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They say that life on Earth started in the sea and, oddly enough, our blood has the same percentage of salt as the ocean, so it's little wonder that the geniuses who develop creams, serums and lotions would look to the sea for ingredients that will make the biggest impact on our skin.  And the marine plant that's making big news in the skin care world right now? Algae.

The unique properties of both macroalgae (red, brown and green seaweed) and microalgae (invisible to the naked eye) have been tapped for use in the skin care industry.  As seaweed (clumps of algae that have grown together in a mass) and algae proliferate in different nutrient-rich environments, they develop different nutrients and qualities that can be extracted for use in topical treatments. Recent studies show that algae extract is rich in a compound called alguronic acid, shown to increase cell regeneration and the synthesis of elastin (it gives skin its elasticity of youth). Algae have also been found to be rich in antioxidants, particularly [Link Removed]  to collagen and elastin, thereby reducing the effects of aging.

What types of algae can you expect to see and what can they do for you?

Chlorella vulgaris: a single-cell green algae which contains a peptide to stimulate collagen and elastin.
Laminaria digitata: has the enviable ability to hold water in its tissues even in dry conditions, just what we want our skin to do.
Porphyra conchocelis: produces an alpha hydroxy acid used to create holes in rocks in order to facilitate its ability to cling to the surface. For skin care, the alpha hydroxy acid would be used as a gentle exfoliant.
Ulkenia: high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 oils help keep the top outer layer of the skin strong and intact while keeping external toxins and pollutants out.
Macroalgae brown seaweed: contains fucoidans, which protect the skin from UV damage, facilitate cell-to-cell communication, discourage inflammation and boost the immune system. A high level of fucoidans has been found in the diet of the inhabitants of Okinawa. This Japanese island is well-known for having a particularly high number of people who celebrate their 100th birthday.
With estimates on the sheer number of species of algae ranging from 30,000 up to 5 million, it seems we've only just begun to explore the possibilities.

Ready to bring the benefits of the sea to your skin?  [Link Removed] .

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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