Edwina Ings-Chambers: Why algae is the way to glow

Algae is the ingredient that’s giving my complexion the mineral mega-hit it needs right now.

There’s often a circular nature to beauty ingredient trends and this one is no different. For marine algae is not new but it is seeing a renewed focus – and features in some of my favourite skincare saviours. That’s because it delivers some key benefits. The main one of these, says Kirsti Shuba, facialist and co-founder of the Katherine Daniels skincare line, ‘is to improve hydration, the life force of every living cell. Algae is packed full of skin-perfecting elements and minerals that are identical to those already within the skin and that help
to repair its barrier function, prevent moisture loss, smooth and deeply hydrate.’

algae beauty products

So, of course, marine algae forms a key part of many of the brand’s formulations, but I’m a particular fan of its Concentrate For Dry Skin (£45, katherinedanielscosmetics.com). This contains blue micro algae and red seaweed to help boost collagen and elastin (think firmness and texture). It’s very lightweight, feels lovely and really helps to beat dehydration.

Latest algae launches include Odacité Crème de la Nuit Restorative Night Cream (£108, spacenk.com), which also deploys blue algae – as well as kelp and pomegranate (giving it its pretty pink colour) – and contains hyaluronic acid for added hydration. It’s a very luxurious addition to your evening skincare routine and I’ve seen good results on both moisture and brightness fronts. This cream, by the way, is sold together with its own acupressure tool (come spatula), a trend I wrote about last week.

Elemis is no stranger to harnessing algae and marine properties as found in its
Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Night Genius (£195, uk.elemis.com). For a special ‘line fighting’ complex, it has combined three types of algae to help target deeper furrows and boost elasticity. If you’re already a fan of its Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (£87), then this night-time care option – an important time for skin repair – will be a welcome addition to your routine.

Chanel’s new Le Gel Anti-Pollution Cleansing Gel (£32, chanel.com) boasts two marine extracts, including blue micro-algae to help skin detoxify as well as hydrate. It has a light texture, emulsifies immediately into a cream foam even on dry skin, and adds a glamorous feel to a cleansing ritual.

Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Collagen Lip Cushion (£32, spacenk.com) is an algae-rich treatment with a light texture that delivers good hydration with just one application.

Alternatively, if you want a very inexpensive way to try out this ingredient there’s The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics (£5.90, boots.com). Packed with algae and hyaluronic acid, this is a seriously hydrating booster.