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Cetraria islandica, commonly known as Icelandic moss, is used as a softening and soothing agent that relieves the dryness and irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, because it forms a soothing and moisturising film. Lichens are tolerant of extremes, allowing them to live as pioneers in extreme environments such as arctic or alpine regions. Their resistance to extreme temperatures, cold, and UV radiation is sustained by the accumulation of high amounts of specific bioactive ingredients which help the lichens to survive. The hydrating/soothing effect is mainly attributed to polysaccharides such as lichenan and isolichenan. Lichenan and isolichenan adhere to epithelial tissue and form of protecting layer which helps to maintain hydration. C. islandica is also used in pharmaceutical formulations against throat irritation.