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Algae Extract



We have to admit that Algae Extract is not our favorite ingredient name. It does comply with the INCI standard (the official list about how ingredients on the product labels have to be called, the thing we help you to decode here :)), but there are about 20 000 different kinds of algae and an extract from them can be made in another 10 000 ways.

So, Algae Extract can be anything from La Mer's "Miracle Broth" to a simple brown algae extract that helps to smooth the hair. The official description in the Europiean Cosmetic Ingredient listing is this: "an extract of various species of Algae; Extract of the Seaweed, Fucus vesiculosus, Furaceae". Its official functions include being a humectant (helps skin to attract water), emollient (makes skin feel smooth and nice) and skin conditioner (a catchall phrase for saying it does something good for the skin).

A 2015 research paper on the potential of uses of algae in cosmetics summarizes that algae are rich sources of biologically active metabolites including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, alginates, polysaccharides, and carotenoids. Currently, algae extracts are mostly used as moisturizing and thickening agents, but algae also have great potential to combat skin aging, pigmentation as well as working as an antimicrobial.

We have also browsed through Prospector to see what manufacturers say about their algae. There is, for example, an algae extract trade-named Lanablue that comes from blue-green algae (green algae is rare, less than 1% of the total macroalgae in the world) and is claimed to have retinoid like effects (i.e. reduce wrinkles, smooth skin) but without the side effects (though it seems now that the INCI name of Lanablue was changed to Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae Extract). 

There is another algae extract from another manufacturer that comes from red algae (much more common, about 40% of total macroalgae worldwide) and is claimed to have not only moisturizing but also skin smoothing and densifying effects. 

Here is a brown algae extract (the most common type, about 59% of macroalgae), also just called Algae Extract on the product label that is simply claimed to be a free radical scavenger, aka antioxidant. These were just three random examples from three manufacturers all called Algae extract even though they all come from different algae with different claims.

Anyhow, the point is this; there are tons of different types of Algae Extracts out there. Unless the brand tells you what they use, it's impossible to know for sure. The most probable scenario for the Alge Extract is that it works as a moisturizer and emollient and it might have some additional anti-aging properties.

Show me some proof

  • Bioresource Technology, May 1, 2015, Exploring the potential of using algae in cosmetics

Products with Algae Extract

Beauty Counter Rejuvenating Toner Pads La Mer Crème De La Mer La Mer Crème De La Mer Moisturizing Cream La Mer Genaissance De La Mer The Serum Essence La Mer Genaissance De La Mer The Serum Essence La Mer The Eye Concentrate La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Lotion La Mer The New Moisturizing Soft Cream Lamer The Eye Concentrate Luzern Laboratories La Defense Mineral Sunscreen Spf 30 Manyo Factory Ultra Moist Spa Ampoule Neogen Pore Mouse Neogen Pore Tight Peeling Mousse Neogen Power Tight Refeshing Serum Project Reef Mineral Sunscreen SPF50 Soleil Toujours After Sun Rescue + Repair Brightening Serum VGAM biome Pure Artik APIS Professional Couperose-Stop Concentrate APIS Professional Discolouration-Stop Brightening Concentrate BioBare Moisture Retain™ Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Gel Blu42 Bright Eye Cream Bobbi Brown Remedies Skin Relief No. 80 Serum Caswell-Massey Moisturizing Almond After-Shave Balm Dear Self I Am Gleaming Derm Institute Cellular Rejuvenating Eye Contour Masque Single Pack Dēpology Derma Face Sculpting Mask Fixderma Triple Action Under Eye Cream Garden of Wisdom Oh No!! What Did I Do To My Skin?!?! La Mer Genaissance De La Mer The Eye And Expression Cream La Mer Hydrating Infused Emulsion La Mer The Concentrate La Mer The Concentrate Siero Protettivo La Mer The Eye Balm Intense La Mer The Lifting And Firming Mask La Mer The Moisturizing Matte Lotion La Mer The Neck & Décolleté Concentrate La Mer The Regenerating Serum La Mer The Treatment Lotion La Mer Treatment Lotion Mask Le Mieux Phyto-Marine Cleansing Lotion Lesse Ritual Serum Lush Seanik Naked Shampoo Matte Alpha-Arbutin Brightening Cream Matte Peptide Smoothing Treatment OSEA Advanced Protection Cream OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream OSEA Ocean Cleanser OSEA Ocean Lotion OSEA White Algae Mask