If you peek into the latest trends and innovations in the beauty or skincare industry, you will find algae or seaweed creating quite a buzz these days. This nutrient-rich deep-sea ingredient is known to have amazing beauty benefits, which are being included in various skincare formulas. Before indulging in the cosmetic lines enriched with algae, let us help you brush up your knowledge:
What is Algae or Seaweed?
Algae or seaweed is one of the simplest living plants that belong to the lowermost level of the ‘underwater food chain’. It is basically a family of chlorophyll-rich organisms containing above 20,000 different types of species, which are mostly used in the health industry to prepare variety of drugs. However, the antioxidants, proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals found in it are also considered to have great potential to benefit our skin.
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Why Is Algae Used in the Beauty Industry?
But how algae can give the health and beauty of our skin a natural boost? Well, here are the reasons why the experts find it an awesome choice for skincare:
- Algae is rich in antioxidants, which help our body fight against the damages caused by free radicals. It is essential for driving off the signs like wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, etc. and keeping age at bay.
- It works as a water-binding agent that helps retain the natural moisture of our skin and keep it soft as well as supple so that we can look healthy and youthful.
- It can avert the generation of collagen-inhibiting enzyme and stimulate its production at the same time. As a result, the skin remains even-toned, young-looking and vibrant for long.
- It is rich in Alguronic Acid, which can accelerate the regeneration of skin cells by boosting the reproduction of elastin protein. It keeps the skin firm and elastic by reducing wrinkles and sagginess.
- There are certain species of algae like Irish moss, carrageenan, etc., which are loaded with proteins, carbohydrates, starch, vitamins (A, B1, etc.), minerals (calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, etc.), and so on, which keep the skin healthy from inside and give it a natural glow.
- Certain species of algae may also contain bacterial microphyte AFA or Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, which is a wonderful source of proteins and minerals. So, the reproduction of skin cells increases significantly.
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Types of Algae Used in Cosmetics
Not all algae are suitable for using in skincare products. But three of them mostly used are:
- Red Algae (Rhodophyta): It acts as a natural sunscreen, which absorbs the harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) rays of the sun and prevents sun damages.
- Brown Algae (Phaeophyceae): It is a ‘super antioxidant’ that combats oxidative damages and fights off aging successfully.
- Green Micro-Algae (mainly ‘Chlorella’): It contains a highly powerful phytochemical named astaxanthin, which regulates the production of melanin by driving away the free radicals responsible for its reduction, thereby giving us an even skin tone.
Apart from these, there are some other types of algae, such as ascophyllum, laminaria saccharine, alaria esculenta, ulva lactuca, chondrus crispus, etc. that are also used for manufacturing skincare products.