Clariant's Ethience Boosts Skin Barrier Function

Ethience Protect restores barrier function, bringing back hydration and reducing damage.
Ethience Protect restores barrier function, bringing back hydration and reducing damage.

Clariant Active Ingredients and Beraca launch Ethience Protect (INCI: Glycerin (and) Water (Aqua) (and) Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Extract), a barrier function balancer that provides relief for compromised skin.

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This Brazil nut extract reportedly rebuilds and strengthens skin’s natural protective shield, leading to hydrated, less sensitive, healthier-looking skin.

Ethience Protect derives its performance benefits from upgraded plant-based polyphenols, known for their anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial effects on barrier function.

Working in partnership with Beraca and its sourcing communities in the Amazon, Clariant obtains the polyphenols from a co-product of Brazil nut oil production. According to Clariant, the process is fully traceable and transparent.

In vitro studies reportedly confirm that Ethience Protect acts on the three essential levels responsible for ensuring a strong and resilient barrier function, relieving compromised skin:

  • It enhances the protective outermost lipid layer, which boosts lipid metabolism, to prevent the entry of external components.
  • It restores the brick-like components and mortar quality of the stratum corneum to uphold a strong, cohesive structure.
  • It restores keratinocyte solidity and cohesion in the viable epidermis, reinforcing the skin’s structure. Ethience Protect increases keratin-10. This confirms the ingredient’s ability to strengthen the cytoskeleton component, reinforcing cell junctions and ultimately maintaining barrier function integrity.

To assess its efficacy, the active was tested in two daily “high friction” situations that are known to cause and exacerbate compromised skin conditions: shaving and prolonged face mask-wearing. The results highlight the ingredient’s potential for advancing skin barrier protection products, as well as moisturizing and repair-focused skin care.

Previously: Clariant's Waterin Plus Naturally Mimics Skin for Water Retention

Clinical studies observed key signs of a disturbed skin barrier defined by men and women in a survey to ensure the active addresses issues consumers are most concerned about. In particular, dehydrated skin and irritation, including redness.

For the group of female mask wearers experiencing dryness and visible pores, Ethience Protect was found to rehydrate the skin by 28.5% after seven days and by almost 52% after 35 days, counteracting the barrier damage caused by mask friction.

It also proved its value in providing visible relief. Additionally, spots related to mask-wearing disappeared and the skin tone was more even.

For the men in the shaving study, the team focused on dehydration and redness. The lack of hydration, closely associated with barrier damage caused by shaving, improved.

After one week, Ethience Protect reportedly boosted skin moisture by 19%, and after 35 days, by 28%. Additionally, redness caused by shaving was reduced by 8%.

Volunteers perceived a stronger improvement in terms of skin brightness and damage reduction. They also perceived a reduction in skin reactivity after seven days and even more after 35 days.

“When our skin barrier has been damaged, we not only see the effects—we feel them,” said Ernesto Horikoshi, global head of Clariant Active Ingredients. “Skin is poorly hydrated and becomes more reactive to external aggressors, which can be anything from sunlight, allergens and pollution to friction caused by shaving and face mask-wearing. Ethience Protect is the result of an upcycling process from an ethically sourced supply chain, it is an active shown to uphold the skin’s barrier function. Conditions such as dryness, redness and discomfort are alleviated and strengthened. It will provide formulators with an all-round package to develop effective products that embrace the ethos of unreproached clean beauty.”

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