Why Algae is the new beauty crush
3 min read
Ascophyllum, blader wrack, serrated wrack, aonori and nori are just a few of the many enigmatic names of algae, not only essential to a healthy marine ecosystem but also really good for our skin and hair.
What are they?
Alga defines a diverse group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled forms. Scientists still have incomplete knowledge of how many different species of algae exist. Numbers range from ca. 75,000 up to 400,000 – coloured from red to green or brown, in micro size or up to 60 meters of length. Only around 160 species are used for industrial purpose. Algae live mainly in oceans and fresh-water environments. With the recent resurgence of awareness brought by World Oceans Day on the 8th of June, it is imperative to pinpoint the pivotal role of algae in the marine ecosystem and its numerous virtues.
What are they used for?
Algae have a broad range of applications; they are well known for their use in the food industry – particularly in Asian specialties, sushi and agar, a vegetarian jelly powder for desserts. Chlorella is popular for its detoxing effects and is mainly used as a nutrition supplement. Algae have also been used since the 16th century as a fertiliser and soil conditioner in agriculture. These aquatic plants are also used in bio-plastics, natural pigments and bio-fuels.
What are their benefits?
Algae are rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. One of the primary benefits of algae is skin protection, not only against sun produced UV radiation, but also against microwaves, blue light from computers and other invisible dangers.
In terms of antioxidants, the Haematococcus Pluvialis alga produces astaxanthin, which is proven to be 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C, 770 times stronger than Q10 or 100 times more powerful than vitamin E. As a component in beauty products, the Haematococcus Pluvialis alga is primarily used for anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory applications.
Algae also have an incredible nutritional effect on the skin and hair; Ascophyllum Nodusum has slimming, regenerative and soothing properties while the multifunctional Enteromorpha Compressa alga is used for its magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
One Ocean Beauty use extensively algae and their versatile power in their skincare range. The products are sustainably produced, created from marine actives that are not harvested but reproduced in the lab through blue biotechnology.
Because of their numerous benefits and vast range of applications, researchers aim to extend the use of algae in antibiotics, antivirals, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular protectors as well as antineoplastic agents.
Written by - Elisa Gianna Gerlach
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