There are so many new ingredients popping up in formulas each year, but there is one that has been called the “it” ingredient to watch that makes the perfect addition to your skincare routine – Ectoin.


What is Ectoin?

In 1985 German scientists discovered an active halophilic microorganism in the extremely harsh conditions of an Egyptian desert salt lake in Wadi El Natrun, where the salt content is ten times higher than seawater. The microbe thrived despite the constant high temperature, dryness, and strong UV irradiation. This attributed to the identified key factor of Ectoin as the self-defense and survival substance of microorganisms living in harsh environments. Organisms and even some animals can survive harsh extreme environments thanks to “extremolytes”, which are small organic molecules that can protect cells and allow these living things to not only survive but thrive in extreme conditions. Ectoin is one of these extremolytes, isolated from a strain of bacteria in a salt lake of the Egyptian desert.


Skincare benefits

Ectoin is in a class of its own acting as a bodyguard for your skin, designed to protect your skin from damage. When applied, it creates an invisible protective hydrofilm over the skin’s surface thanks to the molecule’s ability to bind and attract water to form Ectoin-water complexes. And there are more effective properties Ectoin has to offer:

  • Prevents inflammation by stabilizing the skin barrier, which prevents the stress response and the release of inflammatory by products or mediators.
  • Protects against heat, dryness, and UV radiation – in studies, those treated with Ectoin had less UVA induced DNA damage following sun exposure than those without
  • Significantly reduces trans-epidermal water loss and increases skin hydration by 39% with skin continuing to show increased hydration levels even at 24 hours after one application. Longer term studies showed that after 7 days use hydration increased by 200% and these levels were maintained for a further 7 days despite discontinuing the use of the product
  • Reduced skin redness by 23% after only 7 days
  • Reduced skin roughness by 86% after 4 weeks
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles by 19% at 4 weeks


With many proven benefits, Ectoin works in synergy with other moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, barrier-strengthening ingredients like ceramides, and with alpha or beta-hydroxy acids like glycolic, salicylic, or lactic as it can reduce and stop dryness and irritation. Ectoin is a great ingredient to include in your skincare routine – developing a range of cleansers, serums, oils, exfoliants and moisturizers for face and body could be the best bodyguard for your skin.


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