What Is Red Algae?


We know seaweed as the slippery ocean plant that brushes up against our toes, and as a key element in our sushi, salads, and soups. But did you know that seaweed is a versatile skin, hair, and makeup ingredient?  

One of the most prominent types of seaweed is algae. Algae serves multiple purposes in skin care, especially in terms of gelling, thickening, and stabilising formulas. While different kinds of ocean plants like brown algae and sea kelp are common in our products, the specific kind we’re focusing on here is Asparagopsis armata: red algae.  

There are several types of seaweed and algae, and each kind has its own set of unique benefits. Let’s discover what red algae brings to the table! 


4 Benefits of Red Algae for Skin 

1. Antioxidant Defence 

One of the most well-established facts about red algae is its protective properties. Red algae from the Asparagopsis genus have shown antifungal and antibacterial activity. Asparagopsis armata specifically contains molecules such as bromoform and dibromoacetic acid to stimulate that activity. Interesting tidbit: broform is actually what makes the algae smell so strong!  

This property makes red algae an effective and natural alternative to chemical preservatives.

Seaweed also boasts plenty of beneficial compounds like polysaccharides (complex carbs), proteins, lipids, pigments, and vitamins, among other substances. These nourishing ingredients are readily absorbed into the skin. Certain bioactives, like carrageenan, make it possible for red algae to protect skin from environmental stressors. 

2. Sun Protection

In terms of sun protection, red algae contains mycosporine-like amino acids, known as MAAs. These amino acids function as antioxidants, helping to absorb solar energy and protect organisms from UV rays. This suggests that red algae can be effective in cosmetics to support SPF functions.  

We all know sun damage is one of the leading factors for visible ageing – so using red algae in your skin routine is a wise move. By using products with red algae (alongside a trusty natural sunscreen), you’re helping to ensure that your skin looks fresh and youthful for as long as possible. 

3. Hydration and Plumping 

Red algae is extremely useful for nourishing and hydrating dry skin. Algae’s pulpy texture means it stores plenty of water; when used in skincare, it can help draw water to the surface of your skin.  

This plumping action makes it useful for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and can even enhance moisture to prevent overdry skin . A great humectant will also help balance your skin, after using irritating or drying acid treatments.  

You don’t have to limit this ingredient to your makeup or skin care; using red algae in a shower gel can help rehydrate and lock in moisture for dry or dehydrated skin. Try the best-selling Coconut or Vanilla Bean shower gels for a cleansing and moisturising boost, courtesy of red algae.  

4. Brightening

Red algae contains significant levels of vitamin C: an essential ingredient for revitalising the complexion. This antioxidant is ideal not only for scavenging skin-damaging free radicals, but for brightening and balancing uneven skin tone.  

Vitamin C inhibits tyrosinase, which is responsible for darkening certain patches of skin in response to sun damage. It fades dark spots without affecting the rest of your skin. So if you have hyperpigmentation from sun damage, an algae-infused Dark Spot Remover just might be the oomph you need. 

Why Seaweed is Great for the Skin  

Red algae is fantastic for skin, but we also recommend seaweed-infused skin care in general. This is because many seaweeds contain antioxidant molecules that protect us from free radicals, found anywhere from the air we breathe to the foods we eat.  

Seaweed extracts bring collagen-promoting elements like copper, zinc, and magnesium to our epidermis. Collagen increases two markers of youthful skin: density and elasticity.  

Similar to seaweed’s filtering activities in the ocean, seaweed removes impurities from your skin, which is great for unclogging pores and cleansing your skin.  

The flip side is that you have to source seaweed responsibly. Always make sure that you’re getting your seaweed from a clean source; ocean pollution is an issue that can affect the quality of natural ingredients, which is why we only use clean, farmed seaweed in our products. This ensures that you’re getting all the benefits of these water-loving plants while avoiding pollutants! 


The ocean offers a wealth of well-kept skin-loving secrets that can benefit our beauty routine. As a hydrating and UV-fighting powerhouse, now we know that red algae can effectively plump up and protect our skin – and its benefits are at your fingertips.  

100% PURE™

100% PURE™

Writer and expert