A novel biotechnological active ingredient, derived from the microalga Spirulina, increases hydration and reduces osmotic stress in skin cells
Microalgae-derived ingredients have great potentialities in industry, including Cosmetics. Among the microalgae, Spirulina (Arthrospira maxima) is considered one of the most promising species, thanks to its content of valuable compounds and sustainable production. Bacteria fermentation is a very used bio-transformation process in the food industry and is acquiring more importance in the cosmetic sector as well, thanks to the generation of highly effective compounds. The main disadvantage of fermentation, related to bacterial contamination that threatens the compliance of the final products, can be by-passed by using bacteria-purified enzymes. In order to provide further insights into the activities of Spirulina compounds for skin care applications, we tested two extracts derived from Spirulina fermentation and their activity was compared to that of an analogous unfermented extract. We found that the ingredient obtained through the enzymatic fermentation was the most effective in inducing hydration mechanisms and osmotic protecting activities in skin cells.
Microalgae hold tremendous potential for industrial biotechnology and the fields of application are numerous. Scientists agree about the great potentiality of using microalgae to produce biofuels (1), while nutritionists consider microalgae a functional food because of their high content of vitamins and protein (2). More recently, through biotechnology microalgae have been employed for the production of sustainable and high quality natural pigments and antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and astaxanthin (3).
Among the large variety of microalgae species, the genus Arthospira (commonly known as Spirulina) and Chlorella (4), represent the most established and well known sources of compounds in the skin care market. An extract from Dunaliella salina, generally exploited for its β-carotene, was recently proposed on the skin care market for its capacity to stimulate cell proliferation and positively influence skin metabolism (5). Additional examples of microalgae-derived ingredients are a water-soluble extract from the green microalgae Botryococcus braunii, which improves skin barrier function preventing ...