Angélique Labbé, Algotherm

Angélique Labbé, Algotherm

An increasing number of brands now pre-empt this territory, and their origins tend to get more diversified. Similarly to the leading French pioneer brands, most of which come from thalassotherapy (Thalgo, Algotherm, Biotherm, Phytomer…), other signatures are gradually settling in the various segments of the field: among them can be found Algenist, Bio Carnac, O2Mer, or H20+. Even the most premium segments are concerned, as can be seen with Crème de La Mer (Estée Lauder Companies).

It is a growth-driving trend because it provides a huge potential to be exploited,” declares Laure Courpotin, Marketing Director at Daniel Jouvance, one of the pioneer brands of the sector, which banked everything on the power of microalgae 30 years ago.

An infinity of natural resources

Mathilde Lagarde, Marketing Director at Phytomer, underlines the revival this sector has been experiencing for four or five years: “Marine cosmetics have existed for a very long time, but they were a bit outdated. Now, scientific progress, especially in biotechnologies, has proven so tremendous over the last few years, that we have come to achieve more efficacy thanks to new actives and enhanced performance. We have observed a renewed interest in this field, and both the media and sales outlets are allowing it an increasingly central part.

Brands rely on the fundamental principle of the similarity between blood plasma and the composition of marine ingredients (seawater, seaweed, microalgae) to claim that cosmetic products based on marine actives exhibit unequalled affinity with the skin. This represents a major asset to stimulate research work on such biodiversity, whose properties and immensity make it exceptional.

Marine organisms are subjected to extreme living conditions which compel them to develop unique resistance properties,” explains Isabelle Guichon, Scientific Communication Manager at Thalgo. “It is possible to find sugars derived from particular marine bacteria which are three to four times more effective than hyaluronic acid”. And there is a vast territory still to be explored.

There are bright prospects in terms of discoveries, if we keep in mind there are from 25 to 30,000 seaweed species around the surface of the globe. Brittany shelters 800 of them, but only about fifty are actually used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food-processing industries,” comments Angélique Labbé, Product Development Manager for Algotherm within the Batteur group.

Sleeping beauty’s awakening

As a result, while the marine cosmetics sector keeps claiming its naturalness, it is also becoming increasingly more high-tech. “We gradually offer a stronger technical value with more and more high-level benefits,” confirm Stéphanie Leclere and Virginie Rio, of new organic brand Bio Carnac. On the one hand, there is the argument of proven efficacy; on the other hand, there is that of naturalness. Marine beauty thus works in perfect harmony with the market’s core trends. The offer gets richer, and ranges get more diverse and position themselves on anti-aging expertise in particular. As an example, Crème de la Mer launched their Perennial Brown and Blue Algae-based Lifting Contour Serum (€265) at the beginning of the year. Algotherm also provides their own global anti-aging solution with the Algotime Expert range, a line composed of five products derived from a combination of four types of seaweed (Undaria Pinnatifida, Ulva Lactuca, Dictyopteris Membranacea, Alaria Esculenta). Ultimately, Daniel Jouvance offers a sea treasure with the Isochrysis microalgae, which they nestled within the Océâge Idéal products for a youthful appearance.