Hydrolyzed pea protein offers softer, stronger hair: Sensient Beauty Q&A

By Olivia DeSmit

- Last updated on GMT

Sensibiopro Pea Protein is a hydrolyzed pea protein ingredient developed by Sensient Beauty.  Image © dlerick / Getty Images
Sensibiopro Pea Protein is a hydrolyzed pea protein ingredient developed by Sensient Beauty. Image © dlerick / Getty Images

Related tags pea protein Hair care

A new hydrolyzed pea protein ingredient, Sensibiopro Pea Protein, helps improve moisture retention in hair strands, resulting in stronger and softer hair.

CosmeticsDesign-USA (CDU) spoke with the team at Sensient Beauty, the creators of this product, to learn more about its launch and what it means for the cosmetics and beauty industries. We chatted with Simone Stefoni, innovation scientist in Brazil; Raissa Mastello, applications scientist; and Lisa Bouldin, senior marketing director of personal care and specialty markets.

CDU: How does the ingredient work to improve moisture retention in the hair strand?

Stefoni & Mastello: Damaged hair becomes more porous than healthy hair and can absorb more moisture or water. Additionally, the loss of hair’s water content causes it to become more brittle and dull. We understand consumers’ overall desire to be improved moisture retention, which in turn improves hair integrity: hair malleability, strength and perceived softness.

Sensibiopro Pea Protein is a hydrolyzed protein that acts to attract moisture because of its chemical nature as well as the free amino acids within it being small enough to attach to or penetrate into the hair shaft. These properties help make hair strands more flexible and less prone to breakage.

We’ve been able to confirm the ingredient causes an improvement in malleability, softness, frizz control and strength.

CDU: What is the potential impact of this ingredient for manufacturers and suppliers?

Stefoni & Bouldin: Hair composition is based on proteins, therefore raw materials produced from amino acids, peptides or hydrolyzed proteins are the best options to correct damaged hair structure. Sensibiopro Pea Protein hydrolysis is the breakdown of pea proteins into smaller peptides and free amino acids. This allows these smaller molecules the ability to attach to or penetrate the hair shaft so the hair is repaired. Hair products containing proteins, especially if they are vegan, are the present and the future for the hair care category. The impact is to ultimately provide a natural active raw material with proven clinical efficacy.

CDU: Were there any challenges that needed to be overcome in order to bring this ingredient innovation to launch?

Stefoni: The challenges are continuous, but we especially put effort into providing products with a sustainable origin, no GMO, a guaranteed supply chain, process optimization and innovative ingredients with high quality and safety.

CDU: Can you share some background information about the development and formulation process of this ingredient innovation?

Stefoni: Sensibiopro Pea Protein contains a similar amino acid composition to hair’s structure. The pea peptides and amino acids are understood to penetrate the hair shaft and bind to keratin molecules, through ionic and hydrogen bonding. This strengthens the hair and improves overall appearance. Sensibiopro Pea Protein was developed in collaboration with our ingredients and hair care excellence center teams to provide efficacy even in rinse-off hair care products, such as shampoo and conditioner.

CDU: Is this innovation the first of its kind?

Stefoni & Bouldin: It is the first in our portfolio and the first of many others that we are developing. We believe that protein derivatives are the future in cosmetic treatments and have a core capability in protein ingredients.

CDU: Are there any future plans to further develop ingredients or formulations using the technology behind this ingredient innovation?

Mastello:  Yes, our innovation plan is to launch new products from different vegetable sources using different routes to obtain the maximum protein content, providing high quality, reliable and performing ingredients.


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