Seaweed (alga) is a hit in the anti-ageing skin care market. Many cosmetics are using seaweed as their star ingredient, attributing it with beneficial properties for enhancing our appearance. Creams and lotions of all kinds are prepared from “seaweed extract”. How genuine is its anti-ageing properties? Or is this a question of misleading advertising?
Many companies, especially from France, Canada, the USA and Australia, sell harvested seaweed extract as an ingredient for personal care products. Their advertising usually emphasizes that the extract is a very useful anti-skin-ageing alternative. Algae are organisms that are simpler than land plants. There are thousands of species worldwide, some used since time immemorial for various purposes (in China they have been used since 5,000 years ago).
From the sea to the face
Seaweed extract is basically used in cosmetics for the following reasons:
It acts as a thickening agent.
It fixes water in mixtures and controls viscosity.
It may have moisturizing, anti-oxidant, photoprotector, anti-bacterial and other properties.
Consequently, using seaweed extract as an ingredient in formulas can be very effective and is practical. Also, as a “natural” product, it is favourably viewed by consumers. It is frequently listed as “seaweed extract” on the label of the products that we buy.
Algae typically found in cosmetics are sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca), brown algae or kelp (Laminaria) and several species of red algae, such as the famous Irish moss (Chondrus crispus).
All kinds of products containing algae are available in the market: oils and lotions, moisturizers, shampoos and soaps, scrubs, makeup and foundations, cleansers, lip balms, hair conditioners, etc. In other words, seaweed is used for almost any kind of cosmetic.
Seaweed’s real effects
All manufacturers logically carry out research looking for alga properties that may have an application in their formulas. And not just for cosmetic products for the skin, but also for nutricosmetic supplements that seek “beauty from within”.
Irish moss has long been used for its emollient and anti-oxidant properties. It contains proteins, vitamin A, sugar, starch, vitamin B1, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and calcium with beneficial effects on the skin.
Brown algae, of which about 1,500 species are known, are rich in polyphenols and fucoidans (polysaccharides), which equip them with strong anti-oxidant and anti-ageing properties. A producer of extract of Alaria esculenta, an alga harvested on the north coast of France, insists that this seaweed promotes the formation of collagen and elastin due to its high concentration of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Other claims are that certain algae are useful as free-radical scavengers, helping protect the skin from both intrinsic and environmental damage. Some even highlight seaweed’s ability to stimulate the activity of sirtuins (proteins that regulate the many genes responsible for metabolism and cell repair).
There are many beneficial effects attributed to seaweed extract, described in detail in prestigious scientific journals, for example, its moisturizing action and antiseptic effect against the bacteria that cause acne. Even the photoprotective capacity of certain algae is being used to develop hypoallergenic sunscreens.
Careful with adverts
For all the advantages of seaweed, the claims that it may stop or remove wrinkles, heal skin or provide other amazing benefits need to be interpreted with care. Some adverts claim that seaweed can heal psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis, yet there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.
In conclusion, trust your local supplier and the prestige brands that have conducted thorough research to support claims that a particular seaweed used in their products has any particular effect. Read the labels and, if in doubt, ask before buying.
By Josep Orellana, science journalist
Source: The Healthy Skin
1- Boost your cleansing power. Twice-daily use of a facial toner hydrates the skin and helps provide a much more thorough cleansing experience than a facial cleanser alone.
2- Smaller looking pores. When used as part of the cleansing process, a good toner helps remove ingrained debris from pores while having an astringent (tightening) action on the skin tissue, effectively decreasing the appearance of pores.
3- Add a layer of protection. Toners can help tighten cell gaps after cleansing, this reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin. It can even protect from and remove chlorine and minerals found in tap water.
4- More efficient moisturizing. Applying leave-on products to toner dampened skin makes for smoother application, thus reducing the amount of product needed.
5- Helps set make-up. Especially great for mineral make-up application
6- Refreshes & soothes skin. Humectant, water-based toners provide refreshing hydration but toners boosted with anti-inflammatory botanicals can also soothe reactive skin conditions
7- Delivery system for active ingredients. Toners can be formulated with powerful biological actives such as glycosaminoglycans, essential oils, or botanical extracts that can have a dramatic effect on skin’s health and appearance.
Have you ever wondered why women are so concerned about how they look? Why they aim to look like the beautiful women they see on the television and in magazines? That’s because beauty is power!
Even way back into ancient times women were concerned about their looks. Think of Cleopatra or Nefertiti who were beautiful women of their times.
The cosmetic industry is well aware of this and that women will go to great lengths to look beautiful. That’s why the cosmetic industry is a multi billion dollar industry.
When you think of beauty you think of what you see on the outside. But beauty is more than skin deep. And beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder! What one may find beautiful another may not. Even though there is no such thing as a definition for universal beauty all women know how to use their beauty to their advantage.
Men fall for this manipulation constantly. In fact, they seldom know they’ve been snared into the web with a woman’s beauty. Of course the know when exterior beauty is mesmerizing them but it’s the internal beauty that they have not idea is working. That pouty mouth, those sparkling eyes, that gentle laugh. The power play of the boardroom and the bedroom share many similarities.
It’s a proven fact men are unable to release themselves from the beauty of women. A quick look, a wink, a big inviting smile, a relaxed posture are all indications that a man has succumbed to the beauty. Studies have shown even the smartest men go stupid when entranced by the beauty of a woman.
Remember Sophia Loren, Jane Collins, or Jaqueline Bisset. Think about Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Madona, Marilyn Monroe. There beauty had an instant effect on the male population. Not only their exterior beauty but the deeper inner beauty of confidence and mystique that surrounded them.
These women were all show stoppers without even trying. In fact, when asked they felt their features were flawed, but men didn’t see it that way. And yet each of these women were totally different in looks and personality. But each brought a certain group of men to their feet. Each had the ability to take the smartest man and turn him into a walking talking zombie stuttering, and staring.
Remember a beautiful woman is more than the exterior shell. Beauty is the whole woman. Personality, charm charisma, seductive sexuality, a smile, or a stance. There are many elements to a women beauty than capture a mans attention and lock him into a world of bliss.
There is no cure for the poor male population, no pill to pop, no treatment to make them free of the power of a beautiful women. There are no magic bullets to stop the bite of beauty from turning the male population into a drooling idiot or a walking talking zombie. And until there is women will continue to use their beauty as a weapon on the opposite sex. Sorry guys!