New barrier function balancer for skin care

Source: Clariant

Clariant Active Ingredients and Beraca launch “Ethience Protect”, a new barrier function balancer for skin care, with proven efficacy on key consumer concerns and eco-conscious production. The innovative Brazil nut extract rebuilds and strengthens skin’s natural protective shield, leading to better hydrated, less sensitive, healthier looking skin. The skin is the body’s first line of defense. It protects against the entry of harmful components and also avoids excessive water loss. However environmental impacts, friction, stress, fatigue, and aging can impair and unbalance the barrier function, typically causing dry, patchy, irritated and, itchy skin.

Upcylcling process

“When our skin barrier has been damaged, we not only see the effects, we feel them. 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,” comments Ernesto Horikoshi, Global Head of Clariant Active Ingredients. “This novel ingredient 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. Strengthened and less susceptible to weakness, conditions like dryness, redness and discomfort are alleviated. It will provide formulators with an all-round package to develop effective products that embrace the ethos of unreproached clean beauty.”


In vitro studies confirm that the ingredient 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, boosting lipid metabolism, to prevent 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 strongly increases keratin-10. This confirms the ingredient’s ability to strengthen an important cytoskeleton component, reinforcing cell junctions and ultimately maintaining barrier function integrity.

Co-product from nut oil production

It 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 Active Ingredients obtains the polyphenols from a co-product of Brazil nut oil production. The process is fully traceable and transparent. Ethience Protect touches the circular economy concept as the entire fruit is used. Even the residue from the final extraction is used by local communities as a natural fertilizer. To assess its efficacy in real life, the ingredient was put to the test in two daily “high friction” situations known to cause and exacerbate compromised skin conditions – shaving and prolonged face mask wearing. The results highlight its potential for advancing skin barrier protection products, and moisturizing and repair-focused skin care formats.

Rehydration after seven days

Clinical studies focused on addressing key signs of a disturbed skin barrier defined by men and women in a recent survey, to ensure the active addresses issues of most concern to consumers. Dehydrated skin and irritation, including redness, came high on their lists. For the group of female mask wearers, experiencing dryness and visible pores, the ingredient rehydrated the skin by 28.5% after only 7 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. 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, the product boosted skin moisture by 19%, and after 35 days by 28%. 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 their skin reactivity after 7 days, and even more after 35 days.

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