Algae: Beauty’s biggest opportunity

By Julia Wray | Published: 25-May-2021

From microscopic, single-celled organisms to the wide Sargasso Sea, few living things are as primitive or successful as algae; so what can this diverse and specialised group offer in terms of sustainable beauty sourcing?

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The group called algae includes some of the most primitive life on planet earth, covering a vast swathe of species, from the slick of slime on a wet rock to majestic 30m-tall giant kelp, whose ‘forests’ provide essential marine ecosystems. This diverse group of organisms has long been utilised by humans for food, medicine, fertiliser and industrial products – and the beauty industry is no stranger to the power of the slippery stuff.

“Algae and seaweeds are packed with vitamins and minerals, amino acids and micro-nutrients, elements that are essential for the proper functioning of the body and cells,” Amandine Werle, Marketing Specialist at Clariant Active Ingredients, tells Cosmetics Business.

“Seaweeds are considered a superfood and they have also been used in traditional medicine for their anti-irritation, antibacterial and health-improving properties. By bringing these elements directly to the skin cells, cosmetic ingredients derived from seaweeds can contribute to efficiently improve skin health.”

Meanwhile, Irene Montaño, International Sales Manager at Mibelle Biochemistry, adds that single-cell microalgae “are excellent candidates to be grown in a sustainable way without altering the ecosystem”.

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