Ingredient Spotlight on Red Algae

If your only experience with algae has been the slimy green goo that grows on ponds, then it’s time to open yourself up to a new opportunity. These marine plants have plenty to offer in the realm of skincare. Today I’m shining a spotlight on red algae—a star ingredient in Hydrate The Mist and an all-around moisturizing powerhouse.

What Is It?

Red algae (also called red seaweed) refers to a group of florae in the Rhodophyta domain. In Latin, Rhodophyta literally means “red plants.” Most plants are green due to their chlorophyll, but Rhodophyta contain proteins that mask that green hue and give these species their characteristic red color. This vast group includes the chondrus crispus and lithothamnion calcareum algae used in my Hydrate Mist. 

What Does It Do?                                          

Red seaweed acts as a mega-hydrator. Like hyaluronic acid, red algae are polysaccharides; this structure makes them natural humectants. They draw moisture into the skin and hold it there for lasting hydration.

They’re more just than moisturizers, though! Red seaweed is rich in a whole host of vitamins, including A, B, E and K. These antioxidant properties help protect your skin from pollution, sun exposure, and other sources of everyday environmental damage. Research suggests that red algae are particularly adept at fighting skin damage from UV exposure. Other studies have shown that marine red algae can inhibit enzymes responsible for inflammation, acting as a skin-soother.  In sum, red algae leaves skin calm, juicy, and healthy with a natural glow and bounce.

Who Should Use It?

Much like its polysaccharide cousin hyaluronic acid, red seaweed lends itself to virtually any skin type and concern. It works particularly well for dehydrated skin, delivering ample moisture without leaving a heavy, filmy, or greasy feel on skin’s surface. We could all use some extra protection from environmental stressors, and marine red algae’s rich concentration of antioxidants provides that helping hand. Give it a try!