From head to toe – Well cared for and protected with SymClariol®

Dr. Florian Genrich
Sr. Global Product Manager at Symrise

A conversation with Dr. Florian Genrich, Sr. Global Product Manager at Symrise

EURO COSMETICS: Florian, at the SEPAWA in October in Berlin you will present SymClariol®, a globally compliant cosmetic emollient with anti-bacterial properties. SymClariol® has recently been relaunched by Symrise; what is the background?

Dr. Florian Genrich: SymClariol®, also known by its INCI decylene glycol, has been part of our Cosmetic Ingredients portfolio for more than 15 years. We realized that SymClariol® is a very versatile cosmetic multifunctional if you use it in the right way and for its real benefits.
Therefore, we have relaunched the product into our Skin Protection portfolio to highlight the benefits for skin and to get the best out of it from head to toe.

EURO COSMETICS: What is the science behind SymClariol® and what makes this ingredient remarkable compared to others?


Dr. Florian Genrich: With 10 carbon atoms in a row, decylene glycol has the longest carbon chain within our 1,2-alkanediols range. Starting from pentylene glycol, the antimicrobial properties steadily increase in parallel with increasing chain length, making SymClariol® t he strongest antimicrobial on paper.
Still, a very important factor in cosmetics is a molecule’s physicochemistry. With only 5 carbon atoms, for example, pentylene glycol is a liquid, while decylene glycol is a solid wax. Accordingly, pentylene glycol is water soluble and decylene glycol isn’t. A molecule’s physicochemical nature in combination with its antimicrobial profile defines the final performance in use.

Because of its missing water solubility, in other words lipophilic nature, SymClariol® has a lower performance in product protection, than you would expect when looking at its low minimum inhibitory concentrations. We believe that its real value can be explored much more when focusing on skin, where the missing water solubility can be a benefit. In simple words: if you have a lipophilic ingredient
on skin, and rinse it with water, this ingredient will remain, while hydrophilic ingredients go down the drain.

EURO COSMETICS: You have conducted various studies using SymClariol®. What experiments did you perform with regard to scalp care and what was the result?

Dr. Florian Genrich: We have run several studies relevant for scalp including leaveon and rinse-off systems. SymClariol® can support the reduction of dandruff flakes, reduces itchiness, and generally enhances a product’s antimicrobial performance, both against bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, linked to irritation or against fungi, in particular Malassezia. In general, SymClariol® has a rather mild broad spectrum anti-microbial profile, because it is a multifunctional.

EURO COSMETICS: Hair care products in particular often lead to irritation in the scalp area and to dandruff formation.
What advantage does SymClariol® offer in this case compared to conventional hygiene products?

Dr. Florian Genrich: SymClariol® is a multifunctional ingredient applicable in a very wide application range from pH 3 to 12.
There are hardly any incompatibilities known and the molecule is globally compliant including China. Recently zinc pyrithione, the biggest anti-dandruff active globally, has been banned from European cosmetics. We’re now beginning to see its impact on new formulations also outside Europe, as zinc pyrithione has been used not only for its anti-dandruff properties on scalp, but also for other hygiene benefits across the range of cosmetics, i.e. in bar soaps. With SymClariol®, we can offer our customers an effective alternative solution.


Applying decylene glycol against dandruff is patented by Symrise and we own several other patents on its use. Additionally, SymClariol’s® benefits for scalp care have been published in scientific literature as well as by other media, i.e. in 2019 in Cosmetics & Toiletries.

EURO COSMETICS: Irritation and redness also often occur in the process of facial care. And excessive sebum formation plays a major role in acne. What tests have been carried out here and what can SymClariol® do in the field of facial care?

Dr. Florian Genrich: That’s correct. There is something that the scalp and face have in common. Both are considered rather oily regions of the skin. SymClariol® has been tested on facial skin in vivo. The results showed a reduction of sebum and pimples. In general, SymClariol® can help reduce microbial overgrowth including but not limited to Staphylococcus aureus or Cutibacterium acnes.

EURO COSMETICS: What is the effect of SymClariol® on acne control compared to conventional products?

Dr. Florian Genrich: SymClariol® is a multifunctional cosmetic ingredient, not just an antimicrobial. It helps to reduce sebum and helps limit overgrowth of microorganisms.

Our motto is inspiring confidence. By offering deodorant, dandruff control and hygiene solutions, we aim to support consumer self-confidence and to make cosmetic products more effective.

EURO COSMETICS: Odor formation plays a major role in foot hygiene. What advantages and protection does SymClariol® offer?

Dr. Florian Genrich: In foot care, the performance of consumer products has two elements: first, odor protection and secondly, caring and protecting the skin, i.e. against fungal growth in view of the moist conditions when wearing shoes. SymClariol® will be able to support the anti-fungal performance of personal care formulations. We have recently tested a foot cream with 0.3% of SymClariol® vs. placebo in regard to its performance against the two dermatophytes Trychophyton and Epidermophyton. It means, we recommend SymClariol® to enhance hygiene concepts to keep the skin healthy and to prevent overgrowth of various microorganisms. On the other hand, for odor control I would recommend a strong
deodorant active in combination. For example, combining SymClariol® and SymDeo® B125 (INCI 2-methyl 5-cyclohexylpentanol) is a proposed concept.

EURO COSMETICS: We understand now that SymClariol® can be used from scalp to toe. In how many different ways can SymClariol® be used in hygiene products?


Dr. Florian Genrich: As SymClariol® can be effective from scalp to toe, the possibilities in cosmetic formulations are nearly unlimited! Our data suggests a focus in skin care, especially for scalp, face and feet. Stability is given from pH 3 to 12, allowing for a customized solution for your desired product. Not only in scalp care, SymClariol’s® China compliance make it a candidate even for zinc pyrithione replacement.
Symrise is the lead registrant of decylene glycol under REACH. According to our safety assessments, SymClariol® can be used up to 2% depending on the application. This does not mean that 2% is our recommended dose. In many cases even 0.3% or less are a good starting point for making modern formulations.

EURO COSMETICS: What is your vision / mission with this ingredient? And in general?

Dr. Florian Genrich: Our motto is inspiring confidence. This means that body odor, dandruff, or missing hygiene routines will impact a consumer’s confidence. By offering deodorant, dandruff control and hygiene solutions, we aim to support consumer self-confidence and to make cosmetic products more effective. We always have the consumer in mind while developing new concepts that respond to market demands.

EURO COSMETICS: Thank you for the conversation.

Dr. Florian Genrich
Sr. Global Product Manager at Symrise

Dr. Florian Genrich is a Sr. Global Product Manager at Symrise and manages a diverse cosmetic ingredients portfolio including deodorant actives, hygiene ingredients and anti-dandruff agents. After graduating from University of Hannover in Chemistry and obtaining a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Clausthal University of Technology, he joined the Symrise team in 2010.
During his tenure at Symrise, Florian has worked in Regulatory Affairs and more recently in Global Product Management for the Skin Protection portfolio.
Florian has authored several scientific publications in the area of preservatives, hygiene, deodorants as well as anti-dandruff applications.

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