Cosmetic Ingredients from the Sea

algaeThe Earth is made up of more than 70% water, so it comes as no surprise that manufacturers are searching for new sources of ingredients from oceans and fresh water sources. In fact, it is more startling that companies have not found more ways to use the abundance of sea plants in cosmetic formulations.

So, you may ask yourself, what are kind of benefits would marine ingredients offer health and beauty products?

Well, two popular cosmetic ingredients, Chlorella Vulgaris and Chlorella Pyrenoidosa, are both a species of fresh water green algae.  According to Nica Lewis, head consultant at Mintel Beauty Innovation, “Chlorella vulgaris is emerging often in beauty launches and Chlorella pyrenoidosa often appears in hair care products these days. Both are taken as health and dietary supplements because they are rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. When ingested they help maintain healthy digestion and healthy skin.”

Traditionally, algae are known to have effective anti-ageing properties.  They are not only extremely abundant, but also consist of nearly 200 different strains. And when the right combination of algae extracts are mixed together it can result in a biological profile that forms an ingredient which acts as anti-ageing product.

In today’s competitive landscape, researches are focusing on a new generation of high tech cosmetics that utilize ingredients sourced from the ocean. You can now find about 30 different types of algae in 100s of skin care, hair care, and other health and beauty products.  According to a recent study by Mintel, the use of algae in cosmetic formulation has more than doubled since 2004, ranking algae extract as one of the top active ingredients found in organic health and beauty products.

Algae are not the only naturally derived cosmetic ingredient found in the sea. Another popular product is marine collagen which is derived from a substance found on fish scales. It is said to provide support for the skin with its anti-ageing benefits and has found large success in Asia.

The marine cosmetic ingredient trend most likely started out in Asia centuries ago, and to this day Asian consumers are aware of the natural benefits, providing a thriving market for manufacturers and brands alike.

Asia is seen as a test market for marine cosmetics, and Europe is taking note.  Large European cosmetic companies are heavily investing into R&D for new marine formulations.

Selected marine-derived actives have started to appear in new prestige skin care launches, including Elemis (The Steiner Group), La Prairie (Beiersdorf) and Crème de la Mer (Estée Lauder). And tellingly, Elemis’ best selling global product is its Pro-Collagen Marine Cream.

Other popular brands are using sea fennel which supposedly enhances skin regeneration and improves wrinkled skin prone to excessive pigmentation. Further marine ingredients include organic seaweed extract and Dead Sea salts, both which are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Even though the sea has an abundance of natural resources, companies need to approach marine ingredients with an eco-friendly mindset, making sure not to harm our delicate seas. Just as manufacturers are carefully navigating the organic product market, there remains a greater goal than profit – natural, health living, and environmentally friendly practices.

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Posted by on Sep 28th, 2010 and filed under NATURAL INGREDIENTS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses for “Cosmetic Ingredients from the Sea”

  1. Glen says:

    I doubt vegans or vegetarians would be interested in “Dead Seal salts”. Perhaps you meant Dead Sea salts? 😉

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