Review :: Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo

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  • Ingredients
  • Wash
  • Scent


Coal tar is an FDA-approved intervention for the treatment of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis – but only when used at a concentration of 0.5-5%. Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo is a clinically relevant 0.5% coal tar shampoo. Been wondering if coal tar could work for you? This simple, no-fuss formula will make it clear.

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Coal tar, the popular dandruff-fighting active ingredient placed front and center in Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo. A simple shampoo ranking an impressive 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 8, 000 reviews. We just had to test it for ourselves. Here’s what you need to know.

We start with the company itself – who makes Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo?

Genomma Lab is the answer. A US-based company focuses on creating ‘iconic solutions for your health and wellbeing’. Their offerings range from skincare to scalp care to joint care and even diarrhea and sexual health. The company mission – we bring wellness to the people that need it. What a feel-good statement! The company is legitimate, housing several niche brands – not necessarily an expert in scalp care or dandruff but definitely equipped to capitalize on existing scalp care research or even to create me-too products.

The exciting bit – to the Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo itself.

Our bottle arrives from Amazon. Unfortunately, our bottle arrives with a battered shell, a sticky cardboard container, and a leaking bottle. This is actually remarkably rare here at DD towers – we’ve reviewed hundreds of shampoos and this is the first outright delivery disaster.

All is not lost, however, and our intrepid reviewing team manages to salvage the situation.

Not scared away by our initial leak, we inspect the Medicasp bottle to learn more. Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo is a medicinal-looking, simple coal tar shampoo containing ‘solubilised coal tar extract’ used at 2.5% giving a coal tar concentration of 0.5%. Coal tar concentrations are an interesting thing and if you’re really interested, I highly recommend you read our guide on all things coal tar and coal tar shampoos. But if you don’t have time, let;’s just say that it’s important to know the concentration because it’s helping us gauge effectiveness. And the important number here is 0.5%.

In a 177ml bottle with a neat and effective flip-top cap dispenser, we open the disc cap in trepidation – the smell of coal tar can be pungent. However, a definite smell of coal tar arrives at our nostrils, but it’s not actually that bad! This is usable. Maybe even enjoyable as a learned smell. Like the first time drinking beer. It’s a medicinal-smelling, turpentine-like, bitter scent.

We start our in-use test and Medicasp foams extremely well making it extremely easy to lather and wash out.

Note: Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo uses sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) as the primary shampoo active – we expect any shampoo using this active to foam well. Caveat is SLES isn’t always the best choice for sensitive scalps. Its not the worst by any means, but there are gentler.

The bitter, turpentine scent grows as the hot shower water evaporates volatile aromatics from the formula. Do not expect to have a spa-like shower with Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo – but honestly, if it works, who cares about the spa? It’s worth this small pain to be free from embarrassing symptoms of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis.

Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo washes well but does it work?

Medicasp Coal Tar Shampoo truly is an extremely simple anti-dandruff formula using just 13 ingredients excluding water – a modest list in the cosmetic science world.

Out of Medicasp’s 13 ingredients, only one is the anti-dandruff, anti-psoriasis active – ‘solubilized coal tar extract’ – used at 2.5% giving a coal tar concentration of 0.5%.

Concentration is important for comparing with coal tar formulas you might have used before. If you’ve used a product that disclosed a percentage of coal tar extract but didn’t tell you the percentage of coal tar itself – then you might have used a product with just a pinch of coal tar and therefore just a pinch of potential anti-dandruff benefits.

Important to know: coal tar is supported by an FDA monograph for ‘control of’ dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis when used at a concentration of 0.5 to 5%.

Medicasp are using just enough coal tar to become medicinal and potentially effective.

Here’s what scientists know about coal tar’s effectiveness against dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis;

Note: coal tar products contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PHA) – scientists have proposed high levels of PHAs may be a cancer risk. PHAs are also found in cigarette smoke. In 2004 California courts ruled that all coal tar products of above 0.5% must carry cancer warnings. However, a 2010 review on coal tar published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology concluded, ‘no increased risk of cancer after coal tar treatment in patients with psoriasis or eczema’. If you want to opt out of using coal tar we recommend checking out our review of Sebclair Shampoo – one of the best anti-dandruff treatments we’ve tried.

Now back to Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo – what else is there to love or hate about this shampoo?

What we love;

  • It’s a super simple, no-fuss formula
  • It’s foams, spreads and washes out like a breeze
  • It doesn’t smell awful

What we can’t rave about;

  • Sodium laureth sulfate – an extremely effective cleansing ingredient however it’s an anionic cleanser which Is the harshest family of cleansing actives – within the anionic cleanser family SLES is a gentler options. Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo may not be for you if you have a hyper-sensitive scalp.
  • Fragrance – this is likely what appeases the pungent scent of coal tar to avoid the use of Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo being a sufferable experience. I’m particularly senstivie to the overuse of fragrances but this shampoo didn’t cause a reaction while reviewing.
  • Added color – caramel and red 40 to give Medicasp shampoo a medicinal brown look – we’re purists here at Dandruff Deconstructed – we would rather leave out additives that aren’t needed and may have the potential to irritate your scalp

Overall Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Dandruff Shampoo is a clinically relevant coal tar treatment for dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. If you’re wanting to test out coal tar it’s simple formula makes Medicasp an easy choice.


  • First Class MChem in Chemistry A master of chemistry, a product formulation expert and a regular reviewer on this site. Megan wishes to remain partially anonymous so she can be candid about her employer's and competitor products.

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