Algae in Skin Care: Benefits & Treatments

Picture this: you’re floating off the coast of Big Sur. As you’re relaxing in the water, a variety of sea creatures swim past you to nibble on the nutritious beds of kelp that float nearby. Do you dare take a nibble yourself?

While you can’t (and shouldn’t) live out this full-blown mermaid fantasy of swimming and snacking alongside your aquatic friends, you can still harness the vitamin-rich power that marine algae have to offer. And you don’t even need to leave dry land to do it.

Our Skin Health Experts will dive into the skin benefits of algae extract and why it’s an essential ingredient to increase hydration through skin care.

The Benefits of Algae Skin Care Products

An abundance of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants make algae a highly sought-after addition to many skin care products. Let’s take a look at four reasons why algae is making a splash in the world of skincare.

#1 Algae Can Reduce The Appearance Of Fine Lines And Wrinkles

Although the lines on our face help tell the story of our lives, we can make them the subplot and leave room for smooth, radiant skin to take the lead—and algae can lend a hand.

That’s because algae boasts natural antioxidants that reduce collagen-destroying enzymes in your body. By introducing algae extract into your skincare routine, you can help your body naturally maintain its collagen levels, reducing the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.

Antioxidants also play an important role in protecting your skin from the harmful effects of free radicals. By working to block and counteract the effects of these free radicals (such as pollutants and UV rays), antioxidants protect skin cells from oxidative damage, thereby preventing early signs of aging.

#2 Algae Can Fight Blemishes and Breakouts

In addition to antioxidants, algae extract contains strong antimicrobial properties that help reduce bacterial growth. This makes it easier to maintain clean, clear skin free of blemishes and breakouts.

Algae’s effectiveness as an antimicrobial also makes it useful as a deodorizer and a natural ingredient alternative to the harsh chemical preservatives that can be found in other beauty products.

#3 Algae Can Brighten Skin

Looking to address hyperpigmentation or brighten your skin naturally? Algae extract may be your answer for that as well. That’s because algae contain compounds that make them a natural tyrosinase inhibitor, meaning they can reduce the appearance of dark spots and help brighten skin. In fact, algae extract for skin care is currently being studied for its potential effectiveness in treating hyperpigmentation.

Aside from its extract, sea kelp can also be used as a natural exfoliant, ridding your face of dead skin cells and clearing the way for brighter skin to shine through.

#4 Algae Can Help Lock In Moisture For Ultimate Skin Hydration

If you have dull and dry skin, skin care products containing algae can help to draw in moisture where you need it most and help you achieve a healthy glow.

Some research even suggests that brown algae may provide greater moisture retention than hyaluronic acid, the current hydration darling of the skin care industry—not at all surprising for an ingredient that spends its lifespan submerged in water. Our HydraKate™ Hydrating Serum combines aquaporin skin care with hydration boosters like hyaluronic acid and algae extract that penetrates deep into the skin for proper moisturization.

The Types Of Algae Used In Skin Care

Just as there are many different types of fish in the sea, there are also thousands of varieties of algae. While all algae are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals—including magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E—each type of algae offers unique benefits when it comes to skincare treatment:

  • Brown algae – The most commonly used type of algae in cosmetic applications, brown algae is high in antioxidants, and best supports skin hydration and elasticity.
  • Red algae – While highest in carotenoids (which help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles), red algae are also considered to be the most useful as a UV protectant, keeping the skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Blue algae – Also known as spirulina, blue algae is rich in antioxidants, making it just as good at protecting your skin as it is at protecting your body. In fact, this type of algae is commonly used as an ingredient in smoothies and nutrition supplements.
  • Green algae – Though not used as frequently in cosmetics as its other colorful counterparts, antioxidant-rich green algae promotes firm, smooth skin and acts as a thickening agent in skin care products.

How To Add Algae Extract To Your Skin Care Routine

Algae extract can be found in all sorts of skin care products—from eye creams and moisturizers to serums and sunscreens. It also works well with rosemary, which can reduce redness and treat dry skin. Learn more about rosemary benefits for the skin that’s been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years!

If you’re ready to experience the powerful, restorative properties of algae for yourself, consider adding our new HydraKate™ collection of products to your skin care routine. Using blue light-activated algae extract alongside AquaPort Technology and hyaluronic acid, our Recharging Serum and Recharging Water Cream can leave you with a radiant, moisture-rich glow.

Make Your Skin Care Fantasies a Reality With Kate Somerville

Whether you’re looking for hydration, brightness, or a reduction in blemishes, the knowledgeable team of Skin Health Experts at Kate Somerville are here to help you find the products best suited to your needs.

Reach out to us today so that we can help you meet your skin care goals.


Journal of Applied Phycology. Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding.

Marine Drugs. Algae Metabolites in Cosmeceutical: An Overview of Current Applications and Challenges.

Marine Drugs. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algae-Derived Carbohydrates for Skin Health.

Marine Drugs. Hypopigmenting Effects of Brown Algae-Derived Phytochemicals: A Review on Molecular Mechanisms.

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