8 Reasons Ectoin Is Trending
8 Reasons Ectoin Is Trending

8 Reasons Ectoin Is Trending

Given the buzz around ectoin and its comparison to ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it’s no wonder Google searches have jumped by more than 40% since January. Often referred to as a ‘bodyguard’ for your skin, it works to protect, hydrate and strengthen all at once. For anyone wanting to know more about this powerhouse ingredient, we asked two experts to explain all.
By Rebecca Hull

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Ectoin Is Known For Its Protection

“Ectoin was discovered in 1985 but has only become popular recently. It’s known as an ‘extremolyte’, something taken from extremophilic microorganisms. In simple terms, extremolytes are able to protect cellular integrity within plants in extreme weather conditions – including droughts and harsh temperatures. It does this by forming a protective and hydrating shield around them, and it’s these key benefits that experts realised could be achieved within skincare formulas. Not only can ectoin protect skin cells from chemical and physical damage, it can protect against the damaging impacts of stress and inflammation on your skin.” – Orfhlaith McKinley, head of education at Dr. Jart+

It's Deeply Hydrating

“As well as offering high levels of protection, ectoin deeply hydrates. It can penetrate the skin at a lower level, binding water deep down into the dermis to prevent any moisture escaping. Put simply, it’s a natural moisture binder and is perfect for smoothing rough, scaly skin. It also smooths out the appearance of fine lines and improves skin elasticity.” – Dr Jinah Yoo, dermatologist & founder of Dr Jinah Yoo


Every Skin Type Benefits

“Ectoin is suitable for all skin types as it’s a natural ingredient that doesn’t cause irritation. That said, it will benefit those with sensitive or dry skin the most, as well as those who are frequently exposed to environmental stressors. That includes UVA and UVB rays, as it works to protect and improve skin damage. It’s not a stand-in for sunscreen, but it does help to shield your skin from some of the harsher effects.” – Jinah

Its Popularity Is Increasing

“Google’s most-searched skin concern so far for 2023 is dry skin, with many of us trying to include more nourishing, hydrating ingredients in our routines. It’s why ectoin is having a moment. Add that to the research around better skin barrier protection and it’s even easier to see why its trending. Not only does ectoin hydrate,it can heal dry, flaky patches and ease that tight, uncomfortable feeling. It’s why you’ll find it in serums, masks and creams.” – Orfhlaith

It Acts Like A Bodyguard

“You may hear ectoin referred to as ‘your skin’s bodyguard’ because, as we’ve mentioned, it both protects and defends. It also has impressive healing abilities – a little goes a long way in soothing sunburn, and improving skin texture and tone. While it’s early days, we expect to see more after-sun and SPF formulas including it as an ingredient.” – Jinah


Other Ingredients Boost Its Efficacy

“Because ectoin is gentle, it cushions any harsh, unwanted side effects from other ingredients that might cause inflammation – like retinoids, AHAs and BHAs. On the flip, it enhances the hydrating power of other ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides, so look out for them too when you’re buying serums, creams or any specific treatment.” – Jinah

It Does Differ To Hyaluronic Acid

“Ectoin has recently been compared to hyaluronic acid, but they do different things. Ectoin does hydrate, but it’s primarily known for its protective qualities, whereas hyaluronic does nothing but hydrate. Both of these ingredients work well together – though you can easily use them separately – and will help to retain moisture within your skin. Used in tandem, they also repair the skin’s connective tissue to keep your complexion supple and smooth.” – Jinah

Finally, It Can Be Used In Various Forms

“There are plenty of ways you can incorporate ectoin into your routine, but water-based formulas – like serums and moisturisers – are the ones that will adhere properly to your skin. It’s not just skincare you’ll find ectoin in either – it’s also used in scalp serums and masks to minimise irritation, so look out for it on the ingredients list when you make your next purchase.”


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