Potential benefits of spirulina for skin
According to research done on this powerful ingredient, spirulina can help promote skin health in a variety of ways.
Spirulina may have a positive impact on gut health, which may improve the appearance of your skin.
A healthy gut microbiome has been linked to improved skin health, including regulating skin inflammation. Spirulina has been shown to promote a healthier gut microbiome, so this could mean better skin health.
While more research on humans and spirulina is needed, some animal studies suggest that blue-green algae may help support gut health as people age.
One study of elderly mice found that spirulina may protect healthy gut bacteria during aging.
Although more research is needed, some studies suggest there may be benefits to using spirulina extract in topical formulations.
Most indicate antioxidant benefits, brightening effects, and moisturizing properties. These benefits are primarily related to the use of spirulina extract, rather than its powder form.
Since spirulina contains many antioxidants, it can provide anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects.
Spirulina fights free radicals and therefore prevents skin damage that leads to wrinkles and signs of aging.
Phycocyanin is the main active ingredient in spirulina, giving the algae its rich blue-green color.
Phycocyanin helps activate cellular antioxidant activity, thereby eliminating free radicals.
Spirulina also contains many important amino acids, including glycine and proline, which keep skin firm and support the body's collagen production.
Spirulina for collagen production and skin tightening
One study suggests that spirulina may increase growth factors in dermal fibroblasts, the cells responsible for producing collagen.
This may contribute to the skin tightening effect, but further research is needed.
Can eliminate toxins
There is no significant evidence that spirulina helps eliminate toxins from the body or skin.
While some literature suggests that spirulina can help resolve experimentally induced heavy metal toxicity, specifically arsenic, however, this does not translate well to our bodies and skin and requires further investigation.
In an earlier study, 41 patients with chronic arsenic poisoning were given spirulina extract and zinc twice daily for 16 weeks. The results of the study found that spirulina extract plus zinc removed 47.1% of arsenic in hair, suggesting that spirulina and zinc may help treat chronic arsenic poisoning.
Can prevent candida
Some research suggests that spirulina may prevent Candida skin infections through antifungal activity. However, more research is needed.
One study evaluated the in vitro activity of spirulina against 22 strains of Candida in the uterus of guinea pigs. The study found that the antifungal properties of spirulina could be used to treat Candida in place of topical antifungals.
Benefits for skin conditions
Unfortunately, there isn’t much evidence to support claims that spirulina can help reduce acne, psoriasis, eczema, or tighten skin.
However, spirulina does have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help treat conditions like acne and eczema, but this requires more in-depth research.
Spirulina for Acne Treatment
One study suggests that applying a cream containing spirulina to the skin may be an alternative option for treating acne due to its high antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Spirulina may be a better option than topical antibiotic treatment due to fewer side effects and no antibiotic resistance.
Spirulina treats psoriasis
One study showed that spirulina helped reduce the presence of psoriasis in mice. The study suggests that spirulina has the potential to be developed as a natural treatment for psoriasis.
Spirulina treats eczema
One study suggests that an ointment containing spirulina may help improve eczema symptoms when applied topically twice daily for 3 weeks.
Spirulina vs. Chlorella: What’s the Difference?
Chlorella is a green algae, while Spirulina is a blue-green algae. Although spirulina is called blue-green algae, it is classified separately from green algae. Additionally, they differ in their vitamin and mineral content.
Spirulina contains more omega-3 fatty acids, provitamin A and magnesium. Chlorella is high in fiber and cannot be digested properly by humans. Therefore, it must be taken as a supplement, unlike spirulina.
Avoid eating or topical application if you are allergic to spirulina, iodine, or seaweed and seafood. It's also not suitable for people with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU). Spirulina contains a substance that cannot be metabolized by people with this disease.
People with any type of autoimmune disease should also avoid it because of its immune system-stimulating effects.
Make sure your spirulina comes from a source as it may be contaminated.