A New Beauty Ingredient That Will Transform Your Skincare Routine

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When shopping for beauty products, it's normal to be hesitant about products with unfamiliar ingredients. After all, if you don't know what it does, why put it on your skin?

Ectoin is likely an unfamiliar ingredient. Still, once you learn a little more about it, it's sure to become a skincare staple!

What is Ectoin? 

Ectoin, sometimes spelled ectoine, is a natural amino acid derivative. This molecule is known as an extremolyte. Extremolytes are natural compounds produced by microorganisms (like bacteria) that live in extreme environments (think hot springs, glaciers or extremely salty lakes). 

An extremolyte molecule has unique protective powers that allow organisms to survive in all kinds of harsh conditions. Scientists have figured out how to produce ectoin in a lab, which lets us utilize it in skincare.

Besides its protective properties, ectoin is also part of a group called osmolytes. Osmolytes offer protection, but they are also humectants, which means they draw water to themselves. Other popular osmolytes you might be familiar with are betaine, glucose and aspartic acid. 

What Can Ectoin Do For My Skin? 

Since ectoin is a double-duty molecule, adding it to your skincare regimen can be highly beneficial. 

First, studies have shown that ectoin helps prevent visible signs of aging that come from UV exposure. The same studies found that it not only counteracts premature aging but actively protects the skin from cell damage caused by UV rays. This means that it's a perfect complement to other antioxidants in your routine. When it comes to antioxidant power, the more, the merrier! 

Remember that ectoin is also a powerful humectant. As an osmolyte, ectoin draws in water molecules and then binds that water to itself. By doing this, it creates a protective, cushy buffer around your skin cells. It also helps improve your skin's moisture levels. 

Regular use of ectoin may also improve a compromised moisture barrier! The healthier your skin's moisture barrier is, the more resilient it is and the less likely you are to suffer from acne, eczema, and other skin irritations. This is why it's so important to find moisturizers that both hydrate and protect. The right moisturizer is even more critical if you have naturally dry skin or live in a low-humidity climate.

Where Does Ectoin Fit Into My Beauty Routine? 

The better question is, where doesn't ectoin fit? The good news is that ectoin can be slotted into your beauty routine morning and evening in almost any step you choose. 

If you want to include it with your antioxidant step, choose a lightweight serum or emulsion that will absorb quickly and layer well underneath your other steps. 

If you prefer to save it for one of your final moisturizing steps, then find a gel moisturizer, a rich cream or mask infused with ectoin. This will help draw even more moisture into your skin. 

Add ectoin to your pre-makeup routine to help combat dry office air or low-humidity weather, too!

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