Algae extracts added to natural cosmetics may help prevent cancer. A recent review of research from Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Medical University found marine algae extracts help protect skin cells by reducing oxidative stress, which has been linked to both inflammation and cancer.
The review covered the major algae types of red algae, brown algae (such as kelp), green algae and blue-green algae (such as spirulina). A host of compounds in these extracts was found to provide protection against free-radical damage. In one study, phloroglucinol, a phenol derivative from brown algae, inhibited inflammation among human tissue sarcoma cells.