Algal ingredients – the future of the global beauty industry?
Algae include some of the most primitive forms of life on the planet. They range from microscopic, unicellular organisms that singlehandedly carry out every biological function required for life, through to multicellular plants that have evolved specialised structures for different purposes. What they all have in common is the significant opportunity to support the global beauty industry.
Algae offer a wide range of bioactivities and impressive sustainability credentials. They are brimming with vitamins and minerals, essential elements and micronutrients that are essential for health. Algae can also produce natural compounds that offer protection from environmental stresses and marine pathogens. These same protective benefits can be captured to maintain youthful looking skin and to support dermal condition. High purity, certified organic fucoidan is an excellent example. Derived from brown macroalgae, this naturally occurring, bioactive compound is ideally suited for inclusion in premium skincare preparations. Its potential healthy-ageing, protecting, balancing and soothing properties have been extensively researched.
The sustainability story surrounding algae is well suited to brands committed to ‘blue beauty’. The sustainable harvesting of wild macroalgae is well documented by superior suppliers whose transparency in terms of renewable hand harvesting and waste utilisation is commendable. Microalgae, also popular across the beauty industry, can grow up to 10 times more rapidly than terrestrial plants, save significant volumes of freshwater, and can be produced on arid land ensuring it does not compete with other vital crops for space.
Whilst the hunt for innovative beauty solutions continues, it is clear that future searches are largely focussed on the underwater realm.