Moisturizing Claim

Proper skin hydration is essential for normal healthy skin function. For example, appropriate skin water content is essential for the enzymatic functions required for normal desquamation, and water content strongly influences the skin’s mechanical properties such as softness, flexibility, and elasticity. The outer layer of the skin, the stratum corneum (SC), is primarily responsible for its water holding properties, and regulates water loss. SC water retention depends on its structure and composition, which consists of corneocytes containing a variety of hydrophilic molecules (termed natural moisturizing factors) and hydrophobic intercellular lipids. The hydrophilic components hold water and the hydrophobic lipid matrix serves as a barrier to water loss. These complementary properties of the skin’s biology give rise to its natural water holding properties, and this biology influences the development of skin moisturizers. Generally, moisturizers seek to incorporate both humectant and occlusive ingredients in their formulations, mimicking and augmenting the skin’s natural water retention mechanisms.

Natural polysaccharides are an important class of biomolecules that find many uses as ingredients in moisturizer formulations and cosmetics in general. Some polysaccharides, such as hyaluronic acid, are used as active moisturizing ingredients. Others, such as xanthan gum, are primarily used as viscosity modifiers and psychosensorial agents.  Ultimately, the desirable properties of a polysaccharide that determine its utility in a moisturizer formulation arise from its molecular structure and chemical composition.

PhytoSpherix® tightly binds water for long periods of time and boosts hydration performance when used on its own or in combination with hyaluronic acid (HA).

PhytoSpherix® retains moisture longer than the best moisturizing agents and has the potential to be an exceptional new moisturizing additive. Due to its origin, it is suitable to be used in natural, vegan and organic formulations.

PhytoSpherix® has a uniquely strong capacity to retain water.

The water retention of PhytoSpherix® was compared to that of the best moisturizing agents currently used in cosmetics formulations. Samples containing PhytoSpherix®, glycerol, PEG 400 or hyaluronic acid (HA) were allowed to absorb water for ten days in a humidity chamber at 37oC and were then placed in a desiccator. The relative water retention was determined by measuring the weight of the samples each day. PhytoSpherix® outperformed the other moisturizing agents in this experiment by retaining the most water over the ten day study (Figure 1).

Graph to comparing relative water rentention of PhytoSpherix

Figure 1: Comparison of the water retention capacity of PhytoSpherix®, glycerol, PEG 400 and hyaluronic acid.

Graph showing the enhanced 'moisturizing' effect of 'PhytoSpherix' ('Phytoglycogen')
Figure 2: The combination of PhytoSpherix® and hyaluronic acid provides a greater skin hydration impact than either material on its own.

In formulations, the hydration effect of PhytoSpherix® was compared with hyaluronic acid (HA), the gold standard in high-end moisturizing creams.  A base cream containing either 0.1% PhytoSpherix® , 0.1% HA, or 0.05% PhytoSpherix® + 0.05% HA was applied to the inner forearm of volunteers and the hydration level of the stratum corneum was measured at regular time intervals over 7 hours using corneometer (Figure 2).  PhytoSpherix® was found to perform as well as hyaluronic acid, with the combination of these materials outperforming both materials individually, indicating some type of synergistic effect.

Mode of Action


In sweet corn, PhytoSpherix® is naturally produced as a monodisperse biomaterial. PhytoSpherix® has a simple chemical composition – it is composed solely of glucose monosaccharide units, as are many common natural polysaccharides such as cellulose, dextran, and starches. These glucose monosaccharide units are connected by α (1, 4) glycosidic bonds to form chains that undergo α (1,6) branching every 10-12 glucose monomers (15-17). This high degree of branching gives PhytoSpherix®  a tree-like or dendrimeric structure, which is very compact and hydrophile. This structure allows Phytospherix to trap water in the skin, making it a promising raw material for use in moisturizing formulation


'PhytoSpherix' ('phytoglycogen") molecule structure


PhytoSpherix® is an extraordinary natural polysaccharide with many promising technological applications. The key properties of this ingredient make it an attractive, multifunctional ingredient for use in moisturizer formulations. These properties include exceptional water retention and rheological properties. These physical properties ultimately stem from the highly branched dendrimeric structure of the PhytoSpherix® particles, which differentiates it from other polysaccharides, such as HA, that are commonly used in cosmetic formulations. These structural differences lead to physical properties that can be complementary to those of existing ingredients like HA. As a sustainably sourced botanical extract, PhytoSpherix® is uniquely placed to meet the functional needs of moisturizing formulations and the demands of consumers.

Superb Moisturizer

Subjects said 


"My skin is more soothed"


"My skin is more comfortable"


"My skin is less sensitive"


"My skin is hydrated"