While algae may not be the most popular clothing material, perhaps it is not so odd that the Little Mermaid chose to put it on her skin; perhaps it is more puzzling that she did not apply it to her entire body. After all, marine ingredients like algae turn up in so many cosmetic ingredients and are known for their myriad of health benefits, namely for their beneficial effects on skin and hair.
So what is it about this slimy green stuff that makes us look so beautiful? Randy Schueller, a cosmetic chemist and editor-in-chief of The Beauty Brains reports that one study showed that algae can “stabilize minerals that aid in skin moisturization,” and, “Another claims that seaweed provides anti-acne properties without the irritation of over the counter drugs. And yet another type of seaweed may help with skin lightening.” Dr. Marcene Alexiades-Armenakas, cosmetic engineer has a theory as to why these plants are so good for the skin. She says, “These creatures (algae) have spent millions of years on the sea surface and evolved mechanisms to protect their DNA from UV damage. These mechanisms are conserved cross species, meaning they work in human skin as well.”
Red Algae Extract
Because it can easily process sunlight, red algae is known to provide antioxidant protection to skin. It has high levels of peptides, carotenoids, sulfated polysaccharides and fatty acids which may contribute to the reason red algae extracts are able neutralize free radicals in the environment. Algae extracts also function as thickening agents in skincare products improving texture and spreadability.
Brown Algae Extract
Brown algae, or kelp, is used as an emollient to soften skin and for anti-bacterial purposes. It is frequently found in serums, toners, lotions and moisturizers as extract as lamaria, extract of algae, or kelp. Benefits of brown algae include hydration, maintenance of skin’s moisture, detoxification and increased elasticity. Its amino acids are credited with renewal of tissue and its fatty acids are shown to fight inflammation. Additional studies by the Science Daily News suggest that substances extracted from brown algae may also protect against skin cancer caused by excessive sun exposure.
BENEFITS OF ALGAE
For Acne Prevention
Need a natural zit zapper? The anti-inflammatory agents in algae make it capable of soothing acne related inflammation.
For Hair Growth
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in seaweed is known for thickening and boosting hair growth and the iron and zinc can help maintain hair production and combat the thinning of hair caused by a deficiency if iodine. When applied directly to hair, iodine can fight of microscopic fungus and bacteria that eats away at hair follicles causing thinning and loss, The highest content of iodine is found in brown algae, with dry kelp containing 1500-1800 ppm. At this rate, just one gram of dried brown algae could cover the daily recommended adult requirement.
For Reduction of Toxins
Toxins can cause your skin to look lifeless and dull. Applying seaweed to your skin draws out excess fluid, dead cells, and toxins and makes skin smoother. It is also useful in eliminating toxins from the scalp and promoting healthy hair growth.
For Fighting Cellulite
Algae can be an effective weapon in the endless fight against cellulite. Seaweed can make skin more supple and elastic, helping to smooth skin and restore resilience.
For Adding Moisture
Who couldn’t use a little extra moisture on their skin? The fatty acids in algae not only lend moisture to your skin, but prevents it from losing its natural hydration.
So are you prepared to test the merits of algae. The Little Mermaid did it and look at her!