Cosmetic industry wouldn’t be as huge as it is nowadays if it wasn’t for algae. The potential of algae was recognized by our ancestors many, many years ago, which means that algae aren’t the latest revelation. For centuries these marine plants have been known for their abilities to leave skin deeply cleansed and moisturized. Moreover, algae prevent water loss, supply skin with nutrients and help it repair faster. And the best bit is that scientists and researchers keep discovering new properties and applications of algae in cosmetics all the time.
What are algae?
In other words they are plants that live in water, absorb solar energy and mix with other substances and minerals present in the water. Being a potent natural antioxidant and having a huge mineral-and-vitamin supply, algae is widely used in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries.
Types and properties of algae
No matter the type, all algae are antiviral, antibacterial and fungicidal. What differs from one algae type to another is the content and concentration of various nutrients. How many algae types do we have? At least there are a few dozen of them, but the most common are: brown algae, red algae, green algae, blue-green algae (spirulina) and single-celled green algae (chlorella).
Rich in alginic acid brown algae is recognized as an incredibly efficacious moisturizer. Since they’re able to draw and bind water, they’re used by manufacturers to obtain the right – because thicker – consistency of their skincare products. Red algae are commonly used for curing acne mostly because they cleanse the skin deeply and soothe irritations, which is also a trait of green algae. When it comes to blue-green algae, they are proven to rejuvenate and repair skin mainly due to a heavy load of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Chlorella in turn is known for cleansing and conditioning skin.
In general, water is the biggest constituent of algae. Other building blocks include: alginic acid, hyaluronic acid, agar and polysaccharides. Their main function is to deliver moisture and nourishment to skin.
Application of algae in cosmetics
The good news is that algae can be used to treat and improve the appearance of all skin types. All algae are non-invasive, they effectively remove toxins from the human organism and prevent bacteria multiplication.
Algae face masks are perfect for reducing wrinkles, repairing epidermis and dealing with puffiness under eyes which is why they are so effective in dealing with skin ageing. Furthermore, algae face masks are often enriched with other substances such as vitamin E or vegetable oils that help bind the water inside the skin. When it comes to alginic acid, its effects are similar to the results produced by hyaluronic acid. Agar in turn is considered as the best cosmetic ingredient to produce lightweight face creams. The hydration effect is so profound that the skin becomes smooth and resilient almost overnight. On top of that, it soothes irritations and makes one of your best summer allies to cure sunburn. As mentioned earlier, algae are proven to be potent antioxidants. Since algae is anti-inflammatory and soothes skin, they can be freely applied to dry, hyper-reactive and allergy-prone skin. Moreover, algae strengthens the walls of capillaries and are even able to reduce cellulite.
Naturally, apart from having a beneficial effect on dry and irritation-prone skin, algae helps moisturize acne-prone skin and normalize oily glands, which means that algae deal with seborrhea. Additionally, algae visibly speed up skin’s self-healing processes, which is also owed to the antibacterial feature of this marine plant. Finally, algae is also a common constituent of makeup removers that are supposed to balance skin’s pH, soothe irritations and refine skin’s texture.
That being said, it becomes obvious that algae-infused skincare products are one of the best cosmetics to use on a daily basis. Their application is wide, diversified and offers numerous skin benefits.