Ethience Protect is a new active ingredient that aims at restoring and repairing skin compromised by recurrent external aggressions, such as mask wearing or daily shaving. It was developed by Clariant Active Ingredients and its Brazilian partner Beraca, with one idea in mind: offering customers a sustainably and ethically sourced active ingredient, which supports local communities.
Sustainable sourcing from the Amazon rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is the world’s most biodiverse area. This place offers a unique ecosystem, as one in ten known species in the world (animal and vegetal) and one-third of the trees in the world live there. Among all the majestic trees that are present in the rainforest, one is particularly important: the Brazil nut tree, one of the tallest and longest-living trees growing in the region. It provides food and habitat for many forest creatures.
The Brazil nut tree produces the Brazil nut, a fruit composed of a hard pod containing around 20 to 30 seeds. Once the fruits reach full maturity, they fall on the ground.
Brazil nut tree
Brazil nut extracted from the pod
The Amazon rainforest is also the home of 24 million people from different ethnicities. Throughout the centuries, these people learned to live in harmony with the forest and its species, selectively picking only what they need. For example, the nut collectors have to go deep into the forest during the harvesting season to manually collect Brazil nuts from the floor. The seeds are used by locals as a source of protein and are highly appreciated internationally. They are also used for the cosmetics industry as their oil is rich in polyphenols, active molecules with a wide range of beneficial properties for the skin.
However, today this biodiversity is at risk mainly due to human activity, such as soy farming and cattle production. For this reason, the area’s extensive biodiversity needs better social and economic protection to secure the resources it can provide.
With our Brazilian partner, Beraca, we work closely with these communities, providing social and financial opportunities to the local families, resulting in an important source of extra income for them. Long-term projects, training and initiatives are set in place to maintain stable, ethical and transparent relationships between the communities and customers. Thanks to the support brought to the local communities, we are helping to preserve the Amazon rainforest while spreading the concept that the forest is worth more standing up than cut. By enhancing the Amazon’s natural resources and promoting this cycle with positive economic and environmental impacts, these communities become forest guardians. The local harvesters are engaged in forest protection, they continue to teach their sons what they know about the forest, passing on knowledge as done for generations. In the end, they help their families to preserve their culture and be able to stay on their land.
Through this partnership, Clariant Active Ingredients and Beraca looked into a new active ingredient that could both increase the benefits brought to the communities and respond to customers’ current beauty needs. Following investigation, we discovered that the residue from the Brazil nut oil extraction, called the press cake, was still rich in polyphenols. These molecules are known to have strong activities on the skin as they have antioxidant and anti-irritation properties. This was the opportunity to extend the use of the Brazil nut by finding a new use for the press cake and creating a new product: Ethience Protect. Thanks to Ethience Protect, the Brazil nut now escapes the traditional linear economy model (take-make-waste) and touches the concept of the circular economy as this is a residue-free cycle.
Repairs and protects compromised skin
Not only has Ethience Protect a positive impact on the environment, it also has a positive impact on our skin. By stimulating epidermal lipid synthesis and keratinocytes differentiation, it reinforces the brick and mortar structure of the stratum corneum. It also strengthens keratinocytes structure and cohesion in the epidermis by stimulating the synthesis of elements constitutive of the cytoskeleton and the cell-cell junctions.
As a result, this sustainable active ingredient is able to efficiently reinforce skin barrier compromised by daily aggressors. This was demonstrated through two clinical studies, with two real life panels of volunteers showing compromised skin.
The first panel was composed of women who wore daily protective face masks and presented signs of redness and visible pores. While using a formulation containing 1% Ethience Protect, their condition was already significantly improved after 7 days as hydration was increased by 29%. The results were even stronger after 35 days, with a hydration level increased by 52%.
The second panel was composed of men who shaved daily and presented visible signs of skin damage such as redness. Here again, after using a formulation containing 1% Ethience Protect, their condition was strongly improved after 35 days, with redness decreasing by 8% and hydration increasing by 28%.
With Ethience Protect, it is possible to offer customers an active ingredient that responds to their quest for products with limited impact on the environment, but also with scientifically proven efficacy in order to solve their daily skin issues. To learn more on this new active ingredient, its mechanism of action and its sourcing, you can also download an example of a formulation specially designed to highlight the benefits of Ethience Protect: the No Compromise Skin Moisturizer.
Mode of action video