IROISE SEA ALGAE
The Iroise Sea is part of the larger Atlantic Ocean between the Ile de Sein and Ouessant and is located on the Breton coast in western France. The sea is contained in the Celtic Sea and is among the most dangerous seas in Europe, especially for seagoing ships during winters, during severe storms accompanied by huge waves. The Iroise Sea was designated a biosphere reserve in 1988 because of its rich marine life and became the first marine park to be created in France in 2007.
The Iroise Sea
Part of the Atlantic Ocean, this small Celtic sea is also one of the most dangerous in Europe. This sea is also famous for being one of the most beautiful corners of the coast, with a large number of islets and rocky islands, which can be isolated like the Ile de Sein or grouped together like those of the Molène archipelago.
Its very varied depths as well as its location at the entrance to the English Channel explain the intensity of the currents that characterize it. For this reason, when the English Channel “fills up” during the flow, strong currents are directed to the northeast; these currents are reversed with the ebb, when the English Channel “empties”. These currents reach exceptional speeds, as in the Raz de Sein or the Fromveur where navigation is very complex. On a smaller scale, this effect is reproduced in the Brest Rada which “empties” and “fills” with each tidal cycle.
Another attraction that awaits travelers who come to enjoy this stretch of coast in northern France – and the sea that bathes it – is the high concentration of lighthouses on the territory (it could not be otherwise, given the dangers from the coast hidden there): the Jument lighthouse and the Kéréon lighthouse mark the passage of Fromveur between the Molène archipelago and the island of Ouessant; south of Molène, the Pierres Noires lighthouse; at Raz de Sein, Faro de la Vieille and Tevennec lighthouse, and at the western end of Chaussée de Sein, the Ar Men lighthouse. The coast and the islands of the Iroise Sea are also dotted with exceptional lighthouses: the Saint-Mathieu lighthouse and the Kermorvan lighthouse at the entrance to the Four and Helle canals, the Petit Minou lighthouse at the entrance from the mouth of Brest, without forgetting the lighthouses of the islands of Sein and Ouessant. The island of Ouessant alone has five lighthouses: the Kéréon lighthouse, the Nividic lighthouse, the LA JUMENT, the Créac’h beacon and the Stiff lighthouse accompanying the steep radar tower which monitors the Ouessant lane.
Seaweed from the Iroise Sea
The Iroise Sea is known for its rich flora and fauna. The region is specifically known to be the most algae-rich environment on the European continent. There are around 300 species of marine algae that grow in the area. The rocky islands of the Iroise Sea provide an ideal habitat for algae. The presence of a large number of marine algae and other marine species and fauna has led to the designation of the area as a biosphere reserve.
Algae are harvested by hand from beaches at low tide, preferably when they are still covered with seawater. Lamellar algae are harvested by boat. Once harvested, the algae are washed to remove sand, shells and other particles.
Cosmetic use of algae.
The industrial use of algae began at the beginning of the 20th century with the first laboratories specializing in the research and marketing of algae-based cosmetics in France. The first algae products were soaps, shaving creams, shampoos, dyes, lipsticks, toners, makeup, foams and various bath products.
In a short time, the use of seaweed in cosmetic products was in great demand due to its high content of trace elements, mineral salts, vitamins and amino acids which serve to maintain the good external appearance of the skin, since ‘they are directly assimilated by skin cells.
The most common forms of application are gels, masks, emulsions, shampoos, lotions and creams, and its many uses include toning, moisturizing, rejuvenating and anti-cellulite treatments.
The use of algae in the formulation of cosmetics takes place at two levels. On the one hand, we have the preparations in which plant extracts of algae are added as an active agent, and on the other hand, the use of phycocolloids as a gelling agent for the cosmetic texture.
Cosmetic properties of algae
Algae as an asset
Thanks to its composition, algae have, among other things, great toning, moisturizing, softening, cleansing, draining, antioxidant and nourishing properties. Its effectiveness and cosmetic function vary depending on the dose and the extract used.
- Purifying: algae stimulate circulation and promote the elimination of toxins.
- Moisturizing: all algae-based treatments have a great moisturizing power on the skin, as they release gelatinous substances which provide additional water to the dermis.
- Nutritious: seaweed contains carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, minerals and trace elements.
- Toning: the supply of minerals increases the elasticity and tone of the skin, reducing its flaccidity (its flabby appearance).
The cell walls of marine algae contain polysaccharides (phycocolloids or hydrocolloids) which give them flexibility and allow them to adapt to the variety of movements of the waters in which they are found. When dispersed in water in the form of colloidal substances, phycocolloids increase their viscosity (hence their applications as thickening agents) or form gels. This is why they provide a smooth and creamy texture as a gelling agent or texture moderator in various cosmetic forms.
The importance of cosmetics based on products containing algae is known for the results that can be achieved in both face and body care. Algae have thus left their micro-market and, thanks to the effectiveness of many molecules, they now appear as the original raw materials of choice used by major international cosmetic brands.
The impact of GMOs on our health.
You will discover all the chemical preservatives that can be found.
How to measure the pH of your skin?
Skin pH is a way to measure the acidity of our skin.
What is a neutral pH?
It is important to have a skin with neutral pH for several reasons