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Zinc PCA Works On Itchy Scalp, Flakes, Sores, Scalp Acne  & More

Demonstrating Effects of Zinc PCA Through Proven Research By Anjinomoto Company.

The demand is stronger and ever growing for those that want to reduce sebum secretion both on the face and on the skin for a means keep skin and scalp clean and exert anti-aging effects in adults, as well as to suppress body odor, scalp and hair odor in people of all ages. Zinc pca has been researched and proven to provide excellent results for scalp odor, body odor, oily scalp, oily hair, dht production prevention (hair loss & hair thinning), scalp acne, body acne, facial acne, folliculitis (bacteria elimination), anti aging, prevention of collagen breakdown to prevent signs and symptoms of aging including wrinnkle appearance, saggy skin etc...

Zinc compounds have been reported to be effective as sebum inhibitors, odor absorbers, dht blockers, anti bacterial & anti fungal. We have recently (Anjinomoto Company) shown that zinc PCA can produce these effects and also inhibit AP-1 – a promoter of collagenase production, which is responsible for the appearance of skin wrinkles and considered to be very harmful in the scalp skin.

In this study Anjinomoto demonstrated the effects of zinc PCA; namely, sebum production inhibition (oily hair & oily skin), inhibition of bacterial growth (scalp acne, folliculitis) and suppression of AP-1 as well as dht inhibition.  Ajinomoto Company Inc. for zinc PCA.

What is zinc pca?

Zinc is one of the essential trace elements for any living body.1 Fish and shellfish are naturally rich in zinc. Zinc deficiency in humans is unlikely to occur with a balanced diet. However, an unbalanced diet is known to cause dysgeusia, reproductive dysfunction, skin roughness, hair loss and so on. In elderly people, similar unbalanced diets can lead to a compromised immune function.2

In the field of cosmetic and toiletry products, zinc is known to form nonvolatile salts with fatty acids and other substances, and exert antibacterial activity (scalp acne, body acne, facial acne, folliculitis are all caused by bacteria).

Sebum inhibiting activity and Dht Prevention

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a product of testosterone and responsible for hair loss and thinning in both men and women is produced in the body (the sebum gland) by the action of the enzyme 5 a-reductase. This DHT hormone stimulates the sebaceous (oil) glands to produce and secrete excess sebum at a higher rate in both men and women. Zinc inhibits 5 a-reductase activity.4,5  The inhibition of the DHT is what is believed to be the cornerstone of preventing Hair Loss. Zinc pca proved to prevent the the formation of dht by reducing the metabolic action required by the body to produce DHT from testosterone.

Scalp Odor, Hair Odor and Body Odor

If zinc forms salts with short-chain fatty acids that cause body odorr, the characteristic odorr disappears as shown in Figure 3. In this connection, zinc PCA, which is a zinc compound, is expected to suppress body odor, scalp odor, skin odor, hair odor by forming nonvolatile salts with short-chain fatty acids in the skin. It is one of the few natural based ingredients on the market today that can do this.

What is zinc PCA?
As described above, zinc inhibits sebum secretion, blocks dht and helps with body odor. However, the solubility of zinc salts is usually low, making it difficult to add zinc compounds to cosmetics, and difficult for the effects of zinc compounds to manifest. We paid close attention to pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), which is an organic acid, as a counter for the formation of zinc salts, and evaluated its functions.

PCA is the predominant component of NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) and is known to play important roles. PCA originates from glutamic acid abundantly contained in the living body. Glutamic acid, which is biosynthesised by hydrolysis of filaggrin (a protein) during the course of skin keratinisation, is hydrolysed and cyclised with skin enzymes (g-glutamyl-AA synthetase and g-glutamyl cyclotransferase),7 to yield PCA. Usually, PCA is found in the skin in the form of salts (Na salt, K salt, etc.) and it is abundantly contained in NMF.8 PCA, assuming the form of salt, is known to serve as a moisturiser which keeps the skin soft and to exert excellent conditioning effects on the hair.

Characteristics of Zinc Pca

The following effects of zinc PCA have been confirmed in the study:

* Reduction of unwanted sebum.

* Inhibition of activator protein-1 production.

* In addition, reduction effects on microorganisms were measured including bacteria, fungus and protozoa.

Zinc PCA gives extreme moisture and freshness to the the scalp and to the skin.  1% zinc PCA solution has been shown to significantly reduce sebum levels (oils that can be found on the scalp or the skin) on the treated skin at the end of the 4 week period, these were help in comparison to the initial recorded number. The Zinc Gluconate does not result in any measurable difference to initial value that was recorded for the subjects. These results suggest that zinc PCA can be expected to show a promising effect as cosmetic for oily skin and oily scalp.

Test Subject Procedure Shows Significant Reduction in Sebum Production
The subjects (people in the experiment) were asked to apply 1% zinc PCA aqueous solution, 1% zinc gluconate and water to the one determined side of their face. This was done morning and then again in the evening, for a total period of 4 weeks (1 month). Secreted sebum (oils) was measured by "sebumeter" measurements (SM 810 PC, Couage and Kazaka, Electronic Gm bH meter) and the measurement on the treated skin after three hours and four weeks was expressed as a ration of the initial value (before the treatment). All the subjects were required to complete a 30-minute acclimation period in the environmental chamber (22.1°C, 39.9% relative humidity), This is where the oil (sebum) final measurements were then taken of the subjects.

Results of Zinc PCa Application To Oily Skin and Hair
By application of zinc PCA, statistically (large) significant decrease of the sebum content from the initial value was observed.

Inhibition of Activator Protein-1 and Collagen

Collagen, which is indispensable for keeping the skin tense and to prevent wrinkle formation, is degraded by collagenase (an enzyme that degrades collagen). Therefore, to suppress wrinkle formation, it is necessary to suppress collagenase production.

It is known that activator protein-1 (AP-1 – a complex protein composed of a few protein units, produced by stimuli such as UV radiation) induces the production of collagenase by binding to DNA in the cell nucleus. This means that AP-1 formation needs to be suppressed to inhibit collagenase production (Fig. 7). We therefore evaluated the effect of zinc PCA in suppressing the production of AP-1. This experiment revealed that treatment with even low levels of this substance suppressed c-FOS (an indicator of AP-1 production) by about 70%. This result suggests that zinc PCA can suppress wrinkle formation.

Mechanism of collagen degradation and wrinkle formation

Zinc PCA was added to human fibroblasts and the cells were irradiated with UVA. After the irradiation, the amount of c-FOS (a component of AP-1) was determined.

Calculation Method For Results
A: zinc PCA (+), UVA irradiation (+) (add)  B: zinc PCA (-), UVA irradiation (+) (add) C: zinc PCA (-), UVA irradiation (-) c-FOS Production inhibition (%) = {1-(A-C)/(B-C)} x 10.

Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC)  and Zinc PCA

Agar (mid size) medium containing ZINCPCA at varying or multi dimensional concentrations was made and then they were placed on culture plates. Each (o the different Micro organism suspended in culture media was placed and seeded on the agar plate. After an incubation period , the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was then found. MIC is explained as the very smallest concentration on microorganisms and still there is no growth visible to the eye. (Agar plate dilution method) *The concentration indicates that of zinc PCA itself.

Challenge test for zinc PCA

Preservatives-effectiveness tests were performed on 0.1% ZINCPCA water based solution.

The following bacteria strains were used in the test as the test microorganisms.

Escherichia (bacteria) coli AT CC 8739

Pseudomonas aeruginosa AT CC 9027

Staphylococcus (bacteria) aureus AT CC 6538

Candida (candida) albicans ATCC 10231

Aspergillus niger ATCC 1644

The cell suspension was inoculated and mixed so that the concentration of viable cells was 105 to 106 cells per ml of product. These containers were incubated at 25°C and the viable cell counts calculated at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days.


Zinc PCA is expected to be useful not only in ordinary skin care but also to exert the above-mentioned effects more markedly if combined with shampoos, conditioners, and body and facial cleansers.

Augmentation of its effects is expected if the shampoos or conditioners containing this substance are used in combination with other antibacterial agents or anti-acne products (containing zinc pyrithione, piroctone olamine and so on). If combined with substances known to stimulate hair growth (amino acids, blood flow promoting agents (PCA, vitamin E and other various extracts), more efficacy in stimulating hair growth is expected. As stated above, the effect in suppressing AP-1, etc is expected to be augmented if this substance is combined with elements having an anti-oxidative activity (known as antiwrinkle agents).


Skin care: creams, lotions, tonics, shower gels, facial cleanser, etc.

Hair care: shampoos, conditioners, hair tonics, hair creams, etc.

Sun care: pre and post sun care creams, lotions, gels, etc.

Make-up: foundations, lipsticks, etc.

Recommended concentration
Leave-on products: 0.1 ~ 1.0% Rinse-off products: 0.2 ~ 1.0% (as active ingredient)

Conclusion of Zinc PCa Testing

It has been shown that zinc PCA exerts not only the effects expected from a Zn salt (sebum suppression, body odour reduction, etc.) but also some previously unknown effects (AP-1 inhibition effect, etc). Humans tend to be anxious about oil-producing and odourous areas of the body, even as they get older, and they are highly concerned about skin wrinkles, which increase with ageing. Zinc PCA is expected to be used extensively not only as a means of suppressing sebum and body odour, but also as an ingredient for anti-ageing products.

This information is furnished without warranty, expressed or implied, except that it is accurate to the best knowledge of AJINOMOTO CO. INC. It relates only to the specific material designated herein, and does not relate to use in combination with any other material or in any process. AJINOMOTO CO. INC. assumes no legal responsibility for use of or reliance upon this.


1 K., Imahori et al., Seikagakujiten (Biochemical Dictionary), Tokyo Kagaku Dozin, 3 (1987)

2 Y. Kagawa, Standard Tabels of Food Composition in Japan, 371 (2004)

3 Encyclopedia of Cosmetics (ed. Society of Cosmetic Chemists of Japan), 306 (2003)

4 D. Stamatiadis, Marie-Claire Bulteau-Portois and Irene Mowszowicz, British Journal of Dermatology, 119, 627-632 (1988)

5 Yasuro Sugimoto, Irma Lopez-Solache, Fernand Labrie and Van Luu-The, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 104, 775-778 (1995)

6 Mitsui T, New Cosmetic Science, Elsevier, 467 (1997)

7 P. G. Crounse & S. Rothberg (1961)

8 H.W. Spier, G. Pasher, Hautarzt, 7(12), 1956


Most every customer wants to know the magic ingredients of our products and why it works for well for itchy scalp, scalp flakes and flaking, scalp scabs, open scalp sores, dandruff symptoms, seborrheic dermatitis symptoms and similar scalp problems and issues. The answer lies in the ingredients. Our special blend of zinc pca, herbs and other ingredients do what most other shampoos don't even know to address. Zincplex works at three totally different levels to offer your scalp a fresh, brand new start.

The same way that a car engine can get gunked up so can your hair follicle. The result is similar to a car that has a gunked up engine. POOR PERFORMANCE! Zincplex uses special herbs and a special surfactant mixture to deep cleanse the hair follicle and the scalp itself. Remember that hair grows from the hair root embedded inside the scalp. if the hair follicle has deep dirt and bacteria inside the hair follicle or if the opening is clogged then you can have massive scalp issues. This is because fungus and bacteria love to bury themselves deep inside the hair follicle behind build up and hardened sebum. Zincplex goes after the build up to open up hair follicles through irrigation to let them breathe as they should.

Zinc Pca is used since it is considered by the manufacturer to be anti bacterial and anti fungal without being classified as a chemical. It is nature's way of going after the scalp bacteria and fungus that can cause scalp acne and pimples, scalp fungus, scalp bumps, scalp scabs and scalp sores as well as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (most scientist believe that dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are a fungus called malasezzie furur.

Zincplex also helps to bring your scalp to a very specific ph to help ward off future problems caused by bacteria, fungus etc

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