Antioxidants are having a big moment within the cosmetic industry because they help to prevent or delay damage to skin cells from free radicals caused by pollution and sun damage. We are only just waking up to the reality of the effects of these aggressors on our skin and how they cause premature ageing.
Supercharged antioxidant Dunaliella Extract, is an ingredient used in CameLife’s Restorative Serum. Our Restorative range is our premium, high-tech anti-ageing line. So what makes Dunaliella so revered and what can it do to help protect your skin? Discover its origin, skin health benefits and where you can find it.
Dunaliella Salina is a microalga in the green algae family. But don’t let its green family name fool you - Dunaliella is bright pink! So pink, in fact, that it makes Lake Hillier in Western Australia look like a strawberry milkshake.
Dunaliella dominates Lake Hillier and other inland salt water lakes because it is uniquely adapted to very salty environments. Lake Hillier is actually hyper-saline, between 3-6 times saltier than the nearby ocean. It’s not at all an easy place for an alga to live, but Dunaliella Salina thrives.
Dunaliella is pink because it has very high levels of a carotenoid pigment called β-carotene. You may have heard of β-carotene because it is the pigment that gives a lot of fruits and veggies their colour. But, luckily for us, β-carotene does more than just make veggies colourful; it is both a powerful antioxidant and a pro-vitamin which your body converts it into Vitamin A.
β-carotene, like all carotenoids, is an antioxidant; a substance that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules, protecting your body from free radicals. Free radicals are produced in your skin as a result of exposure to sun, pollutants and too much sugar in your diet. They damage cells through oxidation, destroying your collagen, causing wrinkles and fine lines to form, which will deepen over time unless you do something to arrest collagen depletion.
There’s more though; β-carotene is a pro-vitamin for vitamin A; your body converts the carotene into Vitamin A. Vitamin A acts on your retinoid receptors, proteins naturally found in your skin that act as shuttles, carrying and releasing Vitamin A derivatives called retinoids into your skin cells. These retinoids trigger collagen production in your active collagen producing cells, your fibroblasts.
For that reason, many cosmetics contain Retinol, the strongest form of retinoid available without a prescription. Retinol is converted into Retinoic Acid by enzymes in your skin, a strong retinoid which can cause irritation. Many people experience temporary redness, flakiness and even peeling and sensitivity using Retinol. Applying Vitamin A in its pro-vitamin avoids the risk of retinol irritation.
Camel milk is a great skincare ingredient on its own, but when we add natural skincare heroes like Dunaliella it becomes truly special. Camel milk is so finely homogenised that it penetrates deep into your skin, taking with it those premium added ingredients. CameLife’s secret is the unique processes with which we blend great natural skincare ingredients with camel milk.
Camel milk transports β-carotene deep into your skin where it is really needed. There, its anti-oxidant properties will help to deal with free radicals. Meanwhile, your skin will get a healthy shot of retinoids without the risks of irritation associated with Retinol.
“Dunaliella salina is a very powerful skincare ingredient, both as an antioxidant and a pro-vitamin” says CameLife founder Dr Jane Rose. “When combined with camel milk, it’s power is enhanced because it can penetrate to where it is really needed, deep in your skin. There it can protect skin cells from environmental damage and stimulate the production of collagen. Its potent antioxidant behaviour can improve your skin’s feel and appearance, helping to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reducing dryness, and improving skin texture. Meanwhile β-carotene will stimulate your active fibroblasts to produce collagen without the risk of irritation associated with strong retinoids.”