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Shampoo: what is it and how to use it correctly

Shampoo is a cosmetic product to cleanse hair. It seems an easy product, but it needs to be used properly especially because it could be a daily necessity, therefore to avoid skin problems it’s best to choose the right formula and applied correctly.
Shampoos are made of a mix of tensioactive ingredients and water. Their composition includes structural elements, accessories and optional components (see below for explanation).

Dermatological shampoo: what are the differences?

Common shampoos are purely cosmetic products that aim for a cleansing goal, favoring sensory effects such as pleasant smell and abundant foaming production, whereas dermatological shampoos pay attention to surfactants’ lenity, ease of rinsing and adding the proper active ingredient for therapeutic properties.

Here are some differences between commercial and dermatological shampoos:

Characteristics Dermatological shampoos Common shampoos
Surfactants Delicate Normal
Rinsing ability Rapid Slow
Foaming Minimal Abundant
Active ingredients Present/Necessary Not present

The ideal shampoo should be a good cosmetic product with cleansing properties while helping treatments for scalp dermatitis or other skin conditions.

Shampoo chemistry and its functions

In general shampoos should remove grease and dirt from hair without altering the hair structure and without irritating the scalp.

Structural components % Function
Surfactants 15-30 Clean hair and scalp
Foam stabilizers 01-04 Maintain foam structure
Thickeners 0.05 Regulate thickness of formulations
Deionized water Qb to 100 Base for all components
Accessories % Function
Preservatives 0.1-1 Control fungal and bacterial growth
Humectants 01-05 Hinder hair dryiness
Calcium chelates 0.02 – 0.2 Remove lime residue from water
Optional components % Function
Opacifies 0.2-2 Eliminate transparency
Perfume 0.5-1 Increase pleasant smell
Active ingredients 2 Therapeutic purpose
Colorants 0.1-1 Change color
Conditioners 0.1-1 Facilitate combing

What are the most common enemies hidden in most common shampoos?


As we have stated before, surfactants or tensioactive ingredients have cleansing properties and they do so by breaking the surface tension of the water and grabbing dirt that will be eliminated with the rinsing step.
The most used surfactants are Sodium Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES). The reason why these ingredients are so popular is because they easy and inexpensive to manufacture and they produce abundant foam while washing.
Unfortunately, these anionic surfactants are irritant for the skin and environmentally pollutant, not to mention that recent studies accused them of being carcinogenic.

More foam, cleaner hair and skin?

Short answer is no. The pleasant feeling of washing and massaging our hair (and body) with the soft, white, scented “whipping cream” like foam it’s hard to pass! However, from a dermatological point of you the more foam the products it makes the more irritation it will cause and, besides the cleansing property of a product is not linked to the foaming ability.


From the need of a cleansing product, gentle on normal to sensitive skin while offering a therapeutic action, MOST researchers have developed MOST DERMICTIOL Shampoo.
Needless to say, it is SLS and SLES free and contains Ichthyol Sulfonate as active ingredient to help reduce Seborrheic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Itching and dandruff.
The optimal cleansing property and ease of rinsing ensure clean hair and scalp without triggering skin irritation and without leaving behind residues.

Dermictiol shampoo


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