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Secrets of the spa: The skin benefits of algae

Secrets of the spa: The skin benefits of algae

The ocean, a source of unparalleled biodiversity, is brimming with an abundance of incredible resources.

Since ancient times, humans have harnessed the ocean for food and minerals, including elements used for beauty and longevity. One of those elements is seaweed, which is a form of algae.

Seaweed comes in many forms. In fact, there are more than 12,000 varieties. White, green, red and brown algae all serve different purposes and provide us with different health benefits.

Red algae in particular is rich in skincare benefits, and algae in general is one of the hottest ingredients in skincare products — and for good reason.


Dehydrated skin can not only cause skin to be dry and cracked, but it also makes a person's overall complexion look dull. When used topically, algae has been found to be a better humectant than one of the most popular hydrators of all, hyaluronic acid. A humectant helps to reduce the amount of moisture lost so all the moisture stays in the skin instead of seeping out.


One of the reasons algae is so effective for the skin is because it protects human cells from oxidation, making it one of the earth’s most potent antioxidants. Algae produce water-soluble molecules called mycosporine amino acids, which act as added ultraviolet sunray protection. The amino acids work not only as antioxidants hunting for toxic free radicals, but also by dissipating UV energy into a form of harmless heat, essentially acting like nature’s sunscreen.


Algae helps maintain suppleness and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by protecting the dermal layer against oxidative stress. The microalgae also have the ability to firm the skin and increase moisture through stimulating the collagen network.


Red algae is chock-full of antioxidants, vitamin B, magnesium, zinc and detoxifying minerals. According to a comparative study, when it comes to detoxifying potential, red algae was found to be 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10 and 550 times stronger than green tea catechins. This marine-based plant is a powerhouse skincare ingredient.


Red algae is a major immune system booster with a high content and variety of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins D, E, beta carotene, iron and zinc. Red algae is said to have the ability to reduce inflammation, prevent illness and increase vitality.

To introduce our clients to the wonders of red algae, Spa at Seafire offers "Fathom’s Within," which starts in Cayman's only Turkish hammam. This full-body treatment will allow you to discover the wonderful benefits of red algae.

Anneka Greenway is the spa manager at the Spa at Seafire at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

This article appears in the February 2022 print edition of the Camana Bay Times.

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