Latest insight

Zinc Pyrithione | Alternatives

Share To Social Media

The anti-dandruff and preservative ingredient zinc pyrithione (ZnPT) is included within the EU’s fourth CMR Omnibus, due to its classification as a CMR 1B substance. Following consultation with CTPA membership, it was established that there is no interest in continued use of this ingredient in the UK. This means that ZnPT will be banned according to the EU Cosmetics Regulation from 1st March 2022.

We’ve witnessed an increase in alternatives, many of which offer superior performance and efficacy.


Zinc Pyrithione Alternatives

Surfachem distributes a variety of zinc pyrithione alternatives for Personal Care and Cosmetics products.

dermosoft® decalact MB

dermosoft® decalact MB (INCI: Sodium Caproyl/Lauroyl Lactylate) is a natural, multifunctional active ingredient with antimicrobial properties from Evonik Dr. Straetmans. It is a mild, natural replacement for zinc pyrithione and is highly effective against microorganisms causing skin disorders like dandruff and athlete's foot. dermosoft® decalact MB is suitable for use in face, body, hair and hand care, as well as wet wipes and shower products.



SURFACARE® PO (INCI: Piroctone Olamine), from Surfachem, has a petrochemical origin, and is an ethanolamine salt of piroctone which is derived from hydroxamic acid. Piroctone olamine is an alternative to zinc pyrithione as it contributes to reducing dandruff, decreases scalp irritation, reduces hair loss and promotes hair growth.


Piroctone Olamine and Salycylic Acid

A study from Lodén and Wessman revealed that using Piroctone Olamine and Salycylic Acid was more effective at treating dandruff.

The study

One shampoo contained piroctone olamine (0.75%) combined with salicylic acid (2%) and the other contained zinc pyrithione (1%) as active ingredient. The subjects were treated twice weekly with the shampoos for almost 4 weeks. Before each treatment the degree of dandruff was evaluated. Both shampoos were highly effective in reducing the dandruff however, the combination of piroctone olamine and salicylic acid appeared to be slightly more effective than zinc pyrithione in reducing the severity and area affected by the scaling.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid, from Salicylates and Chemicals, dissolves dead skin cells. It can be used to treat skin and scalp conditions, especially where dead skin cells have accumulated and formed thick, dry patches . A shampoo containing salicylic acid can help to increase scalp moisture to prevent dry patches dandruff.


Find Out More

For more information on the above information, please contact us or send us an email at

Discover more about our expertise and how we can help you:

Sources: Lodén and Wessman, 2000. The antidandruff efficacy of a shampoo containing piroctone olamine and salicylic acid in comparison to that of a zinc pyrithione shampoo. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 22(4), pp.285-289.

Mintel GNPD, 2021

Monday, 03 May 2021