Microalgae Q: Hello......I have been seeing quite often the claim for Micro-algae. I am not sure if this is one word or two.....Microalgae? Supposed to have been "clinically verified" to tighten/firm skin by "more than 110%". In looking up info, I gather that Spirulina and Chlorella are micro algaes. What is meant by micro algae? I am guessing might mean the smallest portion of something or other in the algae? Actually my question is does this claim have any validity? And if so, what is there in this that would bring about this type effect? I know there are a few ingreds that do have a temporary tightening/firming effect to some small degree..........the claim of 'more than 110%seems a little confusing. I can understand 100% but wondering what the other 10% indicates. Would be interested in your definition of this ingredient/ingredients. Thanks for all your expertise and wonderful and complete responses. Jeflin
{for your info only: I'm not sure it is 'acceptable' to name names, but my source of info is Chae Organics....I came across this when reading about the founder and her affiliations with Organics and articles she has written}. [Linda Chae]

A: Dear Jeflin,

Microalgae are single-cell algae that live in both fresh waters and the oceans of our planet. They are a very diverse group of microscopic plants (over 30,000 different species - Spirulina and Chlorella among them).
Microalgae produce many different fats, sugars, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, pigments and other bioactive compounds. They have been used for some time as food supplements, for both humans and animals, cosmetic ingredients, in pharmaceuticals, also as pigments, biofuel, and so on, and the surface has only been scratched. They are highly promising and still largely unexploited. As intact organisms, they are massive production plants of oxygen on Earth.

If a company makes a claim of some kind, it is most likely based on some data (otherwise they can find themselves on thin ice). Often the research and data come from the supplier of the said ingredient, sometimes the company manufacturing the cream will also conduct testing. This is an issue that we have addressed before - what works in vitro may not work in vivo. And the other side - what works for one person will not work for another, or at least not equally well. That is a fact of life.

I am not sure what can bring about a specific effect such as firming of the skin. It could be a portion of a protein, or a complex carbohydrate...each company that produces an ingredient will give some sort of an explanation. How far can that explanation be taken is impossible to know.
Now, improvement by 110% is a serious claim. Improvement by 100% means double, the extra 10% is just that - a little extra on double. Double of what - I am not sure, but for any improvement 110% are high numbers.

All the best, and I hope that this helps.

Ivana K.

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