Algae covers thousands of different species, but generally we refer to - and recognise mostly - kelp, spirulina and seaweed (of which of course, there are many varieties that you can spot on just one visit to the beach). Algae is not new to skincare but is gaining prominence as we are searching for more natural resources and also as we learn more about it's benefits on the skin and the body in general.
You may see reference in product ingredient lists to Micro and Macro algae - this just refers to those that are visible to the human eye - macro - and those that are tiny organisms only seen under the microscope. And of course, they all have different properties and benefits but a summary of algae overall, when used in beauty & wellness products, will help in gaining an understanding of this incredible powerhouse plant.
As a humectant - a humectant holds moisture in the skin, so hydrates and keeps in plump. softens fine lines and overfall mask the skin look better and feel more comfortable. It has been found actually to perform better than one of the most famous of skin hydrators, hyaluronic acid.
To brighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation - if you are searching for a gentler way than using acids to fade out an uneven complexion , or want to harness the treasures of the sea then you can turn to algae to do the job. Red, green, blue and brown algae all contain skin brightening properties which will assist in breaking down and alleviating dark spots. and will of course deliver a bright, radiant complexion wherever used.
Anti-inflammatory effect - this can be when used topically on the skin and also when ingested in supplements or regular consumption of algae rich drinks. so not only can algae help clean up the damage once caused but they can also prevent it from happening in the first instance.
Sun filtering is something that some algae do beautifully. Red and brown algae species reduce oxidative stress on the skin, especially that caused by UV light exposure. In addition, amino acid molecules within the algae will scavenge free-radicals that damage the skin but also will dissipate the heat produced by the UV-radiation and so doubling the sun protection effect.
Antioxidant effect is delivered not only which acts as an anti UV element but also due to being rich sources of magnesium, zinc, vitamin B and other antioxidants , the result is clearer and healthier skin overall. This will also reduce fine lines and wrinkles through inhibiting those enzymes that break down collagen. A study has found that Astaxanthin - which is found naturally in algae -is in fact 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times more than Co-enzyme Q10 and 550 times greater than the health-boosting catechise found in green tea.
Sweden is not only an ideal location for harvesting seaweed naturally - which in fact L:A Bruket do regularly from the sea and coast around Varberg, on Sweden's West Coast where the brand is located but it is also to note that Sweden is a world leader in developing biotech algae, notably through the work of The Swedish Algae Factory and the very local to us, Simris Alg. Algae continues to be one of our Nordic Hero ingredients, and we will be adding to our selection over the coming months.