The world is turning green, and it’s not just about eco-activism and eating habits anymore. Being environmentally friendly is becoming the norm and, as a consequence, there is an increasing demand for sustainable ingredients. The tides have shifted, and beauty and health industries are now leading this green, vegan charge.
Enter algae – a diverse group of aquatic organisms that have the ability to perform photosynthesis. We’ve all probably heard that algae produce about half the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere, but they can do so much more. Among other things, algae can be a sustainable alternative or, better yet, a replacement for undesirable and potentially harmful chemicals or non-vegan ingredients that are used in ‘old-school’ skincare products.
The importance of collagen
One of the ingredients that fucus and laminaria algae provide is collagen or, more precisely, marine collagen – a protein that is normally found in our body, and it helps make our skin plump, tight and strong. As we age, our natural collagen levels begin to decline so, in order to keep our skin looking young and healthy, we need to replenish it.
Collagen is a huge skincare buzzword, so much so that a recent study showed that 44% of US women who use beauty products say they look for collagen in the products they purchase. Such is its appeal that even food and drink brands are starting to ‘invade’ this territory which was until now, claimed exclusively by the beauty industry.
Other benefits of algae extracts
But collagen is not the only ingredient algae offer. Algae and algae extracts, such as Kelp Sea Extract, for example, are uniquely rich in various vitamins and minerals, but even more than that, some algae – red and brown seaweed especially – are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Most skin damage is caused by oxidation, which is the exposure of your skin to elements like pollution and sun, but also to some of our not too healthy habits, like smoking or too much time in the sun or on tanning beds. By a simplified definition, oxidation is a process in which a compound loses electrons because its level of oxides is increased. This process, among other things, also significantly contributes to the aging of the skin.
As you can see, algae are sort of a one-stop-shop when it comes to skincare, an anti-aging treasure from the deep. By using products that contain algae extracts, you’re turning back the aging clock by introducing more collagen to your skin, as well as repairing the damage caused by oxidation which is, in turn, caused by bad habits, environment, pollution, and the like.
The algae extract trend is growing
With all this restorative and nurturing qualities they offer, it’s no wonder that the growth of algal skincare is set to continue. Of all skincare launches containing algae over the past ten years, 15%were launched between October 2018 and September 2019. What’s more, over the same time period, 15% of active patents for algal skincare were published. Based on this rate of applications we’ve seen in recent years, we expect even more algae products launching in the near future. This green and sustainable, algal trend is not the one we should just watch. This trend we should follow and support.