Podcast: Episode 20, the algae + tara active ingredient

Listen to the audio episode on the seaweed + tara multifunction assand 🎧


Algae + Tara active ingredient:

  • Clever combination of sugars from red algae and tara shrub
  • Protects the skin from external chemical and mechanical aggressions
  • Immediate and long-term lifting effect
  • Decreases pore surface
  • Improves skin radiance


Why do I recommend this active ingredient for all skin types?

There are two main categories of active ingredients: standardized molecules which can be supplied by many suppliers (coenzyme Q10, salicylic acid, andc.), or plant extracts that are vendor specific. Although the active molecules are more popular with the media, we must not forgand the active extracts, because they are just as effective and more specific to the brand. What are they ? Are they made for you? How to recognize them?👇


1. What does this assand contain?

This active ingredient has been eco-designed from two extracts:

  1. An excerpt comes from a red algae hot water that grows in Indonesia, near the coast of the Philippines.
  2. The other excerpt comes from thetara shrub, which is a South American shrub considered the green gold of the Incas.

In fact, specific polysaccharides from these two plants are used in this active ingredient.


2. What is a polysaccharide?

A polysaccharide is a sugar polymer, that is, a large molecule that has repeating units of sugars. In chemistry, a molecule is an enchatformation of several atoms. An atom is an element that we saw either in college in Mendeleiev's periodic table of elements, or in the credits of Breaking Bad. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, are atoms for example. A molecule is considered a sugar if it has an enchatparticular atom formation.

Thus, a polymer is the repandition of the same group of atoms, and a sugar or saccharide is a specific group of atoms. So a polysaccharide is a large molecule that has several sugars.


3. Why did you choose these polysaccharides specifically?

These two polysaccharides, these two sugars (the galactan from the seaweed and the galactomannan from the shrub) interact togandher to form a larger nandwork. This nandwork forms a non-occlusive film on the surface of the skin. This film has several benefits on the skin:

  1. Protective
  2. lifter
  3. pore reducer
  4. Radiant


4. How does this active ingredient protect the skin?

This asset acts as a shield against external chemical or mechanical aggressions potentially harmful.

Potentially harmful chemical substances can be allergens, irritating molecules or fine particles of pollution that can come from industrial activities or urban sprawl, for example. This protective effect is observed 15 min after application of the cosmetic which contains this active ingredient and lasts 24 hours.

Potentially harmful mechanical stresses can be friction, for example, which often happens with the wearing of masks. In this specific case, the clinical test that was carried out to measure protection against mechanical stress used a device called tewameter to measure water loss from the skin of a panel of individuals who were applied and removed adhesive strips 5 times in a row.


5. How are clinical studies done to study protection against mechanical stresses?

    The study which proved the effectiveness of this active ingredient in protecting the skin from mechanical attacks was carried out on 11 volunteers. The procedure was as follows:

    • Measurement of water loss from the skin using a tewameter
    • Aggression of the skin using adhesive strips (5 repetitions of gluing, taking off the strips on the skin)
    • Measurement of water loss from the skin using a tewameter
    • Treatment of half of the attacked area with a serum base without active ingredient + treatment of the other half with this same serum with the active ingredient to be analyzed
    • Measurement of water loss from the skin using a tewameter from each of the treated halves
    • Analysis of the results and comparison of the measurements of the cosmetic including the active and the placebo (cosmetic without active)

    The aim is to observe less transepidermal water loss in the area treated with the active ingredient than in the area treated with the placebo. Thus, it would then be proven that the active ingredient allows the skin to retain water better after mechanical aggression.

    It is important to compare the serum containing the active ingredient with the placebo, i.e. the serum without active ingredient because the base of the cosmetic, its galenic (the fact that it is an emulsion, an aqueous gel, a balm or a oil, for example) plays on the skin benefits (see episode 1). It is therefore essential to compare the results of the serum containing the active ingredient with the results of the serum not containing the active ingredient in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the active ingredient only. It is also a good indicator to verify that the active supplier is serious from a scientific point of view.

    In this case, the serum that contains this active ingredient at 0.5% reduces water loss by 14% compared to the serum that does not contain the active ingredient. And that's a statistically significant difference.


    6. What are the lifting effects of this active ingredient?

    This active ingredient acts as a lifting film, that is to say, it smoothes the skin and reduces wrinkles. Its tightening effect is observed from 30 minutes after application and lasts 2 hours. Its wrinkle-filling effect is observed up to 7 days after application, and its smoothing effect up to 14 days after application. This active ingredient therefore has an immediate and long-term effect on the visible signs of aging.


    7. Does this active ingredient improve the perception of facial beauty?

    Studies have also shown that this active reduces the surface area of pores and improves radiance. The icing on the cake, it also improves the hold of the foundation when it is formulated in this type of product.


    8. How do you know if a cosmetic contains this active ingredient?

    This active ingredient is mentioned on the list of cosmetic ingredients under the name: Kappaphycus alvarezii Extract & Caesalpinia spinosa Fruit Extract. Check that both extracts are listed in the ingredient list.


    9. Why did I hesitate to mention this excerpt?

    Not all extracts are equal in cosmetics (see episode 16). This active ingredient required several years of research for development, we know exactly which molecules are used in each plant and we know how these polysaccharides act on the skin. This asset is expensive even if its INCI name is composed of two "extract". Some suppliers are much less rigorous and quickly develop their extracts to order from customers who want an extract from a pretty plant just for its marketing story. In this case, the ingredient supplier does not study the plant in particular, does not know the benefits it could have, does not know which molecules to look for, does not know from which part of the plant the molecules should be extracted and also unclear what method of extraction and purification used. Indeed, the molecules obtained are different depending on the part of the plant used, the method of extraction or the method of purification.

    So yes, it's complicated to identify a product that contains this active ingredient. But if you follow me on instagram on the account @mastelcosmetics then you must have identified a cream that contains it at an objectified concentration. That is to say, at a concentration that has proven its effectiveness in clinical trials.


    Episode Notes

    • Website : MastelCosmetics
    • The Instagram account: @mastelcosmetics
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      A chemist in the cosmetics industry for more than 5 years and a graduate of the Natural Raw Materials in Cosmetics Master's degree from ISIPCA, Julie is an expert in the development of natural cosmetic products.