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Marine autotrophic organisms such as seaweeds or algae play a vital role in the production of nutrients (e.g., proteins, carbohydrates, etc.) that are essential for the survival of living organisms. They actively participate in various biochemical processes and also produce non-nutritive molecules like dietary fibers and secondary metabolites, which can enhance physiological functions. The biological properties of seaweed polysaccharides, fatty acids, peptides, terpenoids, pigments, and polyphenols make them valuable for developing food supplements and nutricosmetic products. These compounds exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.
In the review, recently published in special issue of Molecules Journal “Nutricosmetics: A New Area of Cosmetic Product” the metabolites (both primary and secondary) generated by algae have been explored and the latest evidence regarding their impact on human health, particularly focusing on their benefits for skin and hair have been discussed.
In particular, algae’s metabolites in nutricosmetic products can be used as moisturizing, antiaging, skin whitening, anti-cellulite, and slimming care agents. Indeed, algae are rich sources of bioactive molecules helpful for improving the functional, stability, and sensorial characteristics of nutricosmetic products. Among them the authors reported amino acids, chlorophylls, carotenoids, carbohydrates, phospholipids and glycolipids, phenols, terpenoids, sterols, PUFA and oxylipins.
Nevertheless, recent studies have considered algae a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to eliminate contamination from wastewater since they The second part of the study evaluated the industrial potential of recovering metabolites from biomass produced by algae used to clean wastewater.
Overall, the diverse range of bioactive compounds found in algae makes them a highly appealing and flexible source for obtaining safe bio-based products. Algae extracts and their refined metabolites are gaining significant commercial significance. There has been a surge in patent registrations related to the application of algae extracts or metabolites in nutricosmetic products. However, many of them fail to provide information about the underlying mechanisms responsible for their cosmetic performance. It would greatly benefit the field if more research efforts were directed towards evaluating the profiles of algae extracts, with a focus on identifying their functional properties, stability, compatibility, and toxicology aspects. This would facilitate the development of new and effective nutricosmetic products.