For the past century, animal testing has been one of…
In the quest for pristine, youthful, radiant skin, a lot of us have probably tried some pretty weird and “out there” methods. Some of them might actually do something, and others might be pure folklore, and basically useless.
Well, today, Vine Vera would like to introduce you to one rather strange sounding method that actually does, in fact, work: seaweed extract. This seemingly odd choice of ingredient actually confers a number of benefits to topical skin care applications, making seaweed something of a hidden oceanic gem. And as usual, Vine Vera would love nothing more than to share this gem with you and teach you how to unleash it’s latent powers.
Seaweed Extract You Say?
Yes, we do say. Seaweed refers to a number of saltwater-dwelling protists (that’s right, most seaweed, including giant kelp, isn’t a plant! Kelp is a rare example of a multicellular protist with plant-like attributes like the presence of chloroplasts. Pull that bit of trivia out at your next dinner party to impress some friends!). Said protists mostly get their energy from photosynthesis, the same process by which plants convert oxygen, water, and sunlight energy into chemical energy they can use to sustain themselves with.
The fact that they need sunlight to survive finds seaweeds year the surface of the ocean. Some float around either on the surface or in the upper layers, and some root themselves in the ground of shallower waters, often growing upward, like giant kelp, pushing out leaflike structures as close to the sun as possible.
We know that for humans and animals in general, the sun can cause a great deal of damage to us when unprotected. Well, the same is true for a lot of organisms, actually, and seaweed is no exception. Because most seaweed species hang out where the sun hits hardest, and because the sun is especially harsh on the open ocean, these clever little plantlike protists have developed an affinity for synthesizing specific, specialized compounds that help protect their genes from damage by UV radiation. These compounds can actually be used on human skin, too. It’s no replacement for broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, but used in conjunction with a good sunscreen, some algae extracts could further protect your skin from sun damage and safeguard you from long-term wrinkles and discoloration from sun damage.
Additionally, algae extracts tend to contain a rich vitamin profile, always a helpful trait when wanting to boost your skin’s health, texture, and appearance. If you have sensitive skin prone to irritation, you may also be intrigued by the fact that many algae extracts have soothing, anti-irritant properties. Various compounds in algae that help it grow so fast (giant kelp grows an inch every day!) can also penetrate the skin and stimulate your own cells to repair themselves more efficiently. Finally, algae extracts promote deep hydration and tightening, helping to smooth out wrinkles and combat dryness.
Ultimately, algae extract shows so much promise owing to its versatility. It has applications to so many skin care issues, including sun protection, irritation, moisturization, vitamin enrichment, and anti-aging, that you should definitely keep your eye on it.