Spirulina first began trending as something you stir into your morning smoothie or take as a dietary supplement. But its uses have expanded far beyond just ingestible forms. In more recent years, Spirulina has been known to appear on the ingredient labels of beauty products as well. And with good reason. The benefits of Spirulina on outer beauty are just as impactful as its benefits on inner beauty. Here’s what you need to know about what this superfood can do for your skin and why you should start adding Spirulina beauty products to your shelf.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, or sea plant, of which there are two species: Arthrospira maxima and Arthrospira platensis. It is a powerful adaptogen that is safe to be consumed by humans and animals and is more bioavailable to the body in comparison to other forms of algae. This means a greater proportion of Spirulina is circulated upon ingestion or use and is able to have an active effect on the body.
The use of algae in health and beauty formulas has been common throughout history, especially in traditional oriental medicine, but recently became more popular thanks to research studies citing its nutrient density. It is not only filled with chlorophyll and protein but also a host of other beneficial nutrients and vitamins such as iron, manganese, zinc, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, and vitamins A, E K, beta-carotene and B-complex.
Naturally, these vitamins and minerals made Spirulina attractive to be consumed as food for the body. But, as microalgae culture improved, its uses have expanded into the beauty and cosmetic industries, making Spirulina’s precious vitamins and minerals available for use on the skin as well.
The Benefits of Spirulina in Beauty
Because of its bioavailability, Spirulina has a powerful effect on the body, which explains its popular use as a superfood and, now, as a trending ingredient in beauty products. Spirulina is chock full of benefits, but let’s explore those that especially relate to the skin.
Spirulina is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that help to eliminate toxins and help fight against signs of aging. In addition to these impressive benefits, Spirulina also:
- Reduces dark circles
- Hydrates the skin
- Calms irritation
- Helps to increase the skin’s metabolism to enable faster cell turnover
- Contains proteins that contribute to the stimulation of fibroblasts and tissue regeneration
There is much scientific research to back up the beneficial effects of Spirulina on the skin and explain its wide use in the beauty industry. In one particular study, these benefits of Spirulina and other algae are supported. In The Potential Use of Marine Microalgae and Cyanobacteria in Cosmetics and Thalassotherapy, researchers state, “The significance of active ingredients derived from microalgae is that they can be used to prevent blemishes, repair damaged skin, help seborrhea, and inhibit the inflammation process. In addition, extracts from microalgae have various bioactive substances which accelerate the healing process and maintain skin moisture”
Another study found that “the formulation containing Spirulina improved skin conditions and provided long term benefits such as hydration, protection of the skin barrier function and oil control.” This same study also found that Spirulina as an active ingredient in beauty products is effective for the care of both young and mature skin. The formulations containing Spirulina extract improved skin conditions and provided long term skin benefits.
Spirulina Beauty Products To Start With
Due to the wide array of benefits of Spirulina, it is impactful in many types of beauty products including serums, moisturizers, cleansers, masks, scrubs and body soaps. A lot of manufacturers have started leaning on Spirulina for its nutrient-dense properties, so it’s readily available and safe to use in many of these forms.
You can not only benefit from the breadth of nutrients in products that feature Spirulina but also hone in on particular advantages based on the results you want to achieve. For instance, if you are looking to benefit from the detoxifying properties of Spirulina, start with this mask. If you want to reap the anti-aging benefits of Spirulina, try this mask. When choosing any new beauty product to try, pay close attention to the ingredients and seek out the most natural formulations. Knowing what your skin reacts to, both positively and negatively, is key to ensure the best possible results. Spirulina is a natural substance that is safe to both consume and apply and its benefits are endless.
So, while Spirulina does make your smoothie bowls and face masks a vibrant shade of blue-green, it is useful for more than just its beautiful color. It is also packed with antioxidants and nutrients that make it extremely effective in both your food and beauty products. It’s safe to say, Spirulina will continue to be used for centuries to come. Incorporating this superfood into your diet and skin routine can have a positive effect on your overall health and appearance.
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