Ectoine

Learn about this extraordinary, bioactive protection molecule that is the next, new hero skincare ingredient.


Moisture is vital for healthy skin but everyday aggressors ranging from seasonal temperature swings, UV exposure, stress and hormonal fluctuations can negatively affect our skin’s ability to hold and retain moisture. Enter ectoine–a natural ingredient with outstanding water-binding properties that has been shown to be especially useful in preventing moisture loss.

Ectoine is a natural protection molecule found in microorganisms living under extreme conditions in locations ranging from the ocean floor and toxic hot springs, to permafrost conditions and high-altitude deserts. Known as extremophiles, these microorganisms are not only tolerant to environmental extremes such as salinity, drought, irradiation, pH and temperature, but evolve to grow optimally under these extreme conditions. 

To protect themselves from extreme external stress factors, extremophiles produce stress-protection molecules called extremolytes. The extremolyte ectoine was first discovered in the Egyptian desert in 1985 by scientists researching these microorganisms. Ectoine is an extremolyte that acts as an osmolyte. Osmolytes are used by cells of water-stressed organisms and tissues to protect against osmotic pressure, retain water, and maintain cell volume. 

Another key feature of ectoine is its strong interaction and binding capacities with water molecules that allow it to form a protective hydration shield around proteins (known as the ectoine hydrocomplex) through a process called preferential hydration. Thanks to its unique ability to direct water to where it’s needed most, ectoine is therefore able to help maintain the optimum water balance in skin, increase skin hydration for an extended period of time, and function as a superior moisturizer with long-term efficacy.​ But there’s more: in studies, ectoine has also been found to provide protection for human skin cells from damage caused by allergens, UV light, air pollution, and heat. 

The good news is that ectoine is one of the hero ingredients in Stripes, the new line offering holistic solutions for the symptoms of menopause (like extreme dryness) launched by Onda’s very own Naomi Watts. While Stripes may be one of the first skincare lines to feature ectoine, expect to see this ingredient everywhere soon. 


In the meantime, here are our four favorite ectoine products.


The Full Monty

(Peri)Menopausal skin, meet ectoine. This revolutionary ingredient uses smart-targeted hydration to provide moisture to where the skin needs it most. The perfect last step in your morning or night shower routine, and packed with antioxidant-rich acai oil, vitamins C and E, and Kakadu plum, this product packs a hydrating punch. 

New
$65.00

Dew As I Do

This antioxidant-rich moisturizer comes packed with all the juicy things menopausal skin is begging for; squalane, vitamins A, C, and E, and the star of our show, ectoine. Apply one 1-2 pumps in the morning and massage onto your face using an upwards motion. Follow this with your favorite SPF to set your skin up for success.

New
$80.00

The Power Move

This ectoine-based hydrating and plumping facial serum is perfect for any-time-of-day use. Apply 1-2 pumps onto dry skin for a midday refresher. The special formulation firms, hydrates, and plumps, while visibly smoothing the appearance of fine lines for a knockout complexion.

New
$85.00

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