Science

creams from the bottom of the sea


    Marine biologist Sylvia Earle says that there is no green without blue. Nice metaphor to bring out the ugliest of the oceans, that which sounds anything but poetic. Because the truth is that we are filling the seas with garbage and forgetting that 70% of the planet is water and that those gigantic rafts that we pollute house the largest ecosystem in the world.

    In fact, at the bottom of the sea the great treasures are not the wrecks of sunken ships, but the flora and fauna that it houses. And it is that the oceans constitute an inexhaustible source of assets for laboratories, especially for those that investigate new cosmetic formulations, which explains why the so-called blue-beauty has become an upward trend in this market.

    As Dr. Juan Gavín, a member of the GEDET (Spanish Group Aesthetic and Therapeutic Dermatology), of the Spanish Association of Dermatology and Venereology, due to the increased demand for new molecules of biological origin, various types of marine biomass are being explored for use in the field of dermocosmetics: “They are known as new hero ingredients, which confer nutraceutical benefits to the skin, thanks to molecules such as specific diterpenes, pigments, bioactive peptides and polysaccharides. These components provide hydration and elasticity to our skin, prevent aging by fighting oxidative stress and also provide decongestant and anti-cellulite benefits. In addition, marine surfactants have antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging functions.”

    High fishing

    But what exactly is in this great marine reserve to which the most advanced cosmetic companies go? Everything from pearl powder to products derived from marine fauna, such as chitosan or caviar. Dr. Arantxa Arana, dermatologist at the Dr. Pérez Seville Clinic, accounts for the benefits of the components that are most used in cosmetics. “Red algae have antioxidants, which slow down skin aging, and proteins, which reinforce tissue elasticity. They are used as an extract in moisturizing care and provide calcium and magnesium to the skin. Green algae contain chlorophyll, which contributes to improving the immune system, and its zinc, magnesium and collagen They help care and protect the skin, hair and nails. Sea salt, for its part, contains minerals, which eliminate toxins from the skin and, in addition, its texture allows it to be stripped of dead cells when performing an exfoliation. Mud, mud and silt have magnesium, copper, zinc and silicon, great cell regenerators, responsible for activating the formation of elastin and collagen. Therefore, its use is ideal to strengthen and tighten the skin, as well as to remove excess fat, due to the absorption capacity of its minerals. Phytoplankton is rich in omega 3 and vitamin C and acts as a DNA repair agent for skin cells. And, finally, marine caviar helps maintain hydration levels, improving and reinforcing the skin barrier, thanks to phospholipids, which are responsible for rebuilding the cell membrane.”

    It sounds like science fiction, but some of these techniques, such as wraps with seaweed or mud, were already used in ancient Egypt, although they have now become more sophisticated. And, as they say from Stanpa, the future of cosmetics will be closely linked to biotechnology: “One of its main advantages is that it allows choosing the best ingredients to revive the functions of cells, which are closely linked to premature aging of the skin,” they reveal. Dr. Gavín elaborates on this idea: “It is through these scientific modification techniques that cosmeceuticals have been created, products that fulfill therapeutic functions for topical application that pursue an aesthetic purpose. These are highly active substances that, due to their characteristics, biochemical properties and their powerful action on skin tissue, approach the category of drugs”, he concludes.

    And, as if all this were not enough, there is another compelling reason to bet on this industry: it is more respectful of the environment. Paola Gugliotta, founder of Sepai Y APoEM, Master in Dermocosmetics and postgraduate in Genetics and Immunology from Harvard, explains: “Using marine assets that exist in large quantities is more sustainable than extracting a resource that has been planted on land, with all that that means (high consumption of water or land, which should be dedicated to food and not so much to cosmetics). In the oceans there are many resources that are born on their own, grow on their own and manage themselves, and the only thing we do is take a minimum amount”. Long live the sea!

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