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Produits cosmétiques à l'ectoïne.

Which cosmetic products contain ectoine?

Derived from biotechnology, ectoine is widely used in cosmetics today. It can be found in various skincare products. Explore in this article the different treatments that contain it.

Published May 17, 2024, by Kahina, Scientific Editor — 4 min read

The various cosmetic products containing ectoine.

Theectoine is derived from the amino acid aspartate, produced by bacteria through a fermentation process. It is safe to use, and is valued for its moisturising and soothing properties for the skin. Ectoine is typically used in concentrations of 0.3 to 3.0% in cosmetics, which have been proven in studies to be effective. It is part of contemporary innovative actives and can be found in various cosmetic products.

  • Moisturising skin care.

    Theectoine is often found in moisturising skin care products, particularly face creams. Combined with butters and oils, it strengthens the skin barrier by forming a "second skin" that retains moisture, which contributes to the softening of dry skin. This effect can be explained by the ability of ectoine to accumulate water molecules around it, by establishing hydrogen bonds. It is this characteristic that allows ectoine to preserve skin hydration and increase its water concentration.

  • Soothing skin care.

    Indeed, ectoine can be found in soothing face creams. In these treatments, ectoine is used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to be capable of blocking pro-inflammatory signal cascades by stabilising membrane structures. It then soothes feelings of discomfort, and when combined with plant oils such as thecamellia oil, it deeply nourishes the skin and prevents skin dryness, which is caused by inflammation.

  • Sun care and slowing down skin ageing.

    Included in sun creams in combination with UV filters or in creams and fluids to slow down skin ageing, ectoine adds a layer of skin protection against the impact of UVA rays. Ectoine is capable of combating photoageing, that is, skin ageing caused by UV rays. Indeed, it is believed to increase the levels of antioxidant enzymes, whose function is to capture the free radicals produced by oxidative stress, itself caused by UV rays. This helps to limit radical skin damage, such as the alteration of collagen and elastin fibres, and thus skin ageing.

  • Brightening treatments. Brightening masks are offered containing ectoine. The brightening action of ectoine is believed to be due to a decrease in the activity of tyrosinase and the melanotrope hormone (α-MSH), which are essential for the synthesis of melanin, resulting in a decrease in the amount of melanin and thus a reduction in hyperpigmentation.

  • Protective hair care. Finally, theectoine is found in hair care products such as nourishing serums and foams to rebalance the scalp. In these products, ectoine provides hydration to the dry and sensitive scalp, and prevents dandruff formation, by strengthening the skin's natural barrier through its water molecule-binding properties.


  • DRILLER H. & al. The multifunctional role of ectoine as a natural cell protectant. Clinics in Dermatology (2008).

  • BILSTEIN A. & al. Ectoine-containing cream in the treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis: A randomised, comparator-controlled, intra-individual double-blind, multi-center trial. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (2014).

  • OESTERHELT D. & al. Neutrons describe ectoine effects on water H-bonding and hydration around a soluble protein and a cell membrane. Scientific Reports (2016).

  • YANG H. L. & al. The skin-whitening effects of ectoine via the suppression of α-MSH-stimulated melanogenesis and the activation of antioxidant Nrf2 pathways in UVA-irradiated keratinocytes. Antioxidants (2020).

  • ZHAO D. & al. Protective effect of ectoin on UVA/H2O2-induced oxidative damage in human skin fibroblast cells. Applied Sciences (2022).


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