New algae extraction facility hopes to meet sustainable alternatives demand

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Arizona-based algae technology company Heliae has unveiled a commercial demonstration facility said to showcase the scalability and economics of its proprietary algae technology platform.   

The new facility, comprised of 20 acres, features a platform that enables the production of algae, a resource the company feels will fulfil demand for sustainable alternatives in industries like cosmetics.  

The platform, Heliae says, along with the company's experience in the precision-farming process will provide turn-key solutions to produce affordable, renewable materials from algae, an ingredient found in many cosmetics. 

"This is a critical step for Heliae and the algae industry.  Harnessing the full value of this plant will help generations overcome constraints in sustainability​,” says co-founder Frank Mars.

Demand for sustainable resources

Marine extracts are becoming increasingly important with cosmetic manufacturers, thus driving demand for sustainable alternatives, to keep resourcing raw materials that the consumer wants.    

The development of the cosmeceuticals category for example is becoming ever more popular, however formulations in this area include naturally-derived ingredients such as camphor, allantoin and algae extract, which can all be difficult to source because of limited supply resources.

It is this area of the sector that Heliae believes the platform could potentiall be most helpful.

Clinique on the algae bandwagon

Last year Clinique launched a Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream featuring brown algae to assist the skin in slowing down the ageing process.

“Mitostime, derived from brown algae is one of the newest and most powerful ways to increase cellular energy”, ​Clinique’s executive director of Skin Physiology, Dr. Tom Mammone told Cosmetics Design.

The brown algae also known as “Laminaria Digitata”, traditionally used as a fertilizer and spread on the land, has been found to provide energy to tired cells. It is there that the brown algae goes to work, preventing the slowdown of the repair and rejuvenation process. It also aids in the skin’s natural collagen production, aiding the skin to appear plump and youthful.

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