Taylor & Francis selected as a highlight a review published by Dr Carole Llewellyn (AlgaeWales team member) in the European Journal of Phycology on Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers.
The article is now trending and reviews the diverse beneficial impacts of cyanobacterial metabolites and emphasize on the many oppurtinuties to use these high value products in cosmetics which is a booming industry for the use of Algae.
You can read the full article here
The recognition that ultraviolet radiation has harmful effects on the skin has led to the commercial development of inorganic and synthetic organic UV filters that can reduce the negative effects of exposure to sunlight. In addition, moisturizing chemicals are extensively used in personal care products to improve the ability of skin to retain water. Whilst current UV filter and moisturizing chemicals have clear beneficial qualities, they may also have adverse effects such as contact sensitivity, oestrogenicity and even tumorigenic effects on human skin. Furthermore, the accumulation of these chemicals in the aquatic environment could be potentially harmful. Consequently, there is interest in exploiting safer alternatives derived from biological sources, especially from photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria which have developed mechanisms for coping with high UV irradiation and desiccation. In order to overcome the detrimental effects of UV radiation, these microorganisms produce UV screening compounds such as mycosporine-like amino acids and scytonemin, which are good candidates as alternatives to current synthetic UV filters. In addition, extracellular substances produced by some extremophilic species living in hyper-arid habitats have a high water retention capacity and could be used in cosmetic products as moisturizers. In this review, we present an overview of the literature describing the potential of cyanobacterial metabolites as an alternative source for sunscreens and moisturizers.