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Chitosan and Skincare: Let's Get to the Basics

You may have heard big skincare buzzwords like hyaluronic acid, AHAs/BHAs, or retinols, and the fact is, all skincare ingredients serve different purposes to maintain a vibrant skincare routine.

A lesser known but equally heavyweight skincare ingredient is chitosan, a 100% natural, safe, and beneficial ingredient that ticks all the skincare and sustainability boxes. So, what exactly is chitosan, and how does it work its magic on our skin?

Understanding Chitosan:

Chitosan is a polysaccharide derived from chitin, a natural compound found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans, insects, or fungi. Through a process of deacetylation, chitin is transformed into chitosan, which boasts a variety of unique properties beneficial for skincare.

Insectta's chitosan is derived from Hermetia illucens, which not only is 100% naturally sourced, but is refined with proprietary technology, resulting in a purer, safer chitosan.

The Benefits of Chitosan for Skincare:

  1. Moisture Retention: One of the standout features of chitosan is its ability to lock in moisture. Due to its molecular structure, chitosan forms a protective barrier on the skin's surface, preventing moisture loss and helping to maintain optimal hydration levels. This makes it particularly beneficial for individuals with dry or dehydrated skin, providing a soothing and hydrating effect.

  2. Anti-Aging Properties: Chitosan possesses antioxidant properties, which help to combat free radicals and oxidative stress. By neutralizing these harmful molecules, chitosan can help reduce the signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Additionally, it stimulates collagen production, promoting skin elasticity and firmness for a more youthful appearance.

  3. Wound Healing: Chitosan has been extensively studied for its wound healing properties. It possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce the risk of infection and inflammation while promoting tissue regeneration. This makes it an ideal ingredient for skincare products designed to soothe and heal damaged or irritated skin, such as cuts, burns, or eczema.

  4. Oil Control: For those with oily or acne-prone skin, chitosan offers a natural solution for controlling excess oil production. By absorbing excess sebum and impurities from the skin's surface, chitosan helps to mattify the complexion and minimize the appearance of pores. This can help prevent breakouts and maintain a clearer, more balanced complexion.

Incorporating Chitosan into Your Skincare Routine:

With its myriad benefits, chitosan has earned its place as a prized ingredient in many skincare formulations, ranging from cleansers and moisturizers to serums and masks. Whether you're looking to hydrate, rejuvenate, or protect your skin, products containing chitosan offer a natural and effective solution for achieving healthy, radiant skin.

What Should I Look Out For When Using Chitosan?

Chitosan has been proven by numerous scientific studies as safe for not just out skin, but for consumption as a dietary supplement. The European Food Safety Authority has greenlighted chitosan as a cholesterol management supplement.

Nonetheless, you're going to want to look out for where the chitosan was sourced, its grade, and what exactly is it doing in your skincare.

Chitosan sourced from crustaceans tend to contain toxic heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic, as a side effect of crustaceans' natural diets. Chitosan also should be put through the necessary safety testing such as for microbiological loads and other contaminants. Reputable brands from countries with high manufacturing standards tend to conduct more vigorous safety testing, so opt for those if you can. If not, check to see how open and transparent your chitosan manufacturer is - only opt for cosmetics or supplement grade chitosan in your formulations!

The amount of chitosan used in your formulations also matter - the higher the concentration, to more active skincare benefits its providing. Nonetheless, chitosan doesn't have to be the star of your skincare formulation - it does an amazing job complementing other actives like hyaluronic acid, retinols, niacinamide and more.

Got more questions on how chitosan can benefit your skincare routine? Drop them in the comments below!

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