Ingredients to Get Excited About – Ectoin and Glycoin

You all know by now that we are unapologetic skincare nerds. Some ingredients leave us underwhelmed. But sometimes a new ingredient comes along that gets us super excited. In this case, there are two.

A background on extremolytes

Extremolytes are found in the harshest environments on Earth (think deserts and salt lakes). Because of this, these microorganisms possess unique biological defence mechanisms that allow them to survive extreme conditions like heat, UV radiation or dryness.

Extremolytes are low-molecular substances that help stabilise biological structures like membranes and proteins and help extremophiles endure environmental stress.


Ectoin is an amino acid derivative that was discovered in the 1980s. What makes Ectoin unique is it possesses cosmotropic properties. How does it work? It surrounds both itself and the neighbouring cell membranes and proteins with a layer of water. This is called the Ectoin Hydro Complex. By doing this, it stabilises these structures and helps their fluidity. This property ensures it protects the skin cells from environmental stressors like UV light, pollution, heat, and various allergens. As the end result, the inflammation is reduced.

Key properties of Ectoin:

  • Guards against UV damage
  • Reduces inflammation, calms, and soothes
  • Improves skin barrier function and repair
  • Improves hydration
  • Minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles


Glycoin is a stress protection molecule and a sugar derivative. Its key ingredient is Glyceryl Glucoside. It is a component of Myrothamnus flabellifolia, a resurrection plant. What makes these plants interesting is the fact they have to survive lengthy periods of drought. In these conditions, other plants would wither and die. However, due to Glyceryl Glucoside, resurrection plants survive these extreme conditions. Once the rain comes, they revive and start blooming in a matter of hours. Glyceryl Glucoside hinders physical stresses that are the main culprit behind the restructuring of cell membranes that happens during dehydration. Because of this, the cell membranes retain their healthy structure.

Key properties of Glycoin:

  • Revitalises and stimulates slow and impaired cell functions
  • Improves skin smoothness, elasticity, and thickness
  • Improves hydration after a single application
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Improves tissue repair

Ishtar products that contain Glycoin

Ultralase 10 Mandelic Acid Serum

Ultralase 10 Mandelic Acid Serum is a leave-on treatment that treats acne, blemishes, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and congested and dull skin. Because of its unique anti-bacterial and antibiotic properties, Mandelic acid is considered to be an excellent treatment for adult acne sufferers. Likewise, because it carries a lower risk of pigmentation issues, it is considered safe to use for darker skin tones.

Ultralase 10 Mandelic Acid Serum contains Mandelic acid in a hydrating base that combines natural prebiotics with Glycoin, a natural stress protection molecule.

It is suitable for acne and blemish prone skin, congested skin and any skin types that want to treat dull skin and uneven texture.

Ultralase 15 Mandelic Acid Serum

Ultralase 15 Mandelic Acid Serum is our strongest Mandelic acid leave-on treatment. It is ideal as an occasional treatment.

For people who haven’t used acid-based products before, we recommend applying Ultralase 15 once every week after cleansing. Sensitive skin types can apply it after their normal moisturiser to slow down the delivery of the acid.

If there are no signs of irritation or visible peeling, the usage can be upped to twice per week. It goes without saying, not all skin types require this frequency. However, human-based trials show this kind of frequency can work well for people suffering from adult acne or melasma.

Ishtar products that contain Ectoin

Time CODE Anti-aging Moisturiser

Time CODE Anti-aging Moisturiser combines elasticity boosting copper PCA with Ectoin to deliver Copper Optimised Dermal Extremolyte (C.O.D.E.).

Copper PCA helps to regulate moisture in the skin, diminishes redness and improves elasticity.

Ectoin has a multi-function action and helps to protect the skin from UVA photoaging, soothes inflammation and intensely hydrates the skin.

Plant Phytosterols (include stigmasterol, campesterol, and sitosterol) are found in the skin’s lipid layer. They help to maintain a healthy skin barrier, but also soothe the skin and have anti-aging properties.

Hydrolised Glycosaminoglycans plump up and hydrate the skin.

Time CODE Anti-aging Moisturiser is suitable for all skin types concerned with the signs of aging. For additional skin rejuvenation, you can try combining it with our Retinol serums.

Roberta Striga