Seaweed: The skincare saviour we all deserve
Marine algae such as seaweed have been widely studied and are increasingly recognised as an important nutritional source. As a readily available culinary ingredient seaweed is gaining popularity on many menus, but why stop at the food on your table? Studies have shown that the active constituents in marine algae have direct relevance in cosmetics, so your skin can reap the benefits of the ocean too. 8
Why organic seaweed?
There are very good reasons why we’ve carefully chosen the ingredients in our organic skincare range, most notably the specific combination of seaweed extracts, which not only attract moisture into the skin helping to plump it up and reduce the appearance of fine lines but also because seaweed is incredibly rich in nutrients, containing the broadest range of minerals of any other plant. According to research, some seaweed contains 10 to 100 times more vitamins and minerals per unit of dry mass than land based plants or animal derived foods.1
The seaweed and algae extracts in Maiiro products, which include: Haematococcus Pluvialis, Oarweed, Bladderwrack, Wakame and Thong Weed, contain an extraordinary number of remarkable bioactive compounds, which make up our unique Kelpogen5™ seaweed complex. Each species of seaweed brings something unique to the table but as a team the total nutrient profile is outstanding, supplying calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and fluoride as well as both fat and water soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K, C, B12, thiamine, riboflavin and folate.1
One of the other amazing features of seaweed in particular the species Haematococcus Pluvialis, is that it has the capacity to amass large amounts of the ketocarotenoid ‘Astaxanthin’, which helps to protect it from oxidative damage.2 The protective effects of Astaxanthin are not just limited to the seaweed itself but extend to human cells too. Studies show that Astaxanthin has many diverse functions in skin biology as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and UV protective compound.2,3 The potent blend of seaweeds in Maiiro’s anti-blemish cream delivers a generous dose of Astaxanthin, great for tackling every day skin worries. Each application helps to firm, smooth, calm and moisturise whilst supporting the skin’s own protective barrier.
When considering skin health, many of the other nutrients found in seaweed also have tremendous benefits. As an example, manganese, copper and vitamins B2, C and E, are all credited with the ability to protect cells from oxidative stress. Further support comes from iodine, and vitamin B2, which are shown to contribute to the maintenance of normal skin. The role of copper in the skin’s appearance may also be more relevant than once thought, as a deficiency can cause problems with skin coloration. This may be because copper is involved in melanin synthesis and contributes to normal skin pigmentation.10 The value of copper for enhancing the complexion adds to the significant skin health advantages of Maiiro’s anti-blemish cream.
Seaweed has such an impressive range of biologically valuable compounds including those that appear to have anti-cancer effects, that scientists are investigating how these may be put to use in future cancer preventative therapies. 5,6
How do antioxidants benefit the skin?
If you suffer from acne, rosacea, psoriasis or eczema you’re probably aware that inflammation is part of the problem, which is where antioxidants come to the rescue. As the body’s first line of defence, your skin is constantly exposed to toxic substances that create free radicals, such as:
- Electromagnetic radiation (microwaves, computers and mobiles)
- Exhaust and factory fumes
- Tobacco smoke
- Synthetic chemicals and preservatives in cosmetic and household products
- Ultra violet (UV) rays from the sun
Evidence suggests that the excessive production of free radicals may aggravate or contribute to inflammatory skin conditions.12 Free radicals are chemicals produced within the body as a result of oxidation, which over time can be incredibly damaging to your cells. Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative stress by continuously donating electrons, which chemically bind to the cells and neutralise free radicals. The skin is the site of multiple oxidative reactions and as such the need for adequate antioxidant defences is essential.
Building strong healthy skin
Many of the long list of nutrients found in seaweed have a role to play in the strength, tone and elasticity of skin. Bladderwrack for example, provides a rich source of Vitamin C, which is found in abundance in both the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. Unfortunately research shows the process of ageing leads to a decline in vitamin C content in both layers. 11,12
Studies also show that vitamin C plays an important role in supporting skin health because of its contribution to normal collagen formation. According to research the enzymes that stimulate collagen biosynthesis are dependent on vitamin C as a co-factor.4,7 Collagen fibres weave together to form a network within which new cells can grow, giving the skin its structure and strength. 9 Maiiro’s anti-ageing cream provides the all-important vitamin C needed to support beautiful skin.
Thong weed is also known to provide high levels of vitamin E, a defence nutrient that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. As well as this both Wakame and Oarweed are rich sources of iodine, a mineral that not only supports thyroid health but also contributes to the maintenance of normal skin. Good levels of iron can also be found in each of these seaweeds, which is an important nutrient in terms of its contribution to oxygen transport in the body and normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. The availability of iron means that oxygen and nutrients can be rapidly transported to the skin cells that need it.
Not only is our organic skin care range nutrient packed it’s also ethically sourced, cruelty free, sustainable and recyclable, which means whilst you’re preserving the health of your skin you’re also helping to preserve the planet – a winning combination!
- Abu-Ghannam N & Shannon E. Seaweeds as nutraceuticals for health and nutrition. Phycologia 2019; 58, NO. 5, 563–577.
Boussiba S. Carotenogenesis in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis: Cellular physiology and stress response. Physiologia Plantarum 2002, 108,2. [Abstract]
Davinelli S et al. Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 522.
Grove D, Lindberg KA, Murad S, Pinnell SR, Reynolds G, and Sivarajah A. Regulation of collagen synthesis by ascorbic acid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 1981; 78(5):2879-2882.
https://www.cyanotech.com/pdfs/bioastin/batl08.pdf [Accessed 23.1.20]
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269036724_Seaweed_Carotenoids_for_Cancer_Therapeutics/link/54b50d4e0cf26833efd05e3a/download. [Accessed 23.1.20.]
Mandal A. Amino acids in formation of collagen. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Collagen-Synthesis.aspx.[accessed10.17]
Pereira L. Seaweeds as Source of Bioactive Substance and Skin Care Therapy – Cosmeceuticals, Alogtherapy and Thalassotherapy. Cosmetics 2018, 5(4), 68.
Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017; 9(8):866. 8
Quevedo WC. Human skin color: Origin, variation and significance. Journal of human evolution1985; 14, 1: 43-56. 9
Rhie G, Shin MH, Seo JY, et al. Aging- and photoaging-dependent changes of enzymic and nonenzymic antioxidants in the epidermis and dermis of human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol 2001; 117:1212-1217. 10
Shindo Y, Witt E, Han D, Epstein W, Packer L. Enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidants in epidermis and dermis of human skin. J Invest Dermatol 1994; 102:122-124. 11
Wagener FA, Carels CE, Lundvig DM. Targeting the redox balance in inflammatory skin conditions. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14(5):9126–9167. Published 2013 Apr 26. doi:10.3390/ijms14059126. 12