Discover 5 Incredible Ways Spirulina Nourishes Your Skin

Discover 5 Incredible Ways Spirulina Nourishes Your Skin

Skincare can be very confusing, considering how many mainstream products are available today. Modern skincare routines employ everything from lotions to specialized applicators to make the process as effective as possible. Once upon a time, the skincare industry's primary focus was ensuring your skin was healthy. 

Unfortunately, the main reason people use these products now is due to the rising beauty standards in the developed world. Fortunately, we seem to be finding a happy medium that focuses equally on maintaining your health and helping you look good. That said, the focus on beauty led to several brands mass-producing their products and using certain compounds that might not be healthy. While these products are effective, it is common for makeup and certain skincare tools to cause damage and induce minor blemishes. 

Now that we are waking up and understanding the sacrifices commercialized skincare has forced us to make, many are turning to natural alternatives. There are countless options to revitalize your skin naturally, and some are far more effective than others. In most cases, these skincare products help enhance your skin's health and make it look younger and more supple than it was before. 

The trick is identifying the key products that can actively enhance your skin without relying on artificial ingredients. One lesser-known resource is spirulina, which has become something of a rising star in modern skincare. The question is: What is it, and how can it nourish our skin?

What is Spirulina?

If you are unfamiliar with spirulina, do not feel bad since plenty of people are completely unaware of it. Spirulina might be unknown to you because it hails from one of the most mysterious biomes on the planet: the ocean. Spirulina is the common name for a biomass of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria is a blue-green algae found almost anywhere in the ocean. Spirulina, known scientifically as Arthrospira, is 100% edible and has become a major addition to modern dietary supplements. Arthrospira can be divided into 3 species:

  1. Arthrospira platensis
  2. Arthrospira fusiformis
  3. Arthrospira maxima

Regardless of the species, all members of the Arthrospira genus are extremely nutritious and are commonly used in modern products. However, spirulina played a role in the human diet long before the modern era. Research indicates that spirulina was a food source for the Aztec and Mesoamerican civilizations until the 16th century. The Aztecs called it "tecuitlatl," and it was discovered in 1520 but fell from common knowledge until 1940.

Spirulina Powder and Tablets

By then, a Belgian phycologist named Pierre Dangeard referenced a cake called "dihe" that was actively consumed by the Kanembu tribe in Chad, Africa. Dangeard studied the dihe cakes and discovered they were made from a dried puree of blue-green algae harvested from Lake Chad. In 1965, a French botanist named Jean Leonard confirmed that the algae used to make dihe was spirulina, which triggered the first detailed study on the algae. 

This study led to the large-scale production of spirulina by the 1970s. Since then, spirulina has become common in several dietary products, but its resurgence was primarily triggered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA proposed that spirulina could be grown in space, making it a sustainable food source for astronauts. That said, the full extent of spirulina's benefits is not fully understood since it is not well marketed. 

Most notably, the potential benefits of spirulina for our skin are commonly overlooked in favor of its dietary value.

#1: Spirulina is Nutrient-Rich

One of the main benefits of spirulina that contributed to its role in dietary supplementation is its rich nutrient content. Spirulina is a treasure trove of major vitamins and nutrients that reinforce and revitalize the human body.

Person Using a Spirulina Powder

A 7-gram serving of spirulina powder contains:

  • Protein – 4 grams
  • Thiamine (vitamin B-1) – 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) – 20% of the DV
  • Niacin (vitamin B-3) – 6% of the DV
  • Copper – 47% of the DV
  • Iron – 11% of the DV

Considering that spirulina contains such large concentrations of essential nutrients, it is hardly surprising that it is a major dietary supplement. You might not know that these nutrients also play a significant role in skin health. Our skin uses each of these nutrients to repair and rejuvenate itself while producing compounds essential to its health. While these nutrients are important, spirulina does play a direct role in keeping our skin healthy.

#2: Spirulina is an Antioxidant

Our skin is our first and last line of defense against the elements, meaning it is subjected to environmental factors and elements that cause significant strain. Among other things, one of the main dangers to our skin is free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause oxidative damage, which can cause inflammation that swells and reddens your skin. This can be unpleasant in the short term but can also cause lasting consequences for your complexion. 

Minor inflammation is common when we are injured, but overexposure to free radicals can cause chronic inflammation that inhibits the skin's ability to return to its original state. This causes the skin to lose elasticity and develop signs of aging prematurely. Premature aging is one of the worst issues we can face since the beauty standard is far from dead, and developing wrinkles in our 20s damages our confidence.

Woman Using a Spirulina Skin Product

Fortunately, spirulina has compounds that reduce oxidative damage and protect the skin from aging too quickly. Spirulina's anti-aging benefits can be tied directly to its main active ingredient: phycocyanin. Phycocyanin is responsible for spirulina's distinct color and activated cellular antioxidant activity. This enables spirulina to eliminate free radicals from the body and prevent premature aging caused by the subsequent inflammation. 

These benefits were confirmed by a study conducted in 2014, proving spirulina can protect our skin. Fortunately, its benefits do not end there since spirulina can also reinforce our concentration of an important protein.

#3: Spirulina Promotes Collagen Production

Human skin is made from several compounds that were mixed together to create dermal layers. While every component is essential to our body's ability to produce skin, the most critical component is the main building block. Insofar as human skin is concerned, the main building block is a protein called collagen. 

Our collagen peaks while we are still developing in the womb, allowing our bodies to develop the main dermal layers so we are not born with our organs and muscles exposed. After, our bodies continue producing collagen in smaller amounts to facilitate repair. Whenever our skin is damaged, our bodies allocate collagen to the affected area so we regrow the skin and maintain the same level of elasticity.

Healthy and Youthful Skin

Unfortunately, our ability to produce new collagen and retain what was already there diminishes with age. After a certain point, our collagen levels are so low that our bodies only focus on repairing damage without maintaining the aesthetic. Furthermore, some people develop deficiencies in their youth and are unable to produce the normal amount of collagen.

According to a study from 2019, spirulina can increase the growth factors in dermal fibroblast cells. These cells are directly responsible for collagen synthesis in the body, meaning improving them enhances our collagen production scale. Furthermore, spirulina contains the amino acids glycine and proline, which directly support collagen production. As a result, consuming spirulina can reinforce our natural collagen supply so we can continue repairing our skin while maintaining a youthful complexion.

#4: Spirulina Might Purge Toxins

As strange as it sounds, exposure to certain toxins can diminish our skin's health and damage its appearance. While you might be aware of the usual suspects like poison ivy that irritate, other toxins can damage our skin from within. Heavy metal poisoning is one issue that most people never associate with skin health. 

Considering our industrial nature, it is hardly surprising that we are constantly exposed to metals that might find their way into our bodies. Even certain metalloids might find their way into our system and wreak havoc on our bodies, including the skin. One metalloid in particular is especially troubling: arsenic. Arsenic poisoning can be fatal, so the main priority should always be finding the proper medical treatment to prevent fatalities. 

Once you are not at risk of passing away, you might notice that your physical appearance diminished after your exposure to the metal. This is because traces of heavy metals inhibit our natural healing abilities and can cause physical manifestations of the strain.

A Heavy Metal Skin Rash

While more studies are needed, there is reason to believe that spirulina can mitigate the effects of heavy metal poisoning on our skin. A study from 2006 assessed 41 patients with chronic arsenic poisoning and divided them into test and control groups. The former was given spirulina extract and zinc twice daily for 16 weeks, while the latter received a placebo. 

When the study concluded, the subjects in the test group saw a 41.7% reduction of arsenic traces in their hair, which improved the hair's health. This study is preliminary evidence that spirulina can at least reduce the impact of arsenic poisoning on our skin.

#5: Spirulina Might Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Cancer is one of the most devastating illnesses in the world and affects hundreds of thousands of people. Cancer is especially notorious for having variants that affect almost every part of our anatomy. Stomach, anal, breast, and lung cancers are some of the biggest concerns, but skin cancer is one of the more common instances of the disease. 

Skin cancer can be caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, making it one of the more difficult variants to protect against. Fortunately, we can use sunblock and other tools to limit UV radiation's effect on us, but skin cancer remains an ever-present threat to our health. The situation is worsened by the fact that cancer treatments can be hit-or-miss depending on the circumstances. While chemotherapy and radiation are essential to most recovery plans, there are ways we can bolster their effect on the condition.

A Cancer Ribbon

Spirulina has been studied as a potential supplement for cancer treatments, but it was primarily assessed for oral cancer. Nevertheless, spirulina demonstrated remarkable benefits for oral cancer patients by reducing tumor sizes and managing oral submucous fibrosis. A study from 2013 confirmed that spirulina can inhibit these lesions and moderately enhance our protection against cancer. 

While no studies were conducted on skin cancer, it can still benefit us since cancer can spread from one body part to another. It would be easy for oral cancer to spread to our skin, so reducing the severity of oral cancer through spirulina's effects can protect our skin by extension. We would like to stress that spirulina is not a substitute for cancer treatments and should be used in a supplementary capacity and only if your physician approves.

Finding the Right Blend

Spirulina might not be the most well-known skincare supplement, but there is much to be said for its benefits. Insofar as algae is concerned, spirulina is one of the most useful, and its storied history makes it a reliable source of nutrition. Its properties enable it to naturally enhance our protection against inflammation while supplementing our collagen production. 

Protecting our skin from the elements and reinforcing the compounds that keep it healthy are essential practices, but we can only do so much. Adding spirulina to your diet can make this maintenance easier, but you might be curious about where to find a spirulina supplement. Fortunately, the answer is simpler than you might think.

Teami Greens Superfood Powder

We at Teami have always maintained that our bodies are designed to use natural substances to expedite healing. Whether you are ill or need to enhance your appearance, natural solutions often address your issues. We have created a vast catalog of products that use natural compounds to enhance the body's health and appearance. 

One of our main products is our Greens Superfood Powder, which combines spirulina with matcha and wheatgrass (both of which work wonders for preserving and enhancing skin). We encourage you to visit our website and try our product firsthand. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.

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