Hair and Skin Innovations from P&G: Pantene, Olay and Head & Shoulders

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How to cite: Wong M. Hair and Skin Innovations from P&G: Pantene, Olay and Head & Shoulders. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. April 10, 2020. Accessed June 12, 2024.

This post is sponsored by P&G.

I visited P&G’s Singapore Innovation Centre in February, where I had the chance to look at their state-of-the-art laboratories and talk to some of their scientists about their latest product innovations. I loved having the chance to chat to their scientists about the nitty-gritty behind their formulations! Here are some of the new products I learned about during the visit.

Pantene’s New Lipid-Replenishing Shampoo

Pantene have just launched a new lipid replenishing formula for their shampoo. Conventional shampoos wash away dirt, but also strip the hair of lipids, which are oily substances that hair needs to stay flexible and smooth.


Lipid ingredients like cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol in hair products can be added back into hair to have a conditioning effect, but they’re difficult to incorporate into shampoos. Pantene have worked out how to include them in their new shampoo using a patented gel network formulation, so lipids are actually added back into the hair during washing, instead of just stripping! The added lipids means hair strands are stronger and less prone to breakage. This extra conditioning is especially important when washing your hair, since it’s at its most fragile when wet.

Here’s a strand strength test showing hair washed with Pantene versus hair washed with a competitor brand:

Pantene’s range has 7 variants for different hair concerns. I’ve been using the Repair and Protect formula for a few weeks now and I’ve been enjoying them! The shampoo is very gentle and hydrating, while the conditioner is pleasantly lightweight. Drugstore conditioners often weigh my porous bleached hair down and make it limp, but this Pantene conditioner left it bouncy and silky. I think it’s due to the use of bis-aminopropyl dimethicone rather than the usual dimethicone. Like my favourite amodimethicone, bis-aminopropyl dimethicone is slightly charged, which prevents it from building up too thick a layer on your hair.

Related post: Amodimethicone: The Science of My Favourite Hair Ingredient

Olay’s ProX Range

Dermatologist-fave brand Olay has been researching niacinamide (vitamin B3) for over 25 years. Their scientists have partnered with universities and dermatologists to publish over 30 peer-reviewed articles about niacinamide in skincare!

Related post: What Is Niacinamide and What Does It Do in Skincare?

Naturally, many of their products use niacinamide, including the ProX line. Niacinamide helps with wrinkle and spot reduction, as well as strengthen the skin barrier, reduce skin redness and yellowing, reduce sebum production and the appearance of pores. This is why niacinamide has such a strong reputation for helping you achieve bright and glowing skin.

Olay also conducts genomics research to really understand how skin works, and how to tackle skin problems. The ProX line was developed after analysing the gene expressions of over 2000 women over 20 years. There are two ranges within ProX:

  • Dermatological Anti-Aging, which targets visible signs of aging and signals skin to behave as it did when it was younger
  • Dermatological Brightening, which helps with age spots and pigmentation

The whole range is fragrance-free so those who are sensitive to fragrance can also use it.

Olay ProX Skincare Range

I’ve found that the ProX products are formulated to be very lightweight and absorb quickly, making them easy to layer and comfortable to wear during the day, even in humid weather. They’re also very hydrating products, similar to what you’d find in Asian skincare ranges.

My favourite product from the range is the ProX Brightening Spot Fading Essence, which includes brown algae (Laminaria saccharina) extract and licorice derivative dipotassium glycyrrhizate to fade pigment along with niacinamide. The Brightening Essence Water is a more budget-friendly, less concentrated version that’s also fantastically hydrating as well, and layers very well under sunscreen during the day.

The star product in the Anti-Aging range is the Anti-Aging 3D Youth Essence, which contains niacinamide, carob extract which stimulates repair and regeneration of collagen, and anti-inflammatory artichoke extract. There’s also PAL-KTTKS peptide (Matrixyl, or palmitoyl pentapeptide-4), which acts to reduce wrinkles.

In Australia, the Olay ProX range is exclusively found at Priceline.

Olay ProX Brightening Essence Water

Head & Shoulders Gentle Anti-Dandruff Haircare

Head & Shoulders is famous for its anti-dandruff range. There are three major factors that contribute to dandruff:

  • Malassezia globosa, a fungus which is naturally found on the scalp and overgrows in people with dandruff
  • Sebum, a natural moisturiser for skin which also acts as food for Malassezia globosa, which digests it and turns it into oleic acid, an irritating fatty acid
  • Individual susceptibility to oleic acid irritation

P&G Hair Salon

Head & Shoulders products contain zinc pyrithione to control the growth of dandruff-causing fungus. While you might think of anti-dandruff shampoos as harsh and stripping, this isn’t always the case – Head & Shoulders’ new Supreme 0% Purify & Volume range effectively removes grease and delivers anti-dandruff benefits without overly stripping hair or drying out your scalp.

Related post: Behind the Scenes at Procter & Gamble’s Singapore Innovation Centre

Do you use any of these brands? What did you think?

This post is sponsored by P&G; however, the content is all based on my independent research and my honest experience. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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17 thoughts on “Hair and Skin Innovations from P&G: Pantene, Olay and Head & Shoulders”

  1. Does the new Pantene have the original scent, or does it have a new improved scent? I can’t stand the smell of the original formulation. WAY to heavy, strong and floral. Makes me nauseous.

    • I can’t really remember the old scent – I might be wrong, but I think all of the different varieties had different scents?

  2. I used Olay for quite a few years but found it hard to find products without fragrance. I also prefer products that are in pump containers or tubes, not jars. In more recent years I’ve committed to cruelty free brands, so I’m not using P&G products. If they were cruelty free, I’d buy some of their fragrance free , non-jar products.

  3. I am tempted by Panetene but i always find mainstream shampoos have high PH (actually some high end also have high PH…). What PH are these new shampoos, do you know?

    • These are fatty alcohols, which have long hydrocarbon chains – these behave a lot more like oils than like short alcohols like ethanol.

  4. Oh this is exciting! I definitely want to try the Pantene Shampoo and the new Olay line! I already use Head and Shoulders and I love their new range! It’s nice to actually have options now when you have to use a dandruff shampoo and aren’t stuck with the boring same ol’ stuff! (I use their new conditioners and scalp scrub).

  5. Thank you so much for this enlightening post, I have significantly got some thing right here and I will bookmark this page for your next upcoming post.

  6. I’m a huge fan on your Instagram & YouTube channel! Love learning all things relating to sunscreens & skincare & your advice is so informative based on science, so I can definitely rely on your feedback. Plus you test Australian products which is fantastic! Thank you.

    What are your thoughts on Olay Complete moisturizer with SPF 50? Is it sufficient & protective enough to layer it up like sunscreen (3 fingers)? Does it compare to a just sunscreen?


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