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Aqua Bio Technology ASA (ABT) has globally launched an exfoliating agent for skin care that is derived from the enzyme secreted by fish larvae inside the egg just prior to hatching. Zonase X (INCI: Not Provided) is composed of marine peptides and non-toxic marine enzymes. The product is said to provide gentle, effective exfoliation, making it a safe and natural alternative to α-hydroxy acid, harsh fruit enzyme peels and other exfoliating agents. In addition, the ingredient has shown moisturizing properties, which the company reports allows for accelerated skin cell growth.
The enzyme was first discovered at salmon fish hatcheries in Norway, where staff members noticed the smoothness of their hands. This benefit was found to be caused by an enzyme in the water secreted by fish larvae prior to hatching. This enzyme safely helps the larvae to break through the egg shell, and further research indicated that the egg shell has a protein structure similar to the stratum corneum protein of human skin. ABT separates and purifies the natural raw material originating from the hatchery waters without harming the fish, larvae or eggs.
According to the company, the exfoliant: has a long shelf life; does not cause skin inflammation; has a pH level of 7.5 but is provided in a solution where it is active at levels as low as 5.0; shows exfoliation comparable to 1 hr of exposure to commonly used α- and β- hydroxy acids within 24–48 hr; and is non-allergenic.