Snow algae thrive in frigid high mountain areas and have the unique ability to survive brutal changes in temperature.
When applied to living cells, snow algae activates a longevity gene and the enzyme AMPK, which in turn enhances DNA repair.
The ability to repair DNA is crucial for health and longevity.
Researchers are now finding that topical application of snow algae produces a restorative effect to the skin.
In addition, a group of novel peptides along with hyaluronic acid addresses a broad array of deleterious structural changes that occur in aging skin. The result is improved moisture, minimized wrinkles, and restoration of a more youthful outward appearance.
Rejuvenation Effects Of Snow Algae
For years, scientists have been intrigued by a phenomenon known as “red snow” that occurs every winter in high mountain areas around the world.
Red snow refers to the unique ability of snow algae to thrive in freezing temperatures with high ultraviolet radiation that would otherwise destroy most plants.
In the spring, cells of snow algae turn green due to energy production. They then turn red as winter approaches. This color change is related to the growing presence of carotenoid pigments that protect them against harmful UV rays.5,6
Curious about this ability to survive extreme temperature changes, scientists cultivated snow algae in the laboratory and observed two specific anti-aging activities. At the cellular level, snow algae activate an important longevity gene (Klotho) and the cellular energy enzyme AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase). Both of these mechanisms help facilitate DNA repair.
When activated, AMPK acts to clear cellular debris that generates low-grade chronic inflammation and improves cellular stress resistance to slow down skin aging. Snow algae have been shown to prevent the age-related decline in AMPK activity that accelerates the aging process. In an in vitro study conducted by scientists, snow algae stimulated AMPK activity by 105% compared to a control in human skin cells. And in another in vitro experiment, snow algae increased collagen production and inhibited destructing collagen enzymes by up to 47% in human fibroblast cells.2,7 Together, these studies demonstrate the anti-aging effects of snow algae and its unique ability to improve the healthy longevity of skin cells.
Cumulative sun exposure, pollutants, cold, and wind all weaken the skin’s barrier function, robbing it of vital moisture. Since snow algae can resist and adapt to these harmful environmental influences, researchers investigated whether its topical application would provide a similar benefit to the human skin.
In a controlled clinical study, 21 human volunteers ranging in age from 30 to 57 applied snow algae extract to one half of their face and a placebo to the other half three times a day for only 21 days. During the second week of the study, subjects spent time in the harsh climate of the Alpine mountains. The subjects’ skin was evaluated for transepidermal water loss prior to treatment, on day 14, and on day 21. The results showed that transepidermal water loss was 12% lower on the side of the face in which snow algae was used, confirming an improvement in the skin’s barrier function. In addition, age spots were less visible in 67% of treated subjects—after only 21 days!
In a recent clinical trial, snow algae extract was applied twice a day to the inner side of the forearm of 20 women aged 40 to 60 years old, while their other forearm was treated with a placebo. Skin hydration was measured using a device called a Corneometer®, which determines the level of skin hydration. The snow algae-treated side showed a 10% increase in skin hydration over the placebo side in just 14 days. This moisturizing effect was observed in 100% of participants, thus demonstrating snow algae’s effectiveness as a hydrating compound.
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