Chitosan: A Natural Wonder of the Ocean Explained

Chitosan is the bioactive ingredient that powers ChitoCare Beauty skin care products. But what is it exactly, where does it come from and what are its benefits? Read on to find out how this natural fiber can work wonders for human health and skin care. 

What is chitosan?

Chitosan is a fiber derived from chitin. Chitin is the second-most abundant natural biopolymer in the world (topped only by cellulose) and can be found in the hard, exterior shells of certain crustaceans, such as crabs, shrimps and lobsters. It is a natural, renewable and nontoxic organic polymer with excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability. It is a by-product, made from discarded crustacean shells, making it an environmentally efficient ingredient.  

Where does chitosan come from?

ChitoCare Beauty chitosan is sourced from the shell of the North Atlantic Coldwater Shrimp (Pandalus Borealis) that live in the pristine waters around Iceland. Our chitosan is supplied by Primex, a leading marine biotech company and global leader in the production of natural, pure and high-quality chitin and chitosan. Sophisticated computerized technology and sustainable practices contribute to the complete utilization of natural resources. Every little helps when it comes to protecting our planet and utilizing waste from other industries is one way of showing our respect for Mother Nature and the Arctic Ocean surrounding Iceland. 

What can chitosan do?

Whether you have heard of chitosan before or not, chances are you are wondering why it is found in so many skin care products and food supplements. There are several reasons why chitosan is such an effective and useful substance, and they are driving factors behind what we do here at ChitoCare Beauty. Harnessing chitosan’s superpowers improves our health and diet, our hair, skin and nails, and our overall quality of life. Here are some of its amazing abilities.  

Weight Loss Supplement

Chitosan was first discovered to have beneficial properties back in the 1980s. It has primarily been used as a weight loss supplement as it is extremely fibrous, meaning that it can actively absorb oils up to eight times its weight! When ingested as an oral supplement, it prevents the body from absorbing fat and cholesterol. This makes it an excellent option for treating obesity, high cholesterol and other related diseases and conditions.  

Anti-Aging Properties

Our skin is constantly regenerating. It creates new skin cells in its deeper layers, slowly pushing up these layers, making them appear more plump, firm and supple. New skin cells show through, making for a fresher, brighter-looking outer layer of the skin. This regeneration process occurs naturally and abundantly when we are young. However, as we grow older, this process significantly slows down, and skin becomes dull and rough. By speeding up skin cell regeneration, chitosan helps slow down the aging process. It encourages our body to produce new skin cells, even in mature skin types, reducing roughness and the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. 

Antimicrobial Effects

Dirt, grime, air pollution, smoking, bacteria, mold and other toxins can all permeate and damage the skin. Chitosan has antimicrobial properties, keeping the skin protected against harmful microorganisms that cause inflammation, infection, acne and other skin conditions. As chitosan keeps skin cleaner after application, it keeps pores from clogging. This is crucial when it comes to acne, as clogged pores retain sebum. Normally, sebum is released by sebaceous glands in the skin to keep it moist. However, when excess sebum builds up inside the gland, it causes acne breakouts. Chitosan effectively removes excess sebum, preventing further inflammation and infection while keeping skin soft, smooth and glowing. 

Wound Healing  

Chitosan’s ability to promote tissue regeneration is one of the reasons it is also a powerful healing agent. One of chitosan’s unique properties is that it is film-forming. This means that it forms a thin film over the skin, covering its surface without cracking. This gives the skin an extra protective layer that keeps moisture in and bacteria and microbes out. It dramatically speeds up wound healing, preventing from infection and inflammation. Its ability to film-form also contributes to effectively treating eczema and acne, protecting the skin from future breakouts. 

Locks in Moisture

Moisture is crucial when it comes to skin health. Moisture is retained by the skin thanks to its outer layer, called the epidermis. The epidermis protects our body from harm, keeps it hydrated and is where new skin cell creation happens. Many things can contribute to skin losing moisture. Harsh soaps, aging, genetics, hot baths and showers, frequent bathing, cold or dry weather conditions, even certain types of medication can leave the skin dehydrated. Thanks to its film-forming properties, chitosan operates as a protective barrier, locking in moisture. As moisture is retained, the skin becomes healthier, with a fresh and glowing dewy look. 

Boosts Collagen Production

Collagen is one of the main structural proteins of our body. It is what gives skin its smooth and firm appearance. We naturally produce collagen, quite extensively when we are young. As the body ages, collagen production declines, both in amount and quality. Collagen loss is one of the reasons why mature skin develops wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, jowls and other creases and folds. The best way to combat and prevent their formation is to encourage the body to produce more collagen. Chitosan increases the amount of collagen produced by the skin, improving its texture, elasticity and smoothness. 

Increases Permeability of Other Ingredients

Not all ingredients are absorbed by the skin in the same way or at the same rate. Highly potent antioxidants, such as selenium or zinc, cannot easily penetrate the skin to deliver their beneficial effects. However, when combined with chitosan into a skin care formula, these ingredients are better absorbed by the skin. This means chitosan is a dynamic agent for enabling antioxidants to do their job more efficiently. It also means that ChitoCare Beauty serums, creams and lotions are absorbed better by the skin and are therefore more effective. 

Improves Hair Health

Chitosan is not just a magic substance for our skin. It can benefit hair as well, as it locks in moisture thanks to its film-forming ability, keeping hair better hydrated. As it promotes collagen production, that gives structure to our hair, nails, ligaments and more, chitosan helps rebuild damaged or thinning hair. By inducing hair growth, chitosan helps hair become thicker, stronger and with a healthy shine. 

Years of research and development have made chitosan a safe, natural and fast-acting substance that can lead to great health benefits. Its positive and effective qualities, varied applications and sustainable production are quickly turning chitosan into the ingredient of the future. As proud manufacturers of chitosan-powered skin care products, we are excited to see how we can further utilize this wonder of the ocean, protecting our health and our planet in the process.