The application of natural resources from the marine environment in the cosmeceutical industry is gaining great attention. One study aimed to discover the cosmeceutical potential of two Malaysian algae, Sargassum sp. and Kappaphycus sp., by determining their antioxidant capacity and assessing the presence of their secondary metabolites with cosmeceutical potential.

Profiling of the metabolites by quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in Electrospray Ionization (ESI) mode identified 110 putative metabolites in Sargassum sp. and 47 putative metabolites in Kappaphycus sp. and grouped them according to their functions.

According to the authors, the bioactive compounds in both algae have never been studied in depth, so this is the first report exploring their cosmeceutical potential.

In Sargassum sp. six antioxidants were detected, including fucoxanthin, (3S, 4R, 3’R)-4-hydroxyalloxanthin, enzacamene N-stearoyl valine, 2-hydroxy-hexadecanoic acid and metalloporphyrins. Similarly, three antioxidants were detected in Kappahycus sp., namely tanacetol A, 2-fluoro palmitic acid and idebenone metabolites.

Three other antioxidants were detected in both species of algae, namely 3-tert-butyl-5-methylcatechol, (-)-isoamijiol and (6S)-dehydrovomifoliol. Anti-inflammatory metabolites such as 5(R)-HETE, protoverine, phytosphingosine, 4,5-leukotriene-A4 and 5Z-octadecenoic acid were also found in both species.

Sargassum sp. has greater antioxidant capacity than Kappahycus sp., possibly due to the different number of antioxidant compounds in the alga. The results suggest that Sargassum sp. and Kappaphycus sp. are potential natural cosmeceutical ingredients.

Min Wen Lim et al., 2023. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, DOI: 10.1111/jocd.15794

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