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Why Algae Can Save Your Skin: Ingredient Decoder

In the world of skincare, it can be hard to distinguish between fancy advertising and real results. But when all’s said and done, it all boils down to one thing: the ingredients. Every week, our resident skincare buff Mai will be separating the good from the bad, explaining how products work, and sharing her latest discoveries.

Photo: Algenist

Lately, beauty insiders have been raving about a wonder ingredient derived from an unexpected source: microalgae. It may sound bizarre at first, but Algenist, a newly launched brand, has figured out a way to harness these single-celled organisms for the good of your skin. Click through to learn how microalgae works!

A quick journey back to high school biology class: microalgae are tiny, unicellular creatures that thrive in the darkest depths of the ocean. They produce oxygen, as well as a host of other compounds such as antioxidants, omega-3 acids, and peptides (all these ingredients should ring a bell for the skincare-obsessed). But what really distinguishes microalgae is how it protects itself from extreme environmental stressors. That’s where Algenist comes in. 

Seven years ago, a team of biotech scientists convened in a Palo Alto lab to study microalgae. They were hoping to see if it could serve as a source of renewable energy, but along the way they made an unexpected discovery: they realized that microalgae cells emitted a unique compound that served as a barrier against their harsh natural environment. The compound was even capable of helping the cells regenerate after suffering damage. Neat, right? 

The scientists named the compound Alguronic Acid and (get ready for the exciting part) found that it had equally powerful results when applied to human skin. They spent the next six years developing a line of products based on on clinical trial-validated formulas. The end result? The Algenist line debuted to rave reviews from every women’s magazine under the sun. 

Our favorite product from Algenist is their Firming and Lifting Cream. It contains a concentrated dose of microalgae-derived Alguronic Acid, which works to increase elastin and collagen levels within your skin and restore its youthful bounce. Better yet, the breakthrough ingredient also helps replace damaged old cells with fresh ones. Together with peptides and other proteins, it will help your skin look visibly lifted in under two weeks. 

So the next time someone compliments you on your great skin, you can tell them it’s all thanks to microalgae (get ready for a lot of raised eyebrows).

—Mai

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