Ketaki Badhire

MSc in Biochemistry having close to 5 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry. A passionate writer, ardent art lover and astute observer on a quest for answers and insights from every experience life offers.

Why use of algae in skin care is the fast-growing trend?

2 August 2021

The skin care market is fastest growing segment of the beauty industry. While the beauty industry is no alien to seeing new trends emerging every year, the latest trend that has taken the beauty industry by swirl, is the use of algae in skin care products.

Now when we say algae, most of us can only think of those green fibrous weeds swaying in cloudy waters, which may cause chills crawl down your spine. But there is more to algae, the photosynthetic aquatic organism and its role in the field of cosmeceuticals and cosmetic formulations.

In the light of growing demand for using sustainable and natural ingredients in skin care products, algae extract with its sustainability and skin benefits perfectly fits the bill of being the natural replacement of potentially harmful non-vegan ingredients.

The aquatic algae possess high levels of antioxidants and minerals which helps them survive in harsh oceanic environment and protects them against uv rays and pollution. It is for this reason that these algae or seaweed prove to be beneficial for keeping the skin healthy and glowing. The algae extracts help in hydrating, revitalizing and toning the skin, they also help in eliminating acne, cellulite and wrinkles.

Benefits of algae in skin care

· Skin Hydration: marine algae are used in tropical formulations as moisturizing and thickening agents. It helps the reduce the amount of moisture lost and therefore helps skin remain hydrated.

· Helps reduce hyperpigmentation: The algal carbohydrates and vitamin C helps reduce hyperpigmentation and brightens the skin.

· Helps manage inflammation: The algae metabolites have the potential to reduce skin inflammation.

· Protects skin from sun damage: The mycosporine amino acids produced by algae can protect skin from UV light, making it potential ingredient in sunscreen products.

· Clears clogged pores: Antioxidants, vitamin B, magnesium, zinc and detoxifying minerals present in algae helps clean clogged skin pores.

· Reduces skin wrinkles: Along with being loaded with antioxidants, algae also helps inhibit the enzymes breaking collagen. This makes it a perfect ingredient for anti-ageing products.

Most common algae used in skin care.

· Brown algae(chrommophyceae): Contains high levels of iodine and fibre is also a rich source of vitamin C and E. Helps in wound healing by protecting elastic fibres from breaking over time.

· Red algae(Rhodophyceae): Contains beta carotene and protein, also contains amino acids that can absorb uv light. Potentially used as anti-ageing ingredient, can also improve the smoothness and firmness of skin.

· Blue algae(Cynophyceae): Contains vitamin B, amino acids, polyunsaturated fats, calcium and proteins. It boosts skin moisture by preventing water loss.

· Green algae(Chlorophyceae): Contains large amounts of vitamin C, magnesium and phlorotannins which absorbs uv light. Works as an antioxidant, moisturiser for the skin also protects against sun damage.

Most common Algae based skin care products available in market.

· Hydrating face masks

· Moisturising night cream

· Anti-ageing cream

· Hydrating body wash

· Moisturising face serum

· Radiance oil

· Skin calming serum to reduce inflammation

Things to keep in mind before using algae formulations on skin.

As of today, many of the leading beauty brands have come up with their algae extract skin care products. But not all the latest skin and beauty trends may suit everyone, even though algae seem to have tons of benefits and applications in the skin care products. It is always advisable to be mindful before applying any new cosmetic formulation on your skin.

Knowing your skin type is the key, before giving into any new skin care related hype it is important to be fully aware of your skin type and the ingredients that may be harmful for your skin. Conducting a skin patch test, before using these algal formulations is highly recommended.

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