Seaweed’s Place in the Sun

Our Products,Sun Protection — December 22, 2011
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What does seaweed have to do with sun protection?

Turns out quite a lot, when you look to nature. Mycosporine-like amino acids found in seaweed are THE naturally safe alternative to any synthetic sunscreen ingredient counterpart.  An abundantly rich source of mycosporine-like amino acids is red algae. Found living in shallow water where, when exposed to UV radiation, red algae produce the most powerful UV-absorbing substances found in nature.


A red algae tide, otherwise known as a “bloom”.

Why are we seeing red algae in beauty products?

Beauty manufacturers are turning to red algae for the trace minerals and fatty acids necessary to promote healthy skin. That colorful red pigment in red algae is known as astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is an efficacious antioxidant who scavenges free radicals and works by improving elasticity and moisture retention. Red algae reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while perhaps most impressively also protects against UV damage. What’s more is that red algae act as a skin lightening agent and has the ability to re-texture skin, diminishing brown spots caused by photoaging and giving way to a coveted iridescent complexion.

How does it work?

Red marine algae limit the transport of melanosomes which provide tissue with color, thus controlling photo-induced darker pigmentation issues (a.k.a. brown spots). Red algae produce highly active, natural UV-screening compounds that absorb UVA light. (UVA is the deep penetrating UV ray that causes aging in the skin, such as wrinkles and loss of collagen.)

Red Algae Beauty Benefit Overview:

  • Boosts SPF
  • Absorbs UVA light and helps prevent the photo effects of aging
  • Reduces UV-induced DNA damage in human fibroblasts (the source of our collagen which gives our skin its firmness)
  • Increases skin smoothness and firmness
  • Improves skin cell’s moisture retention
  • Decreases wrinkle depth
  • Evens skin tone
  • Lightens brown ‘sun spots’

We are happy to shed light on nature’s sunscreen red algae and are pleased to offer it in our proprietary EcoSunComplex®, the cornerstone ingredient of all S.O. products.


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