Main Article Content

Kuldipsinh Chauhan
Dr. Neha Tiwari
Dr. Pragnesh Patani


Algae, bioactivity, cosmetics, skin care, anti-tanning, anti-ageing, skin sensitizers, moisturizers, antioxidants, texture enhancer, thickening agent


Skin is considered as the mirror of the body’s health, and thus, prevention or treatment of any skin problems is an important idea Algae are among the richest aquatic resources that are regarded as healthy and barely affect cytotoxicity in people. They are regarded as a useful source of bioactive substances, such as vitamins, polyphenolic compounds, carotenoids, chitin, and others with potent skin-beneficial properties.The demand for safe and effective natural raw materials has increased due to the beauty industry's expanding economic importance.Algal compounds used in cosmeceuticals have reportedly been found to be viable alternatives with positive effects even after continuous use, according to several research findings. Nowadays, a wide range of algae species are utilized extensively to treat a variety of skin-related issues by serving as a moisturizer or texture enhancer, sunscreens, anti-wrinkling, etc. The key algal bioactive components and their impacts on skin are outlined in this review. The study also mentions some studies on the application of algae-derived ingredients in skin care. An affordable, secure, and healthy replacement for synthetic products is provided by algae use in the cosmeceuticals sector.



Abstract 65 | pdf Downloads 36


1. Jahan A, Ahmad IZ, Fatima N, Ansari VA, Akhtar J. Algal bioactive compounds in the cosmeceutical industry: a review. Phycologia 2017; 56:410–422.
2. Stoyneva-Gärtner M, Uzunov B, Gärtner G. The contribution of carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids to the antioxidative properties of narine microalgae isolated from mediterranean morocco. Cosmetics 2020; 7:1–22.
3. Fu W, Nelson DR, Yi Z, Xu M, Khraiwesh B, Jijakli K, et al. Bioactive compounds from microalgae: current development and prospects. Stud Nat Prod Chem 2017; 54:199–225.
4. Joshi S, Kumari R, Upasani VN. Applications of algae in cosmetics: an overview. Int J Innov Res Sci 2018; 7:1269–1278.
5. Khanna P, Kaur A, Goyal D. Algae-based metallic nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization and applications. J Microbiol Methods 2019; 163:105656.
6. Khan A, Dierssen H, Scambos T, Höfer J, Cordero R. Spectral characterization, radiative forcing, and pigment content of coastal Antarctic snow algae: approaches to spectrally discriminate red and green communities and their impact on snowmelt. Cryosph Discuss 2020; 2:1–27.
7. H.M.D. Wang, C.C. Chen, P. Huynh, J.S. Chang, Exploring the potential of using algae in cosmetics, Bioresour. Technol. 184 (2015) 355–362,
8. A.A. El Gamal, Biological importance of marine algae, Saudi Pharm. J. 18 (2010) 1–25,
9. T.M. Mata, A.A. Martins, N.S. Caetano, Microalgae for biodiesel production and other applications: a review, Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev. 14 (2010) 217–232,
10. S. Sebök, W.B. Herppich, D. Hanelt, Development of an innovative ring-shaped cultivation system for a land-based cultivation of marine macroalgae, Aquac. Eng. 77 (2017) 33–41,
11. M.L. Dionisio-Sese, Aquatic microalgae as potential sources of UV-screening compounds, Philipp. J. Sci. 139 (2010) 5–16.
12. J.N. Rosenberg, G.A. Oyler, L. Wilkinson, M.J. Betenbaugh, A green light for engineered algae: redirecting metabolism to fuel a biotechnology revolution, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 19 (2008) 430–436, 07.008.
13. E. Christaki, E. Bonos, I. Giannenasa, P. Florou-Paneria, Functional properties of carotenoids originating from algae, J. Sci. Food Agric. 93 (2013) 5–11,
14. M.A. Borowitzka, High-value products from microalgae-their development and commercialisation, J. Appl. Phycol. 25 (2013) 743–756,
15. A.M. Sanghvi, Y.M. Lo, Present and potential industrial applications of macro- and microalgae, Recent Pat. Food Nutr. Agric. 2 (2010) 187–194,
16. E. Christaki, E. Bonos, I. Giannenasa, P. Florou-Paneria, Functional properties of carotenoids originating from algae, J. Sci. Food Agric. 93 (2013) 5–11,
17. A.M. Burja, B. Banaigs, E. Abou-Mansour, J.G. Burgess, P.C. Wright, Marine cyanobacteria - a prolific source of natural products, Tetrahedron 57 (2001) 9347–9377.
18. Alves TFR, Morsink M, Batain F, Chaud MV, Almeida T, Fernandes DA, et al. Synthetic Polymers in Cosmetic Formulations 2020:1–16.
19. Lourenço-Lopes C, Fraga-Corral M, Jimenez-Lopez C, Pereira AG, GarciaOliveira P, Carpena M, et al. Metabolites from macroalgae and its applications in the cosmetic industry: a circular economy approach. Resources 2020;9:101.
20. Bom S, Jorge J, Ribeiro HM, Marto J. A step forward on sustainability in the cosmetics industry: a review. J Clean Prod 2019; 225:270–90.
21. Mohamed HM. Green, environment-friendly, analytical tools give insights in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics analysis. TrAC Trends Anal Chem 2015; 66:176–92.
22. Fonseca-Santos B, Antonio Corrêa M, Chorilli M. Sustainability, natural and organic cosmetics: consumer, products, efficacy, toxicological and regulatory considerations. Braz J Pharm Sci 2015; 51:17–26.
23. Thiyagarasaiyar K, Goh BH, Jeon YJ, Yow YY. Algae metabolites in cosmeceutical: An overview of current applications and challenges. Mar Drugs 2020; 18:323.
24. Amberg N, Fogarassy C. Green consumer behavior in the cosmetics market nora. Resources 2019; 8:1–19.
25. Wolkers, H., Barbosa, M. J., Kleinegris, D. M. M., Bosma, R., Wijffels, R.H. and Harmsen, P. 2011. “Microalgae: the green gold of the future? Large-scale sustainable cultivation of microalgae for the production of bulk commodities”, Wageningen: Wageningen UR, Netherlands.
26. Fabregas, J. and Herrero, C. “Vitamin content of four marine microalgae. Potential use as source of vitamins in nutrition”. Journal of Industrial Microbiology, vol. 5, pp. 259-263, 1989.
27. Michalak I, Chojnacka K. Algal extracts: technology and advances. Eng Life Sci 2014; 14:581–591.
28. S.K. Kim, Y.D. Ravichandran, S.B. Khan, Y.T. Kim, Prospective of the cosmeceuticals derived from marine organisms, Biotechnol. Bioprocess Eng. 13 (2008) 511–523,
29. K. Skjånes, C. Rebours, P. Lindblad, Potential for green microalgae to produce hydrogen, pharmaceuticals and other high value products in a combined process, Crit. Rev. Biotechnol. 33 (2012) 1–44, 681625.
30. Milledge, J.J., Smith, B., Dyer, P.W. and Harvey, P. “Macroalgae-derived biofuel: A review of methods of energy extraction from seaweed biomass”. Energies, vol. 7, pp. 7194-7222, 2014.
31. Rossano, R., Ungaro, N., D’Ambrosio, A., Liuzzi, G.M. and Riccio, P. “Extracting and purifying R-phycoerythrin from Mediterranean red algae Corallina elongate Ellis & Solander”. Journal of Biotechnology, vol. 101, pp. 289-293, 2003.
32. Waggoner, B. And Speer, B.R. “Introduction to the Rhodophyta, the red algae”. [Date accessed 17 may, 2017] Retrieved from,
33. Gesa. “Algae in cosmetics – the all-round talents”. [Date accessed 17 may, 2017] Retrieved from,
34. “Dyes and colorants from algae”.[Date accessed 17 may, 2017] Retrieved from
35. Shimoda, H., Tanaka, J., Shan, S.J. and Maoka, T. “Anti-pigmentary activity of fucoxanthin and its influence on skin mRNA expression of melanogenic molecules”. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol. 62, pp. 1137-45, 2010.
36. R. Pangestuti, S.K. Kim, Biological activities and health benefit effects of natural pigments derived from marine algae, J. Funct. Foods 3 (2011) 255–266, http://dx.
37. L. Gouveia, A.P. Batista, I. Sousa, A. Raymundo, N.M. Bandarra, Microalgae in novel food products, in: K.N. Papadopoulos (Ed.), Food Chem. Res. Dev, Nova Scien, United States, 2008, pp. 1–37.
38. C. O'connor, S.C. Skill, C.A. Llewellyn, Topical Composition, PCT/GB2011/051138, (2011).
39. R. Sharma, V.K. Sharma, Effect of ultraviolet-B radiation on growth and pigments of Chlorella Vulgaris, J. Indian Bot. Soc. 94 (2015) 81–88.
40. Y. Sun, M. Chavan, Cosmetic Compositions Comprising Marine Plants, 14/077 934, (2014).
41. M.A. Borowitzka, High-value products from microalgae-their development and commercialisation, J. Appl. Phycol. 25 (2013) 743–756, 1007/s10811-013-9983-9.
42. (Malis) Arad, A. Yaron, Natural pigments from red microalgae for use in foods and cosmetics, Trends Food Sci. Technol. 3 (1992) 92–97, 1016/0924-2244(92)90145-M.
43. P. Spolaore, C. Joannis-Cassan, E. Duran, A. Isambert, Commercial applications of microalgae, J. Biosci. Bioeng. 101 (2006) 87–96, 101.87.
44. Thomas, N.V. and Kim, S.K. “Effects of marine algal compounds in cosmeceuticals”. Marine Drugs, vol. 11, pp. 146–164, 2013.
45. A. Lotan, Biologic Sunscreen Composition, PCT/IL2011/000974, (2012).
46. N. Huner, M. Krol, A. Ivanov, F. Sarhan, Solar Radiation Protection Composition, 09/830, 193 (2004).
47. Wang, H.M., Chen, C.Y. and Wen, Z.H. “Identifying melanogenesis inhibitors from Cinnamomum subavenium with in vitro and in vivo screening systems by targeting the human”. Experimental Dermatology, vol. 20, pp. 242-248, 2011.
48. Wang, J.; Jin, W.; Hou, Y.; Niu, X.; Zhang, H.; Zhang, Q. Chemical composition and moisture-absorption retention ability of polysaccharides extracted from five algae. Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 2013, 57, 26–29.
49. H. Hagino, M. Saito, Use of Algal Proteins in Cosmetics, 03029218.9, (2010).
50. H. Hagino, M. Saito, Cosmetics, 10/739, 085 (2004) (doi:US 20100322867A1).
51. Wang, H.M., Chen, C.C., Huynh, P. and Chang, J. “Exploring the potential of using algae in cosmetics”. Bioresource Technology, vol. 184, pp. 355-366, 2014.
52. Wang, J., Jin, W., Hou, Y., Niu, X., Zhang, H. and Zhang, Q. “Chemical composition and moisture-absorption/retention ability of polysaccharides extracted from five algae”. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, vol. 57, pp. 26-29, 2013.
53. Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A.I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E. and Zouboulis, C. C . “Skin anti-aging strategies”. Dermato-Endocrinology, vol. 4, pp. 308–319, 2012.
54. Peytavi, U.B., Kottner, J., Sterry, W., Hodin, M. W., Griffiths, T.W., Watson, R.E., Hay, R.J. and Griffiths, C.E. “Associated skin conditions and diseases: current perspectives and future options”. The Gerontologist, vol. 56, pp. 230–242, 2016.
55. A. Leyton, R. Pezoa-Conte, A. Barriga, A.H. Buschmann, P. Mäki-Arvela, J.- P. Mikkola, M.E. Lienqueo, Identification and efficient extraction method of phlorotannins from the brown seaweed Macrocystis pyrifera using an orthogonal experimental design, Algal Res. 16 (2016) 201–208, algal.2016.03.019.
56. L. Zanella, P. Pertile, M. Massironi, M. Massironi, E. Caviola, Extracts of Microalgae and Their Application, 13/883, 193 (2014) (doi:US 20100322867A1).
57. M.-H. Shih, M.-F. Shih, Method for Preventing Skin-cellular Aging by Using Green Algae Extract and Cosmetic Composition Containing Green Algae Extract, 11/998, 573 (2009).
58. Schagen, S.K., Zampeli, V.A., Makrantonaki, E. and Zouboulis, C.C. “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging”. DermatoEndocrinology., vol. 4, pp. 298–307, 2012.
59. C.S. Stutz, D. Schmid, F. Zülli, Use of an Extract From Snow Algae in Cosmetic or Dermatological Formulations, 12/760, 173 (2012), j.(73).
60. Kadajji, V.G. and Betageri, G.V. “Water soluble polymers for pharmaceutical applications”.Polymers,vol. 3, pp.1972-2009, 2011.
61. “Training manual on Gracilaria culture and seaweed processing in China. Chapter iii: properties, manufacture and application of seaweed polysaccharides - agar, carrageenan and algae”. [Date accessed June 28, 2017] Retrieved from
62. Couteau, C. and Coiffard, L.J.M. “Seaweed application in cosmetics”. Seaweed in Health and Disease Prevention, pp.423-441, 2016.
63. G. Brooks, S. Franklin, Cosmetic Compositions Comprising Microalgal Components, 13/128, 217 (2013),
64. I. Chung-Soon, D. Vincent, R. Regentin, A. Coragliotti, Heterotrophic Cultivation of Hydrocarbon-producing Microalgae, 12/497, 257 (2012).
65. Kelman, D., Posner, E.K., McDermid, K. J., Tabandera, N.K., Wright, P.R., and Wright, A.D. “Antioxidant activity of hawaiian marine algae”. Marine Drugs, vol. 10, pp. 403–416, 2012.
66. Wu, X., Jiang, J., Wan, Y., Giesy, J. P. and Hu, J. “Cyanobacteria blooms produce teratogenic retinoic acids”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 109, pp. 9477–9482, 2012.
67. “Beta-Carotene”. [Date accessed June 28, 2017]Retrieved from
68. “Micro algae fights skin ageing”.[Date accessed June 28, 2017] Retrieved from
69. Dufossé L. Microbial pigments from bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and microalgae for the food and feed industries. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2018. pp. 113–132.
70. Silva SAM, Michniak-Kohn B, Leonardi GR. An overview about oxidation in clinical practice of skin aging. An Bras Dermatol 2017; 92:367–374.
71. Chan YY, Kim KH, Cheah SH. Inhibitory effects of Sargassum polycystum on tyrosinase activity and melanin formation in B16F10 murine melanoma cells. J Ethnopharmacol 2011; 137:1183–1188.
72. Quah CC, Kim KH, Lau MS, Kim WR, Cheah SH, Gundamaraju R. Pigmentation and dermal conservative effects of the astonishing algae Sargassum polycystum and Padina tenuis on guinea pigs, human epidermal melanocytes (HEM) and chang cells. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med 2014; 11:77–83.
73. Nihal B, Vishal Gupta N, Gowda DV, Manohar M. Formulation and development of topical nti acne formulation of spirulina extract. Int J Appl Pharm 2018; 10:229–233.
74. Vo TS, Ngo DH, Kim SK. Potential targets for anti-inflammatory and antiallergic activities of marine algae: an overview. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets 2012; 11:90–101.
75. Gil TY, Kang YM, Eom YJ, Hong CH, An HJ. Anti-atopic dermatitis effect of seaweed fulvescens extract via inhibiting the STAT1 pathway. Mediators Inflamm 2019; 887:1–11.
76. Castillo E, Duarte LF, Corrales N, Álvarez DM, Farías MA, Henríquez A, et al. Anti-herpetic activity of Macrocystis pyrifera and Durvillaea antarcticaalgae extracts against HSV-1 and HSV-2. Front Microbiol 2020; 11:2006.
77. Zanella L, Alam MA. Extracts and bioactives from microalgae (Sensu stricto): opportunities and challenges for a new generation of cosmetics. In: Alam MA, Jing-Liang X, Wang Z, editors. Microalgae biotechnology for food, health and high value products. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020. pp. 295–353.
78. Pimentel FB, Alves RC, Rodrigues F, Oliveira MBPP. Macroalgae-derived ingredients for cosmetic industry-an update. Cosmetics 2018; 5:4–9.
79. Mourelle ML, Gómez CP, Legido JL. The potential use of marine microalgae and cyanobacteria in cosmetics and thalassotherapy. Cosmetics 2017; 4:46.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>