In our pursuit of healthy skin, every so often, we have to decide what we are willing (and not willing) to put on our faces. Some ingredients might sound odd at first, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Case in point? Algae. Not our favourite thing to encounter when going for a swim, but with plenty of benefits for the skin. It is the main ingredient in La Mer’s “miracle broth” after all.
What is algae extract?
Marine algae are simple organisms with over 70.000 species. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, amino-acids, proteins, and antioxidants.
There are two main categories of algae – micro and macro. Micro algae are visible only under a microscope and found in fresh-water systems. Macro algae are visible to the naked eye and the ones you can see in the sea or the ocean.
In skincare, the algae extract used usually belong to one of the following seaweed classes: red (Rhodophyceae), blue-green (Cyanophyceae), and brown (Phaeophyceae) algae. Different types of algae have various benefits for the skin.
When used in topical products and due to its chemical compounds (namely polysaccharides), algae extract is a fab ingredient to hydrate the skin. It conditions, soothes, and plumps up the skin and helps retain moisture. And we know when our skin is well hydrated, it minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Algae extract has antioxidant properties because of the amino acids. They protect the skin by lowering the oxidative stress and protect our moisture barrier. Some types of brown and red algae extracts absorb certain wave lengths of UV light, which can help protect the skin against the signs of aging. That doesn’t mean you should forget about your sunscreen, though.
Studies show brown seaweed has tyrosinase inhibiting properties due to the compound phloroglucinol. It can help treat hyperpigmentation. Likewise, research has shown algae extract has anti-inflammatory properties.
Does this mean you should replace your Hyaluronic acid and antioxidant serums with algae-based products? No, but they can make a potent booster to your existing skincare routine.
Ishtar products that contain algae extract
What is it?
A facial oil.
What does it do?
Hydrocharge facial oil helps restore a compromised skin barrier and combat stress-induced skin damage.
What’s in it?
Organic White Tea extract contains high levels of catechins, antioxidants that inhibit MMP. MMP are enzymes that degrade collagen and elastin.
Microalgae extract derived from marine plankton protects the skin from stress-related reactions to adrenaline and cortisol. In vivo testing reveals reduced wrinkles and flakiness as well as increased radiance to the skin within 15 days.
10% Anhydrous Hyaluronic Acid Liposomes with Tripeptide-29 slowly hydrates and plumps up fine lines. Furthermore, Hyaluronic acid helps soothe inflammation and boosts collagen synthesis. Tripeptide-29 also encourages collagen synthesis.
A blend of oils rich in fatty acids to soothe, hydrate, and improve the skin’s barrier function. The blend includes Prickly Pear, Tomato Seed, Andiroba, Oat Kernal, and Squalane.
Who is it for?
Dry, dehydrated, and stressed skin with a compromised moisture barrier.
Have you tried skincare products with algae extract? Are you happy with the results?