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Kérastase Genesis Strengthening Serum for Hair and Scalp Ingredients Explained

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Published on August 25, 2023

Overview

What it is

Hair serum with 29 ingredients that contains AHA, niacinamide and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Kérastase is from France. This product is used in 1 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

AHA
Vitamin E
Niacinamide

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores (2)
Anti-Aging
Dark Spots
Scar Healing (2)
Acne Fighting
Brightening (3)

Concerns

Drying (2)
May Worsen Oily Skin (2)
Irritating (5)
Rosacea (4)
Eczema (3)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking, Solvent
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
3
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
4
Emulsifying
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
5
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
7
8
Skin Conditioning
9
Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
11
Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
12
13
14
Perfuming, UV Absorber
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
15
Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
16
Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
17
Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
18
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
19
Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
20
Antimicrobial, Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
21
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
22
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
23
Masking
24
Skin Conditioning
25
Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Antioxidant Icon
26
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
27
Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
28
Buffering, Masking
29
Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 29 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol and other additives. It has a low molecular weight and will evaporate quickly. This helps other ingredients become better absorbed and dry once applied.

Alcohol Denat. is volatile and may cause irritation. It helps draw out natural oils in skin and dry out your skin.

One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased irritation.

Alcohol is antibacterial by nature. This can help preserve products and increase their shelf life.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.
3
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Arginine is an amino acid that is important for human development. Your body uses is it to produce hair keratin and skin collagen.

As a cosmetic ingredient, Arginine has antioxidant properties and can also help repair damaged skin. This ingredient is derived either synthetically or from animals.

Arginine isn't fungal acne safe when used in the presence of other lipids (fats, fatty acids, oils, esters, etc). Oils and fats occur naturally within the skin, so take caution when using Arginine if you're prone to fungal acne.

Learn more about Arginine
4
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is derived from castor oil and polyethylene glycol (PEG). It is used as a emollient and emulsifier.

As an emulsifier, it helps prevent ingredients from separating. It also helps make the other ingredients more soluble; it is often used to solubilize fragrances. This increases spreadability and elongates shelf life in a product.

Emollients help soothe and soften the skin. They do this by creating a protective film on your skin. This barrier helps trap moisture and keeps your skin hydrated. Emollients may be effective at treating dry or itchy skin.

This ingredient may or may not be vegan, depending on the source.

Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil may not be fungal-acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Learn more about Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
5
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
6
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
7
What it does:
Community Rating: Loved

Calcium Pantothenate is calcium salt from Vitamin B5. It can be naturally found in plants and animals.

Calcium Pantothenate is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules. Free-radical molecules are capable of damaging our cells and other genetic material. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radicals by donating extra electrons. This may help reduce the signs of aging.

Our bodies use Calcium Pantothenate for various metabolic functinos. These functions include metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fatty acids.

Learn more about Calcium Pantothenate
8
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Caffeine is most associated with coffee, tea, and cacao. In skincare, it helps with calming inflammation and anti-aging.

Caffeine is an antioxidants, which help with the signs of aging. This is because antioxidants help fight skin-damaging free radical molecules.

While caffeine is used to treat cellulite and and dark circles, further studies are needed to prove this. It has been believed to help with these skin conditions due to its ability to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow.

Some studies are looking into caffeine's ability to protect against UV rays.

Learn more about Caffeine
9
What it does: Perfuming, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

It's found in the peel oil of citrus fruits and other plants such as lavender and eucalyptus. The scent of limonene is generally described as "sweet citrus".

Limonene acts as an antioxidant, meaning it helps neutralize free radicals.

When exposed to air, oxidized limonene may sensitize the skin. Because of this, limonene is often avoided by people with sensitive skin.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

Learn more about Limonene
10
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Pyridoxine Hcl.

11
What it does: Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Linalool has the same effect as Limonene when exposed to air. Oxidized linalool can cause allergies and skin sensitivity.

Linalool has a scent that is floral, spicy tropical, and citrus-like.

Learn more about Linalool
12
What it does:

We don't have a description for Polyquaternium-11.

13
What it does:

We don't have a description for Safflower Glucoside.

14
What it does: Perfuming, UV Absorber
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Benzyl Salicylate is a solvent and fragrance additive. It is an ester of benzyl alcohol and salicylic acid. This ingredient can be naturally found in some plants and plant extracts.

In fragrances, Benzyl Salicylate may be a solvent or a fragrance component. In synthetic musk scents, it is used as a solvent. For floral fragrances such as lilac and jasmine, it is used as a fragrance component. The natural scent of Benzyl Salicylate is described as "lightly-sweet, slightly balsamic".

While Benzyl Salicylate has been associated with contact dermatitis and allergies, emerging studies show it may not be caused by this ingredient alone.

However, this ingredient is often used with fragrances and other components that may cause allergies. It is still listed as a known allergen in the EU. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Another study from 2021 shows Benzyl Salicylate may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Learn more about Benzyl Salicylate
15
What it does: Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Coumarins are a group of substances found naturally in plants. There are over 1300 types of coumarins identified. It has a natural vanilla scent.

Coumarin is an identified EU known allergy, meaning it may cause an allergic reaction when applied to the skin.

In many countries, coumarin is banned as a food additive. However, it can be found in soaps, tobacco products, and some alcohol drinks.

Plants use coumarins as a chemical defense. Some plants that have coumarins include lavender, tonka beans, and yellow clovers.

Learn more about Coumarin
16
What it does: Perfuming

Citral is a fragrance and used to add a lemon-like scent to products. It is both naturally found in plants and created synthetically. In plants, it is commonly occurring in lemon myrtle, lemongrass, lemon tea-tree, lemon verbena, and other citruses.

The EU mandates Citral be listed separately as a fragrance. It is a known allergen and may cause contact dermatitis. Citral can also used as a masking ingredient.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

The term 'citral' is a collective term for two geometric isomers: geranial/Citral A and neral/Citral B.

Learn more about Citral
17
What it does: Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

Benzyl Alcohol has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These properties help lengthen the shelf life of products. Benzyl Alcohol is a solvent and helps dissolve other ingredients. It can also improve the texture and spreadability.

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is an astringent alcohol.

Using high concentrations of these alcohols are drying on the skin. They may strip away your skin's natural oils and even damage your skin barrier. Astringent alcohols may also irritate skin.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

According to the National Rosacea Society based in the US, you should be mindful of products with these alcohols in the top half of ingredients.

Any type of sanitizing product will have high amounts of alcohol to help kill bacteria and viruses.

Learn more about Benzyl Alcohol
18
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Xylitylglucoside is created from xylitol and glucose, two humectants.

Not surprisingly, this ingredient is also a humectant. It attracts and holds water in your skin, helping to maintain hydration.

This ingredient is most commonly found in a popular trio called Aquaxyl. Aquaxyl is made up of anhydroxylitol(24 - 34%), xylitylglucoside (35 - 50%), and xylitol (5 - 15%).

According to a manufacturer, Aquaxyl is known for a 3-D hydration concept and an anti-dehydration shield to reinforce the outer layer of skin.

Learn more about Xylitylglucoside
19
What it does: Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Citronellol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is often derived from plants such as roses. In fact, it can be found in many essential oils including geranium, lavender, neroli, and more. The scent of Citronellol is often described as "fresh, grassy, and citrus-like".

Since the Citronellol molecule is already unstable, Citronellol becomes irritating on the skin when exposed to air.

Citronellol is a modified terpene. Terpenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons found in plants. They make up the primary part of essential oils.

Citronellol is not able to be absorbed into deeper layers of the skin. It has low permeability,

Citronellol is also a natural insect repellent.

Learn more about Citronellol
20
What it does: Antimicrobial, Perfuming, Solvent
Community Rating: Disliked

Benzyl Benzoate is usually created from the condensation of benzoic acid and benzyl alcohol. It is used as a preservative, solvent, and has a floral/balsamic scent in large amounts.

As a preservative, Benzyl Benzoate works against bacteria and fungus. It is often used to treat scabies and lice in medicine.

Solvents are used to keep ingredients together in a product. They can help dissolve ingredients to stable bases or help evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product.

Due to its fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate can be sensitizing and may cause contact dermatitis. It is a known EU allergen. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Benzyl Benzoate can be naturally found in cranberries and peaches.

Learn more about Benzyl Benzoate
21
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

This ingredient is created from dehydrating xylitol in acidic conditions. Xylitol is a famous sugar and humectant.

Much like its predecessor, anhydroxylitol is a humectant. Humectants attract and hold water to moisturize the skin.

This ingredient is most commonly found in a popular trio called Aquaxyl. Aquaxyl is made up of anhydroxylitol (24 - 34%), xylitylglucoside (35 - 50%), and xylitol (5 - 15%).

According to a manufacturer, Aquaxyl is known for a 3-D hydration concept and an anti-dehydration shield to reinforce the outer layer of skin.

This ingredient is often derived from plants such as wood and sugarcane.

Learn more about Anhydroxylitol
22
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Xylitol is a humectant and prebiotic. It can help with dry skin.

In studies, xylitol has been shown to improve dry skin. It decreased transepidermal water loss, or when water passes through the skin and evaporates. Xylitol also showed to help improve the biomechanical properties of the skin barrier.

The prebiotic property of xylitol may also help reinforce our skin's natural microbiome. Having a healthy microbiome prevents infection by bad bacteria and helps with hydration.

As a humectant, Xylitol helps draw moisture from both the air and from deeper skin layers. This helps keep skin hydrated.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and commonly used as a sugar substitute. It is naturally occurring in plants such as strawberries and pumpkin.

Learn more about Xylitol
23
What it does: Masking

Zingiber Officinale is more commonly known as ginger.

Studies show the ginger root has antioxidant, anti-inflammation, and antimicrobial properties.

24
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

We don't have a description for Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract.

25
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Loved

Resveratrol is a famous emerging antioxidant. It is a good alternative for sensitive skin types who cannot tolerate retinoids.

This antioxidant is most famous for it's anti-aging benefits. Studies show it combats the signs of aging by:

Besides anti-aging, this ingredient also helps with skin brightening and soothing.

The most effective forms of resveratrol are isobutyrate and butyrate. These have the strongest effect on increasing A1 collagen and reducing inflammation.

A note on it being a retinoid alternative: Despite it's amazing skin benefits, it is not a replacement for retinoids. However, it is recommended for people with sensitive skin or intolerance to retinoids.

Resveratrol is naturally found in grapes, peanuts, and berries.

Learn more about Resveratrol
26
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
27
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

BHT is a synthetic antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps your body fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

BHT also helps stabilize products and prevent them from degrading. Many products are sensitive to air and light. BHT prevents them from breaking down when exposed.

28
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
29
What it does: Masking, Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 29 ingredients in this product ✨

34% are loved or liked
7% have mixed ratings
41% are disliked or very disliked
17% have no rating yet

When to use

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

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