Ingredients: Marine Algae

According to a KLACTIVE's researcher on Marine ingredients: “Chlorella vulgaris is emerging often in health products and Chlorella pyrenoidosa often appears in hair care products these days. Both are taken as health and dietary supplements because they are rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. When ingested they help maintain healthy digestion and healthy skin.” Traditionally algae, known to have good anti-ageing properties, has been used for skin health since ancient times and according to scholars there are over 200 kinds of algae that have been used for over 30 years in various products.

More recently, targeted clinical research has brought about a new generation of high tech cosmetics and an increasing number of manufacturers have chosen to market their products under the marine tag. Algae extracts are now found in many high quality skin health, hair care, soap and bath products. Results indicate that the use of algae has more than doubled since 2004, with algae extracts becoming one of the top actives found in organic face and neck care ranges. 

An even more recent development brought Nannochloropsis oculata into the focus of researchers worldwide. Nannochloropsis oculata is a marine-water microalgae that is considered to be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and is utilised in the production of various CLINIVITA products. 

Marine Algae and the Human Body

Not only can seawater provide a balanced way to supplement minerals to human cells, it also provides a nutrient-rich growing environment for micro- and macro-algae. As marine plants grow in this amazing mineral medium, they absorb and concentrate various nutrients also beneficial to the human body. Depending on the environment in which the algae is growing, it will develop different nutrients and cell functions as defense mechanisms to protect itself from various aggressors. Researchers have noted the similarities between human skin and various algae species, and have found ways to use marine ingredients to improve many skin conditions.

This is especially true for extremophile aquatic micro- and macro-algae that grow in areas with large tidal fluctuations, such as the Brittany region of France. With the second highest tide fluctuations in the world, the span of distance between high tide and low tide can reach great lengths in this area, which provides a dual environment for the native marine plants to adapt. At different times of the day, these algae are being protected by cold, mineral-rich seawater. During low tide, these same plants are exposed to harmful UV rays, airborne pollutants, wind and bacteria - the same aggressors human skin is exposed to. In order to combat these aggressors, the algae that grow in the tidal zone adapt and develop many skin like qualities to maintain hydration levels, protect themselves from UV-induced free radical formation and withstand cold temperatures, to name just a few.

Marine Algae Biotechnology Research  

The applications of micro-algae in cosmetic products have recently received more attention in the treatment of skin problems, such as ageing, tanning and pigment disorders. There are also potential uses in the areas of anti-ageing and hyperpigmentation (Melasma/Cholasma) reduction products. While algae species have already been used in some cosmetic formulations, such as moisturising and thickening agents, algae remain largely untapped as an asset in this industry due to an apparent lack of utility as a primary active ingredient. Current research focuses on integrating studies on algae pertinent to health and beauty, with the purpose of identifying serviceable algae functions in practical cosmetic uses. 

Perfectly preserved algae can then be used to create high-quality, potent ingredients, otherwise known as Marine algae extracts. State-of-the-art extraction and filtration methods can isolate and extract very specific molecules. These molecules can then be concentrated into an ideal potency to help balance various skin conditions.

For instance, a peptide extracted from Chlorella vulgaris, a single-cell green algae, stimulates the product of four types of dermal collagen and elastin. This peptide has been formulated into topical creams to restore youthful function to maturing skin. Another algae, Laminaria digitata, retains water in its plant tissue - much like the epidermis holds water - and even during low tide, it stays plump and moisturised. After identifying that the skin of Laminaria digitata contains water-binders very similar to those found in the epidermis, these water-binders (a combination of sugars, minerals and amino acids) were extracted to be used in skin health products. When used as a key ingredient in topical creams, the skin’s hydration system may be improved. 

The scientific research team behind CLINIVITA researches Chlorella vulgaris, Nannochloropsis oculata and Laminaria digitata  for its Human health benefits.