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What is Trehalose?

Trehalose is a naturally occurring sugar found in plants, fungi, and some bacteria. In skincare, Trehalose is used as a humectant to help retain moisture in the skin, providing hydration and improving skin texture and resilience.

How does this ingredient work in skincare?

Trehalose works in skincare as a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture in the skin. Its scientific mechanism involves forming a protective barrier on the skin's surface, which helps to prevent moisture loss and improve skin hydration. Additionally, Trehalose has the ability to protect skin cells from dehydration and stress, promoting skin resilience and suppleness.

How does this ingredient compare to others?

Similar to hyaluronic acid and glycerin, Trehalose acts as a humectant, but its stability sets it apart, ensuring lasting hydration without evaporating from the skin. This makes it suitable for all skin types, offering lightweight yet effective hydration without the stickiness often associated with glycerin. 

Compared to heavier emollients like shea butter and squalane, Trehalose provides hydration without leaving a greasy residue, making it versatile for daily use. It shares similarities with ceramides in supporting the skin barrier, but its humectant properties make it particularly beneficial for dehydrated or stressed skin. 

Potential benefits of this ingredient for the skin

  • Hydration: As a humectant, Trehalose attracts and retains moisture in the skin, providing effective hydration throughout the day.
  • Improved Skin Texture: By maintaining optimal hydration levels, Trehalose helps to smooth and soften the skin, improving overall texture and suppleness.
  • Skin Barrier Support: Trehalose supports the skin's natural barrier function, helping to strengthen and protect against environmental stressors and irritants.
  • Resilience: It enhances the skin's resilience against dehydration and external aggressors, promoting healthier and more resilient skin over time.
  • Gentle Hydration: Trehalose provides hydration without feeling heavy or greasy on the skin, making it suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and oily skin.
  • Anti-Aging Properties: By maintaining skin hydration and barrier function, Trehalose contributes to a more youthful appearance, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Products we use this ingredient in

Turmeric Hesperidin Fading Serum


  • Li, Li et al. “Trehalose Protects Keratinocytes against Ultraviolet B Radiation by Activating Autophagy via Regulating TIMP3 and ATG9A.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity vol. 2022 9366494. 12 Apr. 2022, doi:10.1155/2022/9366494
  • Maeda, Kazuhisa et al. “Functional properties and skin care effects of sodium trehalose sulfate.” Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI) vol. 30,4 (2024): e13666. doi:10.1111/srt.13666