Marine environment: A source of sustainable cosmetic ingredients
Marine plants and microorganisms are an underexplored and vast, sustainable source of effective, natural compounds for skin health and natural beauty.
Macroalgae are rich sources of bioactive molecules and are able to synthesize unique molecules, characteristics that make them useful as functional ingredients in cosmetics.
Seaweeds can vary enormously in size: from single-celled to large brown algae that can grow up to 50 meters in length and occupy different ecological niches throughout the planet. They are a potentially renewable source of molecules, do not require pesticides or fertilizers to grow, and do not use arable lands. Even with all this potential, seaweeds are still a relatively underused and undervalued resource. The most recent estimate reports that from approximately 73,000 species of known seaweeds, only 236 are used by man.
Growing seaweed directly in the oceans, the liquid water that covers most of the surface of our planet, is a very smart and environmentally friendly choice. It seems, at least, more sustainable than growing certain vegetable species on mainland, where only 10% of that is arable and huge irrigation water is needed.
Marine microbes for petrochemical replacement
There is a huge demand for alternatives to petroleum-based chemical products, looking for improved safety and biodegradability profiles and marine origin resources seem a reliable solution.
A good example is the findings of consortium Marisurf. After a five-year research has identified marine microbes as an important means to develop bio-based replacements for surfactants and emulsifiers in personal care, food and pharmaceutical formulations.
A review published last year by researchers from Japan’s Tokyo University of Science suggested sustainable surfactants, or biosurfactants, would soar in popularity in coming years. Eco-transition may prove difficult because of the low costs and strong performance associated with conventional surfactants, but funding policies encouraging collaborative research projects are leading to very promising results.
EU Marisurf consortium says marine microbes promising for biosurfactant, bioemulsifier development (cosmeticsdesign-europe.com)
Marine Macroalgae: A Significant Source of Unique Cosmetic Ingredients (cosmeticsdesign.com)
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