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Why algae may be the secret to beautiful skin
If (only) life were a continual episode of Baywatch, we all might have fewer frown lines. New research from Michigan State University suggests that just looking at the ocean can make people less stressed. (Insert justification for scamming an invite to a friend’s beach house here.)
Sea water has more than just visual benefits; it can make your skin better too. According to Biotherm scientists, plankton, algae and other underwater organisms are our genetic kin, which means our skin cells respond to them much like the Beyhive to a surprise album drop. “[These are] micro-organisms that survive and even thrive in impossible conditions,” says Elisa Simonpietri, scientific director for Biotherm International. “They are capable of creating light in total darkness, regenerating at lightning speed and purifying the most toxic pollutants.”
How do ingredients like algae and plankton help the skin? Dr. Julia Carroll of Compass Dermatology in Toronto says that certain types of algae can inhibit enzymes known as “matrix metalloproteinases” (MMPs). “By inhibiting these enzymes, you can prevent degradation of the skin’s collagen – and prevent skin damage caused by the pollution and sun,” she explains.
Life plankton, one of Biotherm’s hero ingredients, is sourced from hot springs in the French Pyrenees and is a restorative anti-pollutant that boosts the production of fibroblasts (our collagen-building skin cells). You’ll find it in the hydrating Life Plankton Mask, a leave-on cooling gel, and the new Wonder Mud, a detoxifying clay mask enriched with glycerine, the antioxidant algae astaxanthin and exfoliating apricot grains. Whipped into a mousse (so it won’t harden or crack on the face), it works in three minutes. That’s about enough time to pack a tote and beep Mitch Buchannon and the gang to meet you at the beach.
A focus for Biotherm is to harness oceanic organisms responsibly. The company’s philosophy is based on sustainably sourcing – or recreating in a lab – active ingredients from bodies of water around the world. Biotherm Life Plankton Mask ($60) and Biotherm Wonder Mud ($60), available at biotherm.ca.
Yogi Amanda Bisk, fitness expert for Biotherm, also loves to be by the water. (She practically lives on City Beach in Perth, Australia.)
On that blissed-out beach life: “There is something about the ocean that calms me. It makes me think about how huge the world is. There is so much going on out there that is so much bigger than me. It’s quite grounding.”
On making the ocean your gym: “I love stand-up paddle boarding. I just got my own board for my birthday from my boyfriend. It’s bright yellow.”
On staying covered: “I love the Biotherm Fluide Solaire Wet or Dry Skin. It’s a wet-dry sunscreen [you can apply it on wet or dry skin], which helps because I’m in the water a lot. My mom’s not really a makeup person, but my dad is always bugging me to moisturize. He’s the perfect example; he looks amazing.”