Sustainable Ingredient Science: Brown Algae

Apr 1, 2013 | Contact Author | By: Giorgio Dell'Acqua, PhD
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Title: Sustainable Ingredient Science: Brown Algae
brown algaex Undaria pinnatifidax Fucus vesiculosusx sustainable harvestingx fucoidanx polyphenolsx
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Keywords: brown algae | Undaria pinnatifida | Fucus vesiculosus | sustainable harvesting | fucoidan | polyphenols

Abstract: Sea-harvested brown algae is known to have skin benefits and previously has been associated with an increase in skin elasticity. Fucoidan, found in brown macroalgae such as Undaria pinnatifida, is a unique marine ingredient. It is a sulfated, fucose-rich polymer that in nature, protects the seaweed against a range of external stresses, including UV radiation and environmental contaminants such as marine-borne pathogens and viruses.

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G Dell'Acqua, Sustainable Ingredient Science: Brown Algae, Cosmet & Toil 128(4) 226 (2013)

Market Data

  • Global demand for organic personal care was more than $7.6 billion in 2012, and is expected to reach $13.2 billion by 2018.
  • The global organic market has grown due to increasing consumer concerns regarding personal health and hygiene.
  • Widening distribution channels and new product development have contributed to growth.
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Nature and Technology

Two common misconceptions by consumers surrounding the efficacy of natural products in general are: They are safer than synthetics, and they are less efficacious. These perceptions are often opposed by experts including dermatologists or cosmetic scientists; indeed, most dermatologists advocate for synthetic and inert products, which are less reactive on skin. Cosmetic scientists analyze these materials on a case-by-case basis, and suggest that a general rule for all does not exist.

A decade ago, vegetable extracts were often included in cosmetic formulations at low concentrations for marketing purposes. Efficacious concentrations were not used for fear of how such concentrations would affect the color, smell, solubility and stability of the formulation. Natural extracts were occasionally used but never alone. At that time it was too difficult and costly to test efficacy in vitro, much less to conduct clinical studies. DNA chips were not commonly used by cosmetic scientists, and tests were basic and useless for examining the original targets. Moreover, natural extracts were often tested at higher concentrations than those used in the final formulas.

Technological and natural products in cosmetics seem to have successfully evolved in parallel, both growing for different reasons according to customer perception. However, with advances in technology and science now available for developing and testing extracts, these parallel paths can be bridged. Naturally derived products can be efficacious and safe while maintaining their positive image for purity, sustainability and environmental responsibility.

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This content is adapted from an article in GCI Magazine. The original version can be found here.

 

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Footnotes

a Maritech Bright (INCI: Fucus Vesiculosus) and b Maritech Reverse (INCI: Undaria Pinnatifida) are products manufactured by Marinova Ltd., Cambridge, Australia.

Biography: Giorgio Dell'Acqua, PhD, Freedom Actives Corp.

Giogio Dell

Giorgio Dell’Acqua, PhD, is a scientist with 15 years of experience in applied biomedical research and 12 years in cosmetic science. He is the co-founder of Freedom Actives Corp., a company specializing in the development and supply of natural and sustainable ingredients for the cosmetics, food and nutraceutics markets. He is also a consultant specializing in skin care ingredients and finished product development. Dell’Acqua has helped to bring more than 100 successful skin care active ingredients and finished products to the market, and has authored more than 40 publications in medicine and cosmetic science.

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