What’s the buzz about algae in skincare?

When you hear “algae,” you might picture those slimy, beach-bound plants that don’t exactly scream “beauty secret.” But don’t be too quick to judge a book by its cover, because algae is much more than meets the eye.

 Dr Alek Nikolic, a renowned South African specialist in aesthetic medicine and owner of SkinMiles, weighs in.

According to the folks at LiveScience, algae is a diverse group of aquatic organisms with a knack for photosynthesis. You’ve probably bumped into a few algae superstars before, like seaweeds (kelp and phytoplankton), pond scum, or those algal gatherings in dams. But hold onto your hat – there could be anywhere from 30,000 to over a million algae species out there!

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Algae, a staple in Asian cuisine, has been making waves in the health and wellness scene, flaunting its immunity-boosting, blood-pressure-taming, and heart-health-loving properties. No wonder it’s hailed as a wellness “superfood” and turning skincare brands’ heads!

But what’s the buzz about algae in skincare?

You might think algae is a newbie in the beauty game, but it’s been strutting its stuff in skincare products since the ’60s. Lately, scientists have been diving deep into individual algae species to uncover their superpowers. Take Astaxanthin, for example, a heavyweight champ extracted from red microalgae hanging out in Iceland’s waters. Word on the street is that it’s 6,000 times mightier than vitamin C, making it one of the planet’s most potent antioxidants.

So, why should you welcome algae into your skincare routine with open arms? Dr. Nikolic ecp0lains: “What’s awesome about algae is that they’re all humectants, meaning they attract water like a magnet, leaving your skin hydrated and plump. Plus, most algae pack a nutritional punch, with a lineup including magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, and E, fatty acids, lipids, and proteins, all teaming up to keep your skin barrier happy.”

Get to know your Algae BFFs

The skincare world’s BFF, macroalgae, is the most common algae you’ll find in your beauty products. These multicellular wonders are often called seaweed. Dr. Nikolic has a word of wisdom for us: “Algae thrive in tough environments, which forces them to get creative. For example, when low tide rolls in, seaweed has to handle the blazing sun, so it’s developed UV-blocking skills, like antioxidants. It’s only natural to want some of that goodness in your skincare routine.”

There are four colour groups of algae, each with different properties and skincare applications: 

  • Brown algae (for example, kelp) tends to be the most used type of algae in cosmetic applications, as they are high in antioxidants, provide the best skin hydration, and have been shown to increase skin elasticity. 
  • Red algae contain the highest number of carotenoids, which help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red algae have also been shown to improve the skin’s UV protection.  
  • Blue algae, also known as spirulina, are rich in antioxidants and are an effective neutraliser of free radical environmental damage, making it an excellent morning application choice. 
  • Green algae have been shown to promote firm, smooth skin. Interestingly, it is often used as a thickening agent in skin care applications.

Thanks to its wide array of skin-loving perks, algae-infused skincare is A-OK for even the most sensitive skin types. Just do a quick scan of the product’s ingredients to make sure there’s nothing in there that doesn’t react with your skin. Mixing and matching different algae colours is the way to go to get the most benefits.

Five products recommended by Dr Nikolic:

REN Everhydrate Marine Moisture-Replenish Cream: suitable for dry, dehydrated, dull skin types.
This water-locking algae-activated cream is clinically proven to deliver up to 48-hour defence from dehydration.

DERMALOGICA Circular Hydration Serum: for lasting hydration.
This full-circle hydrating serum utilises an enhanced form of Hyaluronic Acid to penetrate the skin’s surface for deep hydration and more supple, radiant skin over time. An algae extract-infused moisturising matrix delivers quick and long-lasting hydration.

IMAGE CLEAR CELL clarifying salicylic blemish: good for spot treatment on oily, problematic skin types.
This powerful spot solution targets existing blemishes, helping to reduce their appearance through exfoliation. Natural extracts and a marine algae complex help to soothe treated areas and minimise the appearance of redness.

REN Everhydrate Marine Moisture-Restore Serum: for long-lasting moisturisation.
This ultra-hydrating algae-activated serum is clinically proven to increase deep skin hydration for up to 72 hours.

LELIVE Seatox: an excellent mask for acne, uneven skin tone and texture.
This marine algae and aloe detoxifying mask doesn’t strip your skin but gives you that at-home spa experience we all need at the end of a long week. Seatox includes algae, sea spaghetti and chlorophyll, which gives your skin the reset it needs, treating acne in a flash while improving uneven skin tone and texture

Visit www.skinmiles.com and sign up for a free Face2Face Assessment. You will receive personal recommendations from Dr Nikolic for your skin type or skin concern.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *