the only contributing factor; hormonal fluctuations and changes in our external environment can also be responsible for an increase in scalp oiliness.

The overproduction of sebum on the scalp can contribute to several common problems such as dandruff, inflammation and hair loss. Combine this with the undesirable aesthetic that greasy hair brings, it’s not surprising that those of us suffering with oily scalps feel the need to reach for the shampoo bottle more frequently. Although this seems like the best solution to tackle greasy hair, washing your hair more frequently, or even every day, can come with its own set of problems. Frequent hair washing without proper care and conditioning can lead to hair that is more brittle and prone to breakage. Those of us with particularly oily scalps tend to reach for clarifying shampoos that promise deep cleansing benefits, but such formulations are usually not the holy grail solution we are looking for; many shampoos contain a higher level of surfactant (the ingredient that is there to clean your hair and scalp) , which gives that “squeaky clean” feeling that delivers the perception of super clean hair, but without proper conditioning, this can leave the hair not feeling so great!

The skin care market is flooded with an array of solutions for a diverse range of skin types, from oily, acne prone skin, to dry and sensitive skin types. The “skinification of hair” has led to the evolution of the hair care market, with “skintellectual” consumers becoming more educated about the importance of scalp care. They are moving away from basic hair cleansing routines and more towards holistic care, recognising that healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. This has led to a demand for more innovative product formats and benefits, with multi-step routines to help address their specific needs and concerns.

An important consideration when buying hair care products is convenience, with formats that are quick and easy to use growing in popularity. Time is a precious commodity for the modern consumer, so high performance formulas with long-lasting results are top of the wish list. Particularly for those who do feel the need to wash their hair more frequently or even every day, the ability to wash our hair less often would be ideal! We have seen sales of dry shampoos rise in recent years, with the dry shampoo market forecast to grow at around 7% by 2025 [Mintel], which is really demonstrating a shift in consumer lifestyles and a desire to wash our hair less often. Eco-conscious consumers are also increasingly aware of the impact that they have on the world around them, particularly as part of their beauty routines. A recent report by Mintel suggested that 57% of consumers are willing to change their beauty habits to help reduce their impact on the planet, with 27% of consumers trying to use less water in the bathroom. Therefore, solutions that promote water saving without compromising on performance will appeal to consumers, plus the convenient benefit of not needing to wash our hair as often.

So, the hair care market needs to evolve to deliver products that tackle scalp oiliness effectively without compromising on the condition of the scalp or hair aesthetics. Add to this the need for fast-acting formulas that can even reduce the time we spend washing our hair, it seems like an impossible task, right?

Nutrinvent Balance™ - Cleaner hair, for longer!

Our hair care experts here at Croda have been working hard to find the perfect solution, and our latest product innovation does not disappoint! Nutrinvent Balance delivers instant sebum reduction on the scalp from the first application, with improvements in scalp oiliness with repeated use. Combined with consumer-perceivable improvements in hair aesthetics and a reduction in hair washes needed following use of the product, what’s not to love? Our technology expert, Renata Raffin, explains more about the science behind our latest innovation.

Nutrinvent Balance employs a novel encapsulation technology, where a combination of ingredients that have been specifically selected to help reduce scalp oiliness are encased within a protective lipid shell. By encapsulating the active ingredients, they are protected from external elements, such as light, heat and other ingredients within the formulation, which provides better formulation stability. The combination of active ingredients encapsulated within Nutrinvent Balance are a blend of plant extracts that work in harmony to bring balance to hair and scalps that are prone to oiliness. Due to their unique compositions, they can deliver antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits, all of which are important properties that contribute to the homeostasis of the scalp and hair to help reduce excessive sebum production.

The encapsulation technology utilised also allows for the slow and controlled release of actives onto the scalp, which helps to deliver long-lasting benefits. Once Nutrinvent Balance is applied onto the scalp, the protective lipid capsule begins to break down, slowly releasing the active ingredients contained within. This is due to two processes known as erosion and diffusion. Imagine small holes appearing in the protective lipid shell; this is the process of erosion and allows the active ingredients to be released. Diffusion occurs naturally between areas of high and low concentrations, so when the active ingredients are released from the capsule (where the concentration is high) onto the scalp (where the concentration is low), the active ingredients migrate onto the scalp, allowing them to operate where required to mitigate sebum production.”

As part of our claim substantiation testing, it was really important for us to gather the thoughts of volunteer’s that had tried out formulations containing Nutrinvent Balance to determine whether the positive results we were seeing were truly consumer perceivable. A salon evaluation was designed where a panel of 60 volunteers were split into three groups, each evaluating a different treatment regime consisting of a basic shampoo and a conditioner containing either Nutrinvent Balance, equivalent concentrations of the un-encapsulated actives or no actives as the placebo treatment. The panellists used their allocated treatment regime for seven consecutive days and their scalp oiliness was measured via instrumental analysis on day one and seven of use. We also asked the volunteers to complete a questionnaire to gather their opinions about their scalp oiliness, as well as the look and feel of their hair after use.

After one day of use, instrumental analysis showed that Nutrinvent Balance significantly reduced the level of oiliness on the scalp, demonstrating an instant improvement in scalp oiliness, with results continuing to improve with repeated use after seven days. The results also supported the benefit of the encapsulation system in delivering fast-acting and long-lasting benefits, with the free actives not able to reduce scalp oiliness to the same extent as Nutrinvent Balance, both instantly and after seven days of use. The salon evaluation also demonstrated that this result was consumer perceivable, with 100% of panellists reporting an improvement in scalp oiliness following use of the Nutrinvent Balance regime. Panellists also reported an improvement in their hairs’ look and feel following treatment with Nutrinvent Balance, compared to the hairs’ state following their usual hair wash regime. This is an interesting point to note; Danielle mentioned earlier that traditional “deep cleansing” or “detox” hair products generally increase the level of surfactant contained within the shampoo to enhance the cleaning efficacy, which can leave the hair feeling rough and brittle. Nutrinvent Balance did not impart this effect on the hair, but actually improved hair aesthetics, including shine and dry feel, with 100% of panellists indicating that the smoothness of their hair improved following use of the Nutrinvent Balance regime.

We also wanted to determine whether use of Nutrinvent Balance could actually help reduce the frequency of hair washing as a result of its sebum reducing benefits. An additional salon evaluation was conducted to determine whether the participating volunteers felt that they would be able to extend the amount of time between each hair wash following use of the product. The results showed that the wash frequency of volunteers using the Nutrinvent Balance regime reduced by an average 29.4%, compared to an increase of 2.2% for the placebo regime. Not only will this help consumers to wash their hair less often, it will also appeal to the eco-conscious consumer who is looking to reduce their water usage.

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Published by

  • Danielle Jamieson Marketing Coordinator
  • Renata Raffin Research and Technology Manager

Nutrinvent Balance Product Overview Sheet

Nutrinvent Balance
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