Tuesday, March 17, 2015


French and Chilean cosmetics companies have recently agreed to expand use of seaweed extracts. With 6000 km long coast, Chile is best placed in sourcing seaweed ingredients. These can be harnessed without adverse impact on environment as only natural sea water sustains their growth.
Seaweed is a powerful ingredient as it draws an extraordinary wealth of mineral elements from the sea that can account for up to 36% of its dry mass. These include sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur and phosphorus; the micronutrients include iodine, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel and cobalt.
Recently, seaweed has emerged as a potent antioxidant. Researchers at the University of Ohio found that brown algae applied topically and orally reduced the number of skin tumors on hairless mice by up to 60 percent and their size by up to 43 percent. It also reduced inflammation. Rich in vitamin C, it also has alginic acid, which is insoluble in water and is used in treatments for cellulite.
Cosmetic companies have discovered that seaweed  is rich in compounds that are of specific use in the cosmetic industry, such as polygalactosides, fucose polymers and ursolic acid. Polygalactosides react with the protective outer surface of the skin to form a protective moisturizing complex, while the fucose polymers are hygroscopic and act as hydrating agents. The ursolic acid can help form a protective barrier on the skin.
New algae are being discovered all the time. Hailed as the next wonder anti-aging ingredient, sea algae ‘phytessence wakame’ , exotic kelp native to the sea of Japan,  is said to have immune-stimulating, cancer preventing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties. Himanthalia elongata extract comes from a species of brown seaweed which has small button-like, perennial thalli and known to provide high levels of vitamins A, C and E along with essential amino acids and other natural minerals, and is used in many skin care products thanks to its natural ability to help restore balance to skin’s moisture levels.
Herbally Radiant has been using algae in some of its top formulations. Its green algae comes from the Klamath Falls in Oregon and is the purest, most nutrient intact algae. It is highly bio-available and contains a full spectrum of minerals, chlorophyll, B Vitamins, Beta-Carotene, Pro Vitamin A, Lipids, enzymes, essential amino acids, nucleic acids, DHA and EPA fatty acids.  Its new ‘Body Polish’ made of blue green algae with almond oil and body butters, is a wonderful formula to exfoliate and nourish skin.

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