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Fueling the Skin
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries Magazine
Posted: July 30, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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Algae in Skin Care
Algae have many benefits for skin care, according to Brooks. “They help to improve the skin’s lipid barriers and have a high carotenoid content.” Specifically, the algae oil harvested by the company reportedly contains hundreds of different carotenoid types.
The polysaccharide content of the algae oil also has specific benefits in skin care. “The oils have beautifying and moisturizing properties but the unique polysaccharide content delivers wrinkle benefits and softens the skin,” said Brooks. “They have been shown to plump the surface of the skin and to produce collagen and elastin. [Algae] also protect the skin from DNA damage through their unique biofilm, reducing the post-UV TT dimer formation.”
The company has an extensive algal library and according to Brooks, the oil is 100% active. Before the algae oil can be used in cosmetics, however, it must be combined with methyl ester through a transesterification process.
A main focus for the company is that its phytoponic process is environmentally friendly or as Brooks puts it, has a “small environmental footprint.” Crude oil is becoming expensive and palm oil being diverted for biofuel production leaves little crop for other industries.
This phytoponic process to produce algae oil is renewable and sustainable, offering an attractive solution. “We can produce huge quantities with limited land water mass,” said Brooks. The company harvests only a small amount of algae and yet can produce large quantities in a renewable way, thereby maintaining the crucial algae balance in marine environments and avoiding aquatic life disruption.