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by Tomiris Issayeva
May 21, 2020
There are over 70,000 known species of marine algae, including seaweed, kelp, and spirulina. This aquatic and plant-like living-organism has a running list of powerful properties that make it a superstar ingredient in health and skincare industries. Carbohydrates are the predominant constituents of algae and various biological activities of these marine carbohydrates are what has given the plant its vast cosmeceutical potential.
A study found that certain algae extracts control hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of melanin. Similarly, seaweed polysaccharides from Sargassum fusiforme extract potentially prevent degradative enzymes that act on skin matrix, thereby diminishing its collagen and elastin content and triggering wrinkle formation. A brown algae species can also both protect and enhance collagen and elastin fibers thanks to its high phlorotannin and fucoidan content.
When it comes to moisture retention, marine polysaccharides are quite hydroscopic, meaning that they attract water. Some studies even show that the laminaria japonica extract has greater hydrating and moisturizing effects than hyaluronic acid. Beyond that, algae are filled with detoxifying minerals such as magnesium, helping to clean clogged pores, improving skin regeneration, eliminating toxins, and boosting lymph and blood circulation.
Then there are green algae, whose species have shown to be robust antioxidants. Indeed, Chlorella vulgaris – arguably the most well-known green algae – is not only an antioxidant-rich, but also a thickening-agent. Specifically, while evaluating possible treatments to evaluate possible treatments to evaluate inflammation-causing atopic dermatitis, researchers discovered that Chlorella vulgaris alleviates the symptoms by contributing to skin thickness.
At the present moment, there is a considerable amount of compelling scientific literature that reveals all the things that marine algae have to offer, thus far. It is not surprising then that its many contributions to skin health have made the aquatic plant a major staple in the world of skincare. If you have been or have yet to try adding algae to your daily regimen, our Detox Sea Mask with Marine Algae and Irish Moss, Calming Seaweed Tonic and Shiitake Seaweed Eye Gel might compel you.
Kim, Ji Hye; Lee, Jae-Eun; Kang, Nam Joo. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algae-derived Carbohydrates for Skin Health. Mar Drugs. November 2018.
Jesumani, Valentina; Du, Hong; Huang, Nan. Potential Use of Seaweed bioactive Compounds in Skincare – A Review. Mar Drugs. December 2019.
Thomas, Noel Vinay; Kim, Se-Kwon. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals. Mar Drugs. January 2013.
Song, Yu Seok; Li, Hailan; Kim, Dong-Seok. Fucoidan Promotes the Reconstruction of Skin Equivalents. Korean Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. August 2014.
Joshi, Surahbi; Kumari, Roshani; Upasani, Vivek K. Applications of Algae in Cosmetics: An Overview. International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology. February 2018.
Kang, Heerim; Lee, Chang Hyung; Lee, Ki Won. Chlorella vulgaris Attenuates Dermatophagoides Farinae-Induced Atopic Dermatitis-Like Symptoms in NC/Nga Mice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. September 2015.
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