Article at a Glance:
- The skin is the body’s first line of defense, protecting us from many harmful external factors.
- Spirulina is a versatile superfood that can improve skin health.
- This superfood can help with skin aging, acne, inflammatory skin conditions, and fungal infections.
Is spirulina good for the skin? Thanks to its dense nutritional content, there are many spirulina benefits for the skin. This superfood is versatile and can help your skin topically and through your diet.
The skin protects our body from harm; it’s our first line of defense. Keeping it in good condition helps you look good on the outside and reinforces the skin to keep functioning properly.
Ready to explore how alga spirulina on the skin can help you thrive? Read on to learn about this superfood’s many skin health benefits.
Nutrition and Skin Health
The Role of Your Skin
When talking about bodily defense, our skin is the first line of defense that protects us from harmful external factors. Some such factors include pollutants, microbes, UV radiation, stress, and more.
Beyond that, however, the skin also has multiple functions, namely the following:
- The skin acts as a barrier that blocks most types of injuries (mechanical, thermal, and physical) and hazardous and toxic substances.
- The skin helps prevent our bodies from losing moisture.
- The skin protects the body from harmful UV radiation.
- The skin gives us a sense of touch, acting as a sensory organ.
- The skin helps regulate a person’s body temperature.
- The skin also acts as an immune organ, which helps spot infections.
- The skin helps produce vitamin D.
How to Keep Skin Healthy
Did you know that nutrition is crucial in maintaining overall skin health? Both macro- and micro-nutrients help keep the skin’s barrier functions working properly. If a person changes his or her diet drastically, it may change the structure and function level of the skin. This also manifests through the skin’s appearance.
Luckily, thanks to the skin being an exterior organ, we help maintain its health in two ways: through nutrition and by using topical skincare.
Topical skincare is the more well-known way of taking care of the skin. The skincare industry is booming as more and more people embrace a tailor-made skincare routine for their needs.
However, to help reinforce this routine, you may practice topical skincare and a good nutritional diet that provides nutrients that may benefit the skin.
When it comes to looking for a nutritional supplement that can help promote skin health, spirulina is a top choice. It’s a blue-green algae that grows in both freshwater and saltwater bodies.
People worldwide take spirulina supplements for the many nutrients they may provide — from antioxidant vitamins to essential amino acids. Due to this nutritional content, many individuals also reap the benefits of spirulina through regular consumption.
To give you an idea of how many good compounds spirulina brings, here are some nutrients you can get in just a tablespoon of this superfood, as per the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Calcium: 8.4 mg
- Copper: 0.427 mg
- Iron: 2 mg
- Magnesium: 13.6 mg
- Niacin: 6% of daily recommended value
- Phosphorus: 8.26 mg
- Potassium: 95.2 mg
- Protein: 4 g
- Riboflavin: 20% of daily recommended value
- Thiamin: 14% of daily recommended value
It also contains essential fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants like vitamin C and beta carotene.
Skin Benefits of Spirulina: What Does Spirulina Do to Your Face?
1. Spirulina for Skin Aging
Can spirulina make you look younger? When it comes to anti-aging, spirulina is one supplement that can help. A well-known spirulina skin benefit you may take advantage of is that it helps slow down and fight skin aging.
Free radicals, especially ones caused by UV radiation, usually cause photosensitive skin aging. To fight this, you need antioxidants in topical skincare or your diet to neutralize it. Spirulina fights free radicals. Spirulina is well known for its antioxidant properties.
It has a lot of phycocyanin that helps fight free radicals and oxidative stress that causes skin damage. It also helps minimize inflammation in the body.
Does spirulina contain collagen? Does spirulina help cellulite?
On top of helping fight free radicals, it also contains glycine and proline, two essential amino acids that maintain skin elasticity.
In a 2019 study, researchers found that spirulina may help increase the growth factors found in dermal fibroblast cells. These cells are responsible for creating the collagen on your skin. As such, spirulina may help improve the body’s collagen production, which is highly beneficial for our skin. More collagen has a skin-tightening effect, helping minimize the likelihood of sagging skin.
Spirulina for Skin Lightening: Does spirulina lighten skin?
Looking to use spirulina for skin whitening? You’re in luck. Since spirulina may help increase collagen production, it may also help with proper skin cell turnover. Renewing skin cells may lighten skin and improve one’s complexion.
On top of this, you may also use spirulina for skin pigmentation prevention. Harmful UV rays and their consequent free radical damage may trigger melanin production. Since spirulina helps neutralize these free radicals, it may also help minimize skin hyperpigmentation.
2. Spirulina for Chronic Inflammatory Skin Conditions
Can I consume spirulina for psoriasis?
Spirulina helps reduce inflammation throughout the body, which may help with many long-term conditions aggravated by skin inflammation.
One of these is psoriasis. In fact, in 2020, a study found that spirulina managed to help reduce psoriasis in mice. Researchers also noted its potential to be used as a natural treatment for the said chronic skin condition.
Can I use spirulina for eczema? Is spirulina good for eczema?
Eczema is another common chronic skin condition that spirulina may help with. Another 2020 study suggested that topical ointments with spirulina may help alleviate symptoms of eczema when used regularly (twice a day for three weeks).
3. Spirulina for Acne
Is spirulina pore clogging? Other than the antioxidant benefits spirulina brings and its anti-inflammatory effects, it also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can help with acne, specifically fighting infection and minimizing pore clogging.
A study was conducted in 2020 that suggested using a cream containing spirulina as an alternative to the conventional acne treatment.
Based on its results, researchers have suggested that this type of blue-green algae may also be a better choice than local antibiotic therapy since it has fewer side effects and no risk of antibiotic resistance.
4. Spirulina for Skin Detox
Can spirulina help with chronic arsenic poisoning? Can I use it to eliminate toxins?
When toxins and harmful substances accumulate in the body, the skin is one organ where they may go to or manifest.
Heavy metal poisoning, specifically due to arsenic, has visible effects on the skin. This condition usually manifests as skin pigmentation changes, the appearance of lesions, and the appearance of hard patches or hyperkeratosis. Fortunately, blue-green algae spirulina has well-documented anti-toxin properties.
A 2006 study observed 41 patients suffering from chronic arsenic poisoning. The respondents were asked to take spirulina extract and zinc twice daily for 16 weeks. The trial found that using spirulina and zinc managed to remove 47.1% of arsenic, which showed the potential of spirulina and zinc in detoxing arsenic from the body.
5. Spirulina for Fungal Infections
Studies have observed spirulina’s potential to help lower a person’s risk of fungal infections, specifically that of candida. This is mainly attributed to the blue-green algae supplement’s antifungal properties.
A 2017 study observed spirulina’s effect against 22 different candida strains in guinea pigs. Based on the results, spirulina’s antifungal properties could be an alternative to topical antifungal candida treatments.
What Can Happen If Your Skin Is Unhealthy?
Healthy skin protects your body from the external environment and maintains overall well-being. When skin is not healthy, various issues and conditions can arise.
- Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples can erupt from the skin.
- Eczema (dermatitis) is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, itchy, inflamed patches of skin. Allergies, irritants, or genetic factors can trigger it.
- Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition characterized by the rapid buildup of skin cells. The result is thick, scaly, and sometimes painful patches in the skin.
- Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that shows skin redness, visible blood vessels on the face, acne-like breakouts, and skin sensitivity.
- Some people may develop skin allergies or contact dermatitis when exposed to allergens or irritants, leading to redness, itching, and rash.
- Skin can react to various substances or conditions, resulting in dermatitis or rashes. Allergies, irritants, or infections can cause these.
Weak Skin Barrier
- Exposure to sun ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the skin and lead to sunburn, characterized by redness, pain, and peeling.
- Prolonged exposure to UV radiation, especially without proper protection, can increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.
- Injuries or conditions that damage the deeper layers of the skin can result in the formation of scars, which may be permanent.
- Damaged or compromised skin is more susceptible to bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. These can range from minor infections like impetigo to serious conditions like cellulitis.
- Dry skin lacks moisture and can become rough, flaky, and itchy. It may also crack and become more susceptible to infections.
- Over time, factors like sun exposure, genetics, and lifestyle choices can lead to premature skin aging, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.
- Conditions like hyperpigmentation (excessive darkening of the skin) or hypopigmentation (loss of skin color) can affect the skin’s appearance.
Leaving the skin unhealthy can cause many health problems you wouldn’t want to deal with. It pays to give your skin as much protection as you can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Take Spirulina and Collagen Together?
Yes. Spirulina and collagen are two safe supplements that can help improve skin health. Collagen supplements provide and replenish collagen stores in the body. Meanwhile, spirulina promotes the creation of dermal fibroblast cells where collagen is made, thus enhancing collagen production.
How Can I Use Spirulina for the Skin?
You can use spirulina for your skin topically and as a part of your nutritional plan. Spirulina, as a supplement, is usually found in tablets, extracts, and powders. The tablets are easy to take as you only need to take the recommended daily dose of between 3 and 3.5 grams.
Meanwhile, spirulina powder and extracts are more versatile. You can use these in dishes, drinks, and desserts.
For topical spirulina, more skincare brands are embracing spirulina as part of their products, such as face masks and creams.
Can I Use Spirulina Directly on My Face?
Yes! How do you use spirulina powder for your face? You simply need to make a paste using other nourishing skincare ingredients, such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or honey. Apply the spirulina paste mixture on your skin and leave it for around 15 minutes. Rinse and pat your skin dry after.
Love Your Skin, Use Spirulina for Skin Health
There are many spirulina benefits for the skin, which can help in multiple ways. From minimizing inflammation to antioxidant support, it’s unquestionable that this blue-green alga is a top choice for nutritional skincare.
Hopefully, our article has shed light on just one of the numerous health benefits of this incredible superfood.
So, are you ready to achieve healthy, glowing skin? Try adding spirulina to your skincare regimen!