What are Algae ?
Algae is a term for a large and diverse group of aquatic organisms or marine plants that have the ability to conduct photosynthesis. Certain algae are familiar to most people including kelp, spirulina and seaweed, however, in reality, there are more than 70k different species of algae and the scientis are continually discovering new species of algae. Some of these called macroalgae can be seen by the human eye, others like microalgae can only be seen with a microscope. Both types of algae can provide major benefits for your skin.
Marine algae extract is very beneficial for a dry skin as it delivers deep hydration, has antioxidant properties and helps with skin cells renewal.
Algae are rich in carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, amino acids and minerals and when applied topically to the skin can dramatically improve the appearance of your complexion.
They are known for their hydrating properties, can help to even skin colour and lighten dark spots. Due to high levels of antioxidants they lower levels of inflammation and protect against UV radiation and environmental damage. Let’s take a look at the science behind each of the algae types used in our skincare.
Kelp, spirulina and seaweed
Kelp, spirulina and seaweed are some of the most common types of marine algae used in cosmetics. These macroalgae contain a variety of nutrients including vitamins A, C,E as well as minerals like magnesium and selenium. Kelp is known to be very hydrating and may help protect against premature ageing. It also contains B12 which helps firm skin and improve elasticity. Spirulina is rich in antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation while improving collagen production. Seaweed extract has been shown to reduce wrinkles by increasing hydration levels and helping with skin's barrier function.
Algae works well in skin care products and topical application by delivering potent antioxidant and anti-aging benefits regardless of the skin type.
Red algae (Rhodophyta) is known for its anti-ageing properties. It is rich in vitamin C and A which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. It also contains polysaccharides that provide a protective barrier to seal moisture and protect skin from environmental damage.
Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) is a type of algae or seaweed that is red and found on the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. It’s predominantly made of polysaccharide carrageenan, protein, and mineral matter and is rich in iodine and sulphur. Carrageenan has been linked to many skin health benefits, specifically increasing the skin’s ability to retain hydration, softness and therefore is a great option for anti-ageing skincare according to Savannah Research. It also has antibacterial properties due to sulphur and iodine content that prevent breakouts and help in managing acne.
Marine Algae Extracts
Marine algae extract (Cylindrotheca Fusiformis) is the overarching term for seaweed or macroalgae and refers to thousands of species of macroscopic, multicellular, marine algae. They tend to be nutrient-dense and have been studied for their ability to help with skin anti-ageing. The National Institute of Medicine in 2013 study has found that certain properties of marine algae can reduce the damage caused by UV rays, inflammation and may be a great solution for those suffering from dermatitis. It’s highly concentrated in carotenoids, sterols and essential fatty acids which have proven anti-ageing effects. It stimulates cellular proliferation in the dermis. Decreases the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, improves the elasticity, hydration and plumpness of the skin.
Microalgae are even smaller than the macroalgae mentioned above, but they still contain many beneficial ingredients that can nourish the skin.
Haematococcus Pluvialis is a type of microalgae that contains an important antioxidant called astaxanthin which helps to protect against UV damage and reduce inflammation. Chlorella is another type of microalgae that can help nourish and hydrate skin while reducing redness and irritation. It is also a rich source of chlorophyll, which has cleansing and detoxifying properties.
Astaxanthin (Haematococcus pluvialis) is a keto-carotenoid compound from microalga. The NIH study found that Astaxanthin reduces inflammation and in another study published in 2001, was proven to show significant decreases in wrinkles, fine lines and puffiness after just 2 weeks of using a cream containing the ingredient. Overall, it is deemed a profoundly beneficial ingredient in anti-wrinkle and anti-aging skincare. Another study has found Astaxanthin to be the most abundant source of carotenoids, 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10 and 550 times stronger than green tea catechins. Astaxanthin is also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals, protects skin from environmental damage and pollution and also has natural UV-blocking properties that help protect the skin from sun-related damage such as dark spots. Astaxanthin has been shown to increase blood flow within the skin layer which has several benefits, such as increased cell turnover, increased elasticity and water retention. It also contains beta carotene
Green algae and brown algae
Green algae is also a type of microalgae that can help with moisturizing and brightening skin. It contains polysaccharides that help to restore the natural barrier of the skin, while also providing antioxidant protection against environmental damage. Green algae are also known to be rich in fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which can help combat signs of ageing and improve overall skin health.
Brown algae, such as Dunaliella salina, is a great source of beta-carotene. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from free radicals and environmental damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce the inflammation that can lead to ageing skin. It has been shown to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, promote skin elasticity and improve skin's hydration level. Brown algae together with the antioxidant activity, also come with inhibiting enzymes, which break down collagen. Algae extracts and algal carbohydrates can battle hyperpigmentation an improve the appearance of dark spots.
Blue green algae (also known as Cyanophyta), is a type of algae that can help to protect skin from environmental stressors and reduce inflammation. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can nourish the skin and help with anti-ageing by promoting cell regeneration for a more youthful complexion. These are also beneficial in treating atopic dermatitis and eczema, hydrating and protecting dry skin, even skin tone and supporting biological activities within the skin.
Marine algal compounds are packed in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and are abundant sources of potent antioxidant that fight pollution particles, support wound healing and have beneficial effects skin anti aging.
What are the skin benefits of using algae extracts in cosmetics?
Marine algae and their derivatives like Irish Moss and Astaxanthin are considered to be very nutrient-rich and are high in minerals as well as vitamins. They also are super anti-inflammatory, making them a great ingredient to include in products geared towards sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Here are a host of other benefits of using these ingredients in skin care products.
Major benefits include:
- Tighten and soften skin
- Soothe skin, especially if sunburned
- Help with certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis
- Give the appearance of increased collagen
- Plump and hydrate skin
- Smooth out fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduce the appearance of dark bags and circles under the eyes
- Detoxify, purify and unblock clogged pores
- Protects the skin from environmental damage and UVA/UVB rays
- Help to reduce hyperpigmentation
- Stimulate anti-ageing effects due to inhibition of collagen breakdown enzymes
- Overall improvement in skin health, appearance, elasticity and hydration
Potion Organic's Blue Marine face cream contains Cylindrotheca Fusiformis Extract that is rich in sterols and Omega 3, stimulating the production of skin proteins.
Depending on the concertation of the algae ingredients, generally, these show results rather quickly. After the first use, you should be able to feel a difference in your skin and after several weeks, you should notice a big difference in your skin’s appearance and youthfulness. As with all skincare products, make sure to spot-test it before using it all over your face. As unlikely as it is that you’ll have an allergic reaction, it’s always best to be safe.
There is no doubt regarding the benefits of algae in topical application and in the skin care routine. Algae extracts are often paired in topical formulations with hyaluronic acid to provide deep hydration and address multiple skin concerns.
Marine ingredients are must have in your skin care routine
From clogged pores, lightening the dark spots, anti-ageing to skin tightening, algae is undoubtedly a powerhouse of benefits and can be used in various forms like masks, creams, or serums for maximum results. Therefore, it's time to add marine algal compounds to your skincare routine and enjoy the array of benefits that come with it!
With its many different types and beneficial properties, marine algae should be an essential part of any skincare routine. It can provide major improvements for those suffering from skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis as well as help protect against UV ray damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Marine algae extracts in Potion Organic products
Algae extracts are a hot commodity in the skincare industry and for good reason. They offer a wealth of benefits for the skin, including anti-ageing properties, hydration, and antioxidant support. If you’re looking to add algae extract to your product line, Potion organic has a few products using these extracts that may be worth considering. Packed with natural ingredients our creams and serums deliver the best out of the marine algae extracts which are the most abundant sources of antioxidants and can deliver great anti aging effects.