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    Algae becoming a popular cosmetic ingredient

    What is snow algae?

    Snow algae is an interesting single cell algae that survives at 0 degrees C.  It accounts for the red snow seen in many polar climates because during the dormant winter months the algae produces red spores that are rich in carotenoid pigments for UV protection.  During the spring and summer growing season, the algae turns green manufacturing chlorophyll for energy producing photosynthesis.  The algae is becoming a popular cosmetic ingredient because it can be grown in indoor bioreactors providing a botanical extract free of pesticides and other environmental contaminants.  Further, one manufacturer claims that snow algae is the missing link between insulin-like growth factor 1 and skin physiology.

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    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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