The ocean is always ravishing in its vast, unpredictable and totally alluring beauty. But there’s more to the world’s oceans than meets the eye – it is also well known for its healing and beautifying properties, providing thousands of species of skin-loving marine algae.
“In 2016 alone, 40% of US millennials reported to have used skincare products containing seaweed – highlighting the popularity of marine algae,” says Noelle Gabriel, Founder of Elemis. “Marine algae are abundant in the wild and are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. The different varieties of seaweeds deliver their unique properties and contribute to the success of the final formula.”
Seaweed is one of the most dense crops on earth, seaweed contains minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, phosphorus zinc as well as vitamins like A, B, C, D E.
The benefits of ingesting both categories include a boost in immunity, improved circulation, detoxification of vital organs and a regulation of natural hormones. Topically applying these have next to endless, positive results that can be understood here.
Macro or microalgae contain such a large amount of protein (amino acids make up to 60% of most of these plants) that is being researched as an alternative biofuel source. Also filled with phosphorus, magnesium, copper, calcium and both vitamin A B1, algae is not as potent as seaweed but benefits from soothing, regenerating and barrier repair elements, explaining its frequent use in anti-aging products.
No wonder Ariel has such beautiful skin!
What makes these ingredients so alluring for the beauty world is their ability to adapt, regenerative and thrive in hostile environments.
“Seaweed is one of the fastest growing organisms on earth, with fronds reaching as long as 200 feet and the ability to grow at a rate of two feet a day in the prime seasons. With its endless ability to regenerate itself, its nourishing properties and the way it formidably retained moisture, sea kelp help promise and hope for renewal,” highlights La Mer’s creator, Dr Max Huber.
Where brands would have to source a multitude of ingredients from different sources, the rich nature of algae means that it can provide all of the immeasurable benefits.
Benefit 1. Moisture: Algae is packed with humectants that draw in moisture at a greater rate than any other natural ingredients, as well as containing vitamin E (famously hydrating).
Benefit 2. Antioxidants: Vitamin B C combat pigmentation, stimulates collage and brightens lacklustre skin. They are both powerful anti-aging ingredients.
Benefit 3. Minerals: Omega, Zinc Magnesium all contribute to a more healthy epidermal barrier, protecting from environmental aggressors and soothing any current inflammation.
Benefit 4. Proteins: Amino acids are the building blocks of cells, which maintain and fill cells membranes, simultaneously creating a plump, youthful face while preventing any accelerated aging.
In fact, the properties of marine algae are so great that several brands have been founded on that very basis – La Mer, Algenist Phytomer to name but three, with many more brands creating niche product lines from the benefits of algae, and to a greater extent, the sea.
Sea Salt: Long used as an abrasive exfoliant and detoxifying ingredient, sea salt contains magnesium and calcium – both of which help to draw hydration and strengthen barrier function.
Seawater: Loaded with natural minerals and essential elements, seawater boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage while reducing any inflammation.
Marine Collagen: Extracted from fish scales and fish oils, marine collagen combines deep antioxidant properties with amino acids for a powerful reparative and anti-aging ingredient.