Phycocyanin as a Novel Source of Bioactive Nature Pigments:using for cosmetic products 

Thursday December 07, 2023


People choose cosmetic product attracted by its function and colour

When choosing cosmetic products, stylish women are not only attracted by product features and brand,the appearance of the products, especially, the colour play a very crucial role in people’s selection process. Colour is believed to be the primary element seen by the senses, and it has played an important part in consumers acceptance for millennia in order to improve their actual appearance and quality.

The spirulina extract,particularly phycocyanin has been proposed as a promising source for pigments for cosmetic uses. No more than ten enterprises worldwide have  patents to industrially extract phycocyanin from spirulina, Binmei is one of them and has 9 different patents about phycocyanin.  Phycocyanin has been optimized in the past few years in terms of production, extraction, and application of pigment extracts.

Photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria, microalgae, macroalgae, and plants can synthesise a wide range of light-absorbing compounds. Pigments are molecules that can absorb light in the visible spectrum, resulting in a colour reflection visible to the human eye . Natural pigments have an important function not only for these organisms (which cannot survive or produce energy without them), but also for the environment (as oxygen and biomass primary producers) , and for society (since these species have been utilised as colorants for millennia) . More recently, the push towards clean label products, sustainability and environmental awareness has resulted in a shift in industry expectations, as well as the rescue of hitherto known natural pigment sources that may be used to replace synthetic colourants. Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria,Unlike other algae,spirulina can be farmed,Binmei Spirulina Powder-Phycocyanin ,as nature blue colorants, comes from algae cultivated in Inner Mongolia Plateau, Binmei spirulina  contains protein content  as high as 65%-72%.

Natural ingredients have been used for cosmetic reasons since before the notion of cosmetics, and they have long been prepared from mineral materials, herbal pastes, and oils . With the concept of cosmeceuticals, the use of phycocyanin as a source of components has even more potential due to their diverse range of produced compounds. Fatty acids, polyphenols, peptides, polysaccharides, and pigments are examples with clearly delineated potential for health uses that can be found .

When it comes to cyanobacterial pigments, such as carotenoids and phycocyanin, it is possible to combine their bioactive capacity, varied colours, and cosmetic enhancement characteristics (e.g., moisturiser, stabilising agents) to pique the interest of the natural cosmetics industry, which typically apply these compounds in the form of extracts.

Phycocyanin benefits to skin and hair

Because of their highly efficient antioxidant capability, carotenoids can be found in sunscreens, anti-aging, and antioxidant compositions. Inside cyanobacteria cells, these compounds are in charge of collecting exceeded energy from photosynthetic metabolism, preventing detrimental consequences and cell damage , and can be isolated and employed for a similar purpose in human skin, where extended exposure to sunlight (UV radiation and high light intensity) can cause cell damage.

Phycocyanin can be used in a similar way as functional additives because it has been linked to a number of bioactivities, including antioxidants, antivirals, antimicrobials, and anticancer, among others . These compounds can also be utilised as natural colours to reduce skin toxicity and damage, as well as allergies to synthetic dyes . Because of its water solubility, these blue hydrophilic pigments can be used in skincare products, particularly serum and lotions.

Pigments from microalgae and cyanobacteria are known for several bio-activities,especially phycocyanin as nature colorant feature and vibrant colors have increased market interest in recent years. These pigments have already been seen as skin tonics,with a capacity of skin protection and prevention and slow-down of skin-associated disorders, due to their recognized antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,anti-aging,antitumoral, and photoprotector activity.

Phycocyanin stands out as a sustainable bioactive colorant with health-promoting properties, and an important active ingredient of natural cosmetics products. Currently, phycocyanin has been incorporated in topical skin-care formulations, such as a moisturizing, antiwrinkles, antiaging and antiacne agent. Furthermore, phycocyanin is used by cosmetic formulators to promote healthy sunscreen protection, to treat skin pigmentation disorders and to heal wounds. Most of commercial cosmetics claim a large range of phycocyanin properties, including antioxidant, revitalizing, remineralizing, moisturizing, protecting alongside cleansing and shining action, both for hair and for skin. In this review, recent cosmetic applications of phycocyanin are revised, by highlighting its ability in improving skin appearance and health.

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