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Gluconolactone

INCI: Gluconolactone

Fine, white, nearly odourless, crystalline powder

Overview

Gluconolactone is a poly-hydroxy acid, or PHA, and is derived from Sugar Beet.

It improves skin tone and texture, dissolving the dead cells that leave your complexion rough and lacklustre.

ORGANIC FORMULATION: Accepted

regulations

REGUATORY STATUS: widely accepted

care

Possible Health Concerns/Side Effects: considered safe

restricted in: widely accepted

Despite the likelihood that you’ve never heard of this active, be assured that this doesn’t diminish its contribution. Gluconolactone is a poly-hydroxy acid, or PHA, and is derived from Sugar Beet. Admittedly also, beets don’t often appear on the radar when it comes to beauty and haircare. Yet there are several high-calibre qualities Gluconolactone embodies that make this under-the-radar ingredient worth knowing about.

One such attribute is Gluconolactone’s natural ability to preserve formulas. While convention and cost pressures lead so many brands to using parabens, by inactivating the metallic ions that can contaminate formulations and reduce their effectiveness, we can confidently turn our back on parabens and rely instead on a natural preservative system. 

Linked to this chelating benefit is Gluconolactone’s equally important antioxidant quality. Indeed, the Dermatologic Surgery Journal featured a 2004 study on this active, reporting that its ability to bind to damaging free radicals caused by exposure to sun and pollution consequently neutralised their effects. The result? UV protection for the hair and scalp is boosted by up to 50%. 

In addition to these less visible qualities, there are a few more noticeable characteristics that make Gluconolactone such an advantageous active. When added to formulas like ours that contain both oil and water, this active helps prevent separation and stabilise the blend – most influential in your overall Chämpo experience.

Finally, though by no means of least importance, Gluconolactone is a humectant – attracting water and therefore helping hydrate, soothe and soften the hair and scalp. What’s more, it also helps form a barrier on skin, preventing moisture already present in the tissue from evaporating. And, while you may resolve such replenishing and calming benefits are more suited to a conditioner, their influence is relatively light and therefore a better match for our Pitta conditioner, as well as our three shampoo blends – ensuring hair feels effectively cleansed but never stripped of natural moisture. 

In conclusion, by both working as an active to enhance the benefits to your hair and scalp, and as an additive to enhance the quality and consistency of our formulas, we’re certain you’ll agree Gluconolactone is a most deserving and dignified addition to our remarkable blends.


In general, it’s good for all skin types, particularly those with sensitive or mature skin who can’t tolerate the irritation that can come from AHAs and BHAs, notes Farber.


HOW OFTEN CAN YOU USE IT: If you’re not using any other chemical exfoliants in your routine, it’s gentle enough for daily use. Otherwise, use it a few times per week.

WORKS WELL WITH: Tried and true skincare staples—namely, vitamin C, retinoids, and alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids—as part of an overall anti-aging regimen.


What Is Gluconolactone?


Gluconolactone belongs to a group of acids known as PHAs, poly-hydroxy acids. ‘Poly’ means many and that hydroxyl groups are pairings of oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Point being, PHAs such as gluconolactone have several hydroxyl groups, which is what gives them their unique properties and sets them apart from the AHAs and BHAs of the world. “Like other acids, gluconolactone has the ability to remove the dead cells from the outer most layer of the skin, resulting in a smoother, brighter, complexion,” explains Carqueville. 

The difference? Those hydroxyl groups make it a humectant as well, AKA an ingredient that attracts water to the skin. And that means that gluconolactone acts not only as an exfoliating acid, but also as a hydrator, making it notably more gentler than other acids.2 It’s also a much larger molecule that can’t penetrate very deeply into the skin, which is another reason it’s gentler and a good option for the sensitive set, Farber adds.


In skin care products, gluconolactone can serve either as an active ingredient (an ingredient that is included in a formula to provide benefits for the skin) or as an additive (an ingredient that is included to help improve the overall quality of the product). As an active ingredient, gluconolactone is often added to formulas because of its skin-conditioning properties.

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