Seaweed concentrate? Green algae peptides? Caviar extract? Now more than ever, scientists are turning to marine-based ingredients to create cosmeceuticals that are making a splash in the beauty aisle.
Why the deep-dive? For starters, researchers have found ways to use vitamin-and-mineral-rich marine extracts to fight signs of aging and treat and repair many types of problem skin conditions. For instance, a peptide extracted from the single-celled green algae Chlorella vulgaris stimulates production of four types of dermal collagen and elastin. Another seaweed, Laminaria digitata, retains water in its plant tissue—much like the skin’s epidermis holds water—ensuring it stays plump and moisturized, even in low tide.
And it doesn’t stop at plant life. Scientists are also fishing for anti-aging breakthroughs by studying the skin of various aquatic creatures, such as salmon for example. Collagen derived from salmon binds water up to 30 times its molecular weight. When used as a key ingredient in topical creams, it can deliver superior hydration to the skin, without causing irritation or allergic reaction.
As Dr. Rabkin notes in the May issue of Harper’s Bazaar, the harvesting and preserving of marine ingredients has become highly sophisticated over the past several decades, leading to a slew of effective—as well as more environmentally friendly—skincare products and spa treatments. Some of our favorites are Algenist Algae Brightening Mask ($59), which harnesses a rich composition of both micro and macro algae to brighten and even out skin tone; TimeSlip Solution’s RG-Cell Concentrated Restorative Skin Serum ($99), which combines extracts of caviar and blue-green algae to help boost the skin’s natural production of collagen; RoeZen’s skin-perfecting Beauty Mask ($500), which harnesses the many benefits of luxurious caviar, and Esthetica MD Marine Collagen Serum ($95), which is formulated with 99% collagen extracted from the skin of arctic salmon.