Spirulina is a well-known natural blue-green algae that is celebrated for being one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It contains a large number of anti-inflammatory, immunity-boosting and detoxifying properties that can nourish you from the inside out. Natural skincare enthusiasts testify that if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, you shouldn’t put it on your skin. Well, spirulina is a popular ingredient that’s used in both smoothies and skincare products. Here we’ll look at how spirulina can be a great addition to your skin care routine and the overall health benefits that come with using Spirulina.
Your skin is your first defence against external stressors like pollution, UV rays and other toxins. Pollution and other toxins can dehydrate and weaken the skin barrier by breaking down collagen and oxidising the lipid layer. This can lead to dryness, sensitivity, uneven skin tone, dullness, acne, and premature ageing can make it seem dull, lifeless and prone to breakouts.
While you probably know about the various antioxidant drinks, the antioxidants in spirulina can protect your skin from external stressors by neutralising free radicals. What’s more, spirulina’s antimicrobial properties help keep the skin healthy and clean.
Spirulina is a rich source of selenium, vitamin E, and tyrosine, which are all known for their anti-ageing properties. The high antioxidant content is believed to help neutralise free radicals that lead to wrinkles and signs of premature ageing. The amino acid content also helps support collagen production keeping the skin firm and looking youthful.
Your skin contains collagen, which gives it its elasticity and healthy appearance. Free radicals from external factors like sunlight and pollution, plus the metabolic waste from natural bodily processes and ageing, can break down collagen levels leaving your skin looking dull and prematurely aged.
Spirulina is rich in antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B-12 which can neutralise free radicals and help maintain collagen levels.
Spirulina is one of the most sustainable proteins on the planet and is a great option for vegans and vegetarians, thanks to its incredible amino acid profile. Amino acids can also help build your skin’s collagen levels and improve its elasticity.
A study published by the International Journal of Molecular Medicine in 2018 found that spirulina had the potential to support the cells responsible for creating collagen. Further studies are needed, but it indicates how spirulina could contribute to a skin tightening effect.
May prevent dark circles
Spirulina gets its vibrant green colour from its high chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is high in vitamin K, which can stimulate circulation and prevent blood pooling and becoming visible under the thin skin of the eyes.
May improve certain skin conditions
While there isn’t sufficient evidence to support the claims that spirulina can alleviate signs and symptoms of inflammatory skin issues like acne, psoriasis and eczema, it does possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These effects, combined with its high antioxidant and nutritional content, can support the skin’s metabolism and repair.
How to include spirulina in your diet
The good news is that it couldn’t be easier to incorporate this supplement into your diet. Many people opt for powdered spirulina as it’s so versatile that you can add it to your smoothie or sprinkle it over soup to boost the nutritional value. The spirulina taste is often described as fishy and earthy, so be careful to mask the taste with fruits if you’re adding it to a sweet beverage.
Another option is to find pre-infused spirulina products such as carbonated spirulina drinks like the ones by fulcompany.com. These benefit from being tasty, convenient and make great diet soda alternatives. Another convenient option is to take spirulina pills or capsules. While they’re easy to use, they might be less effective and may pass through the digestive tract only partially digested.
How to use spirulina topically
Here’s a simple recipe for a spirulina DIY face mask for dry skin. All you’ll need is:
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. spirulina spirulina powder
- 1 tsp. rosehip oil (good quality extra virgin olive oil can also be used)
- Wash and cleanse your face of makeup.
- Combine all components in a bowl and mix well to form a paste.
- Apply with clean fingers or a brush to the face and neck.
- Allow the mask to sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water and a cloth. Pat dry.
If it’s dark circles you’re looking to banish, here’s a recipe for a spirulina eye mask. You will need:
- 1 tsp. spirulina powder
- 1 tsp whole milk yoghurt
- 2-3 drops of Vitamin E oil
- Wash and cleanse your face of makeup.
- Combine components in a bowl to form a paste.
- Gently apply the mixture to the undereye area with clean fingers.
- Allow the formula to sit for 10 minutes.
- Gently rinse with warm water. Use a soft cloth to very carefully pat dry. Remember that the skin under the eyes is very delicate.
Yoghurt is an effective treatment for dark circles as the lactic acid can help lighten the skin tone.
No matter what your skin type is, using spirulina both internally and topically can provide your body and skin with beautiful benefits. Topical use can help prevent free radical damage caused by UV rays and airborne contaminants while ingesting spirulina can nourish your body and support cell regeneration. While more research is needed to support spirulina’s use for specific skin conditions, it is a safe and healthy supplement that is well-known as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. So why not give it a try!