Algae, a class of photosynthetic organisms, found in both marine and freshwater habitats are well known for their applications in food and fuel . Algae being an important source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and natural colorants, the incorporation of the whole biomass in food and feed could be used to provide color, incremental nutritional value, and improved texture or resistance to oxidation . The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (2014) estimated that 38% of the 23.8 million tonnes of seaweeds in the 2012 global harvest was eaten by humans in the form of seaweeds, e.g., kelps, nori/laver. The global harvest of seaweeds in 2013 was estimated at US$ 6.7 billion, with China and Indonesia being the top producers (FAO 2015) . DSM’s product DHAgold®, used high quality, dried marine algae as a sustainable source of omega-3 DHA for nutritional health claims across all pet life stages . Amway incorporated fat-soluble carotenoid compounds from algae in their product Nutrilite™ Multi Carotene which helps in protecting skin . Algae has received more attention recently, not just in food, but also in cosmetics, and more particularly in skin cosmetics. Algae extract contributes to skin health and beauty .
Researchers have found that the nutrient density of algae, such as amino acids, mineral salts, trace elements and vitamin content, supply the skin cells with energy. Skin aging is a slow and complex process leading to many changes in the texture of skin such as thinning, dryness, laxity, fragility, enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. Progerin accumulates over time as the skin ages, and works with telomeres to trigger cellular senescence in normal human fibroblasts . Skin aging is related to the reduction of collagen production and decrease of several enzymatic activities that degrade collagen structure in the dermis. Various factors such as changes in DNA, signal transduction pathways, immunology, UVR and pollution activate cell surface receptors of keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the skin, which leads to a breakdown of collagen in the extracellular matrix and stops new collagen synthesis. The mechanism of skin aging is shown below .
Therefore, efficient antioxidants such as marine algae which are rich-sources of metabolites can be used to fight against oxidative stress that leads to skin aging .
Microalgae also known as blue-green algae or cyanobacteria are prokaryotic, microscopic unicellular algae having an approximate diameter of 1-50 μm. Macroalgae are eukaryotic, macroscopic, multicellular algae, widely known as seaweeds. The habitat of macroalgal species is marine water or seawater with the optimal availability of light. Macroalgae can be divided into three major groups based on their pigmentation:
Algae are sold directly as food and nutrient supplements, but for usage in biopharmaceuticals and cosmetics, algae must be extracted or processed. Novel extraction technologies for main bioactive compounds including proteins from marine algae include enzyme-assisted extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, ultrasound-assisted extraction, supercritical fluid extraction, and pressurized liquid extraction [11, 12].
Microwave Assisted Extraction (MAE) is used to obtain aqueous extracts of Baltic seaweeds to be applied in agriculture as biostimulants . Freshwater algae C. glomerata extract is prepared via supercritical fluid extraction and brown seaweed Sargassum plagyophyllum is extracted in ethanol-water mixture. Both are considered as effective raw materials for moisturizing, firming and as anti-wrinkle agents [14, 15]. Fucoidan is extracted from the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum by an innovative low-chemical process . Seasonal variation of Fucoidan in three species of brown macroalgae, Fucus serratus (FS), Fucus vesiculosus (FV) and Ascophyllum nodosum (AN), are found to be 6.0, 9.8 and 8.0 wt% respectively with highest quantities extracted in autumn and lowest in spring . Fucoidan from Laminaria japonica is extracted using Chitosan as extractant . Fucoxanthin, effective in protecting skin from photo-aging  can be extracted from brown seaweeds by using enzymes, water, low‐temperature dehydration and mechanical blending . Algal products, such as micronized algae and extracts of algae, should be prepared according to a set of regulations and standards, which vary from country to country and it involves various steps and technique to obtain high‐value and safe algal products for cosmetic industry .
Vitamins in algae act as a natural anti-aging complex, activate the skin, protect it against environmental influences, and fight free radicals, whereas Chlorophyll, similar to the haemoglobin, contributes significantly to the oxygen supply of the skin . The incorporation of macroalgae-derived ingredients in cosmetics has been growing, as more and more scientific evidence points to their skin health-promoting effects . Algae extracts from Laminaria, and Nannochloropsis, seaweed such as Undaria pinnatifida and microalgae Thalassiosira Nannochloropsis are found effective in skin hydration and restoration of trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) as they contain several molecules with moisturizing properties such as polysaccharides, fatty acids (sophorolipids, rhamnolipids and mannosylerythritol) and proteins . Studies on two microalgae, Undaria pinnatifida extract (containing 85% fucoidan), and Fucus vesiculosus co-extract (containing 60% fucoidan) showed that fucoidan helped in skin immunity, soothing and protection . Euglena gracilis, a unicellular eukaryotic alga, upon anaerobic incubation for three days, were found synthesizing amino acids such as arginine, alanine, leucine, lysine, and valine which commercially have been used for cosmetics . Research has demonstrated the potential use of marine microalgae and cyanobacteria in Thalassotherapy, which involves using seawater and all related marine elements . Presence of radioprotective phytochemicals, such as phlorotannins, polysaccharides, carotenoids and other compounds in marine microalgae have been explored which could be used as ingredients in cosmetic formulations for providing protection against ultraviolet radiation . Apart from marine microalgae, freshwater macroscopic green algae species (e.g., Chara fragilis, Cladophora glomerata, Ulva flexuosa) may also be a rich source of macro- and micronutrients as well as other bioactive substances such as fatty acids, polysaccharides, pigments, polyphenols, etc. Research on freshwater macroalgae for cosmetic applications is currently lacking .
Japanese beauty company Shiseido has recently developed a patented (WO2018074606A1) new anti-aging active ingredient Stemlan-173 which effectively protects the degradation of laminin-511, that improves skin texture, rejuvenates skin, and protects the decrease of epidermal stem cells. Shiseido has claimed that the algae extract, from green algae, red algae and brown algae, acts as an active ingredient to promote the production of laminin-511, which decreases with aging .
ALGALO INDUSTRIES COMPANY LTD.: Established in 2011, as a start-up - for microalgae growing technologies, the company is located in Kibbutz Ein Hamifratz, Israel.
Vison: Global leading in Algaculture and Algae-based products.
Owned by the Japanese company Nikken Sohonsha, reportedly is Israel’s largest and oldest algae producer. NBT has been growing the beta-carotene-rich alga Dunaliella bardawil, under license from the Weizmann Institute of Science, since 1989.