There are thousands of kinds of algae, but some general categories tend to show up on ingredient lists more frequently than others. Le Mieux Cosmetics’s Janel Luu provides the breakdown on three common varieties:
Brown algae have been used throughout centuries to help fight inflammation and heal wounds. They contain vitamins, amino acids, and proteins that help with collagen production and prevent collagen degradation.
Red algae can live at greater depths than brown and green algae, because they absorb blue light. Red algae contain nutrients that can be used to protect skin from environmental damage, smooth out rough texture, and help plump fine lines.
Green algae extract has hydrating properties that help restore moisture, making it an excellent ingredient for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. Plus, green algae is rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals necessary for proper skin functioning.