Skincare Science: Why Antarcticine is the secret wrinkle plumper beauty fans should know about

By Fiona Embleton


Mention 'Antarcticine' to even the most die-hard skincare fan and you're likely to be met with a blank expression. Here, we shine a spotlight on this little-known powerhouse ingredient that improves everything from hydration to wrinkle depth. You'll want to add it to your beauty vocabulary, pronto

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When it comes to Scandinavian winters, we don't need to tell you how harsh the sub-zero temperatures and biting winds can be for the skin on your face. As ever, you need deeply hydrating ingredients to keep the skin barrier intact, but perhaps a more fool-proof option would be an ingredient that actually thrives in harsh climates. Enter Antarcticine, which, as its moniker implies, hails from glaciers in Antarctica, where this marine ingredient enables bacteria to retain moisture despite the exceptionally cold temperatures.

Applied to skincare, Antarcticine not only counteracts the effects of extreme weather on the skin but it actually has a transformative effect on wrinkles, too. In one in vivo study, volunteers with dry skin and wrinkles were asked to spend 60 minutes a day outdoors in cold weather conditions. The side of their face where they had applied a cream with one per cent Antarcticine experienced a significant increase in moisture, less redness, and a 10 percent decrease in wrinkle depth, compared to the other side where a placebo had been used.

Given its protective properties, it's hardly surprising that Nordic skincare companies have started to harness its powers. Take Martin Lyne, founder of Woods Copenhagen. He has been so impressed by the clinical data surrounding this ingredient, he's made it a core tenet of every serum in the line. Here Lyne explains exactly what Antarticine is and how best to use it in your skincare routine.

What is Antarcticine?

"Antarcticine is a glycoprotein originally derived from bacterial strains found in the icy and desolate landscapes of King George Island, Antarctica – hence the name. Its function in nature is to protect bacteria against harsh conditions and extremely cold temperatures so they continue to thrive."

What are the benefits of Antarcticine for skin?

"When added to skincare, Antarcticine helps to restructure and regenerate tissue; it also hydrates and effectively increases collagen and elastin, thereby reducing wrinkle depth. Due to its ability to modify the morphology of ice crystals in nature, it has a cryo-protective effect, meaning it will protect and rejuvenate skin exposed to harsh weather conditions and enable it to retain moisture. You’ll find Antarcticine under the name 'Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract' in skincare ingredient lists."

What skin types benefit most from using Antarcticine?

"All skin types can benefit from Antarcticine. But it's especially well suited to sensitive skin types that are prone to redness and irritation, particularly when faced with extremes of temperature."

How should you use Antarcticine?

"Due to the cryo-protective properties of Antarcticine, this ingredient can really benefit your skin during the winter months when temperatures drop. However, as it protects the skin barrier against temperature fluctuations, keeps moisture locked in and increases collagen and elastin, we recommend making Antarcticine part of your skincare ritual every day."

Antarcticine Skincare

Pore Minimizing Serum

Woods Copenhagen

Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream

Dr Jart+

Precious Pro-Age Protector SPF30

Amazing Space

Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice

Anti-Aging Molecular Messenger Cream


Intense Hydra Serum

Woods Copenhagen