Algae Extract



Algae Extract description

Algae extract comes from algae, which are very simple, chlorophyll-containing organisms in a family that includes more than 20,000 different known species. In cosmetics, algae act as thickening agents, water-binding agents, and antioxidants. Some algae are also potential skin sensitiser. For example, the phycocyanin present in blue-green algae has been suspected of sensitisation on the basis of patch tests. Other forms of algae, such as Irish moss and carrageenan, contain proteins, vitamin A, sugar, starch, vitamin B1, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and calcium. Most of these are beneficial for skin, as emollients, soothing agents, or antioxidants. New research shows forms of brown algae show promise for improving the appearance of ageing skin. As a plant ingredient, all types of algae are prone to breaking down with routine exposure to air and light. Because of this, avoid anti-ageing products with algae that are packaged in jars.

Algae Extract references

  • Bioresource Technology, May 2015, pages 355-362
  • Marine Pharmacognosy: Trends and Applications, 2013
  • Marine Drugs, January 2013, pages 146-164

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.