By Faith Cummings, she/her
Blue algae is a powerful ingredient—both as a food and in skincare. Though it’s buzzy now in the beauty industry, it’s not exactly a new discovery; the Aztecs were known to add blue-green algae to their tortillas, and multiple dishes have been made by the Kanembou women in Chad (where they refer to blue-green algae as dihé) for centuries. Blue algae goes by many different names including cyanobacteria, spirulina, and the aforementioned blue-green algae. And it has many benefits in skincare.
“Blue algae has been a popular ingredient in skincare products for some time now,” says Youth To The People’s Senior Manager of Field Sales + Education, Jacob Tomás del Rosario. “As with most superfoods, they originated as being popularized for consumption due to their nutrient-dense properties, but you can trace the consumption of these ingredients as far back as ancient societies. Blue algae is revered for its high nutrient content, sourced for its high volume of antioxidants and minerals, and therefore amazing for all skin types when used in skincare.”
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTIOXIDANTS AND FREE RADICALS
According to del Rosario, in order to really appreciate antioxidants, you must first understand free radicals.
“They wreak havoc throughout your body, especially when you are exposed to daily aggressors like exposure to excessive sunlight, common pollutants, cigarette smoke, alcohol, and even your own internal stress,” he says. “This causes the atoms in your skin to become unstable, unpairing the electrons they are made of. This often leads to oxidation, which is the process of them becoming extremely reactive.”
These free radicals make their way through your skin and steal the electron particles from other cellular structures in your body.
“This contributes to further destabilization and cellular breakdown,” says del Rosario. “Visually, what you will notice is the loss of collagen and elasticity, hyperpigmentation, sensitivity, and overall reduced skin function. Antioxidants are called ‘free radical scavengers’ because they are compounds that seek out free radicals in your skin and give them the electrons they were missing.” This neutralizes their toxicity before they can oxidize and damage other cells.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND BLUE ALGAE IN YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE PRODUCTS
Given its incredible properties, blue algae was a no-brainer to include in the new Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask.
“It helps to replenish, restore, and strengthen the skin while the ingredients partnered in the formula detoxify, exfoliate, and assist in clarifying the skin’s overall tone and texture,” says del Rosario. The mask only takes ten minutes to work its magic, leaving skin clearer, more refreshed, and smoother.
Written by Faith Cummings for Youth To The People