THE SKIN MICROBIOME
Fucoidan is a fucose-rich polysaccharide found naturally in brown seaweeds. Whilst fucoidan-containing seaweeds have been prized for centuries for their dietary and medicinal properties the past twenty years have seen global fucoidan research expand considerably. Over 2000 scientific papers now report fucoidans potential bioactivity across a range of human health indications. From gut and digestive health, anti-cancer and anti-viral properties, through to immune modulation, anti-inflammation and anti-ageing – high purity fucoidan has proven to be a versatile ingredient well supported by independent scientific evidence.
High purity, certified organic fucoidans produced by the world’s leading fucoidan manufacturers are an ideal fit for brands committed to the ‘blue beauty’ philosophy. Superior fucoidan extracts are derived from sustainably and ethically sourced seaweeds grown in pristine ocean waters. Wild grown seaweeds, a rapidly renewable marine resource, are carefully hand harvested in line with the plants seasonal growth cycles and in accordance with world’s best practice. Innovative extraction techniques now make it possible for fucoidan to be extracted utilizing green chemistry techniques that avoid the use of organic solvents or other environmentally harmful chemicals. True leaders in the fucoidan industry even divert the by-products of the extraction process for other organic uses thereby operating on the cusp of genuine zero-waste manufacturing.
A BLUE BEAUTY CHAMPION
FASCICOLO SPONSORIZZATO DA
In the past decade, fucoidan ingredients have been launched into the skincare market. Now found in a range of innovative products targeting skin health - creams, serums, gels, masks and powders - high purity, certified organic fucoidan extracts backed by science are rapidly gaining traction across the globe as ingredients of choice.
The clinically proven soothing, protecting, anti-ageing and antioxidant properties of high purity fucoidan extracts are numerous and include increased skin elasticity, reduced wrinkle depth, inhibition of collagenase and elastase, reduced redness, protection against free radical producing enzymes and glycation, increased moisture retention, the inhibition of myeloperoxidase, the increased expression of the anti-ageing protein SIRT1, and an exceptional ORAC 6.0 score – more than double that of vitamin C.
THE SCIENCE OF SKINCARE
Atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, remains a widespread and debilitating skin condition. This inflammatory disease affects up to 20% of children globally and up to 3% of adults. Typically defined by skin redness and intense itching, and often associated with skin infections, the effects can stretch far beyond appearance to include detrimental outcomes for sleep, school and work performance, social confidence and emotional wellbeing. With common treatments for severe eczema remaining focussed on topical steroids, natural, safe, non-toxic and effective treatments continue to be an unmet global need.
Recent research explored the potential of two high purity fucoidan extracts to assist in the topical treatment of the multifactorial skin condition atopic dermatitis. The fucoidan extracts were derived from Fucus vesiculosus and Undaria pinnatifida seaweeds. These in vitro studies assessed both gene expression in 3D model of atopic dermatitis as well as the inhibitory effects on the adhesion of common skin bacteria to 3D reconstructed skin.
STOPPING THE SCRATCH
Study results showed that high purity fucoidan significantly altered gene expression. Genes that were beneficially affected included those often associated with skin barrier function, wound healing processes and fluid accumulation. A trend towards a reduction in periostin levels - a protein associated with many aspects of allergic inflammation - was also recorded.
MODULATING GENE EXPRESSION
The same study found that fucoidan may be a useful topical agent to assist in reducing common bacteria associated with inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and acne. Key in vitro findings included:
- Fucoidan significantly inhibited the adhesion of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus – typically abundant on the skin of atopic dermatitis patients (Figure 1a).
- Fucoidan significantly inhibited the adhesion of the bacterium Cutibacterium acnes – believed to play an important role in the common skin disease acne (Figure 1b).
- Fucoidan showed no effect on the adhesion of the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis - a bacterium commonly found on healthy skin (Figure 1c).
Figure 1. Concentrations of adherent (a) S. aureus (b) C. acnes and (c) S. epidermidis, after topical treatment with fucoidan derived from Fucus vesiculosus (Maritech® Bright) and Undaria pinnatifida (Maritech® Reverse) fucoidan.
The potential benefits high purity fucoidan may offer for skin health now places it on the radar of innovative skincare formulators. These latest results suggest fucoidan may be a useful topical agent to assist in the management of common inflammatory skin conditions, particularly atopic dermatitis. Further research is this area is expected.
A PROMISING FUTURE
Marinova Pty Ltd | Australia
Dr Ahyoung Park is an experienced research scientist with an extensive background in biological chemistry and structural biology. She is a passionate advocate for the use of seaweed and has authored a number of papers focussing on the marine polysaccharide fucoidan, including a recent study investigating the potential effects of fucoidan on the inflammatory skin condition atopic dermatitis.