Active ingredients for seborrheic dermatitis shampoo

Hi, everyone! I am new here and I don't have any prior experience with formulating cosmetics. 

I was thinking of making my own seborrheic dermatitis shampoo (and tonic, maybe) formula. Most commercially available shampoos include one or two active ingredients, sometimes not in very high concentrations. 

I was thinking of making a formula that would include all main antifungal agents currently backed by evidence in the highest concentration allowed by European legislation. Such a list would possibly include, among others, ketoconazole (2%), piroctone olamine (1%), ciclopirox olamine (1.5%), climbazole (0.5%), and salicylic acid (3%). It seems somehow reasonable to assume that using all of these active ingredients together at maximum dosage would be more effective than using only one active ingredient.

However, my intuition tells me that there's probably something seriously wrong with my reasoning here since if it was a good idea somebody would've probably done it by now. I suppose it wouldn't be terribly difficult to make a product where 5-10% would consist of active ingredients, nor am I aware of any legislative issues of doing so. (Keep in mind I don't plan to create a product to sell, I am using legislation to guide what would be considered safe.)

So, my question would be: what am I missing? 


  • Why do you want to make a product yourself? Is there nothing you've found on the market that works for you?

    Before you go down the long, winding DIY route, try Percy & Reed I'm No Flake Scalp Soothing Shampoo... it's the best shampoo I've ever used for my sensitive scalp. The Body Shop Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo used to be good, but they recently reformulated it and it's awful now (literally causes scalp itchiness, greasiness and flakes instead of preventing them).
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    So much wrong above. For example, "It seems somehow reasonable to assume that using all of these active ingredients together at maximum dosage would be more effective than using only one active ingredient." You will see an increase in adverse reactions, it won't be far more efficacious, it is likely regulated far more strictly than you believe and it would HARDLY be a first-timer formulation. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • 1: These ingredients are expensive. Each of these these ingredients can solve your problem alone. so why use all of them together and increase the cost and chance of adverse effect?

    2: these are hard to work with, solubilize and stabilize alone in a product. Mixing them will be harder.

    3. Using These will benefit you only if you have the problem. When the problem is solved, it is useless and waist of money.

  • LabLab Member
    When we formulate, in addition to being aware of the concentrations indicated by regulatory bodies as you mentioned, it's important to keep in mind that "more is better" is not always (I've seen some cases where 1% of an ingredient had the same effect as 10% of it, if no more)

    Anyway. Everything must be backed up by evidence, just because a cake calls for 2 eggs in the recipe doesn't mean you'll get 2 eggs from every chicken in your backyard. Some actives alone can be quite irritating at low concentrations (depending on each person), so a combination of several of them could increase the risk of adversal effects like Abdullah said.

    Agreeing with helenhelen, I don't think it's prudent to invest so much in it, especially financially. Simple is sometimes better, just look for something that works for you, and if you still want to make your own product, try to reproduce it (:
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    Don't do it.

    In addition to above excellent comment - you're proposing an unapproved drug product.
  • Some are drug active & high level. not  cosmetic in my country.
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