What is Algae Oil? Overview, Uses, and Benefits

Everyone’s always looking for the next best skincare formula with all-around holistic benefits. Coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, and grapeseed oil are just a few examples of natural supplements that can do wonders for the skin.

But these products often come at an environmental cost and are limited to specific benefits. That’s why algae oil is one of the best, and most unique, skincare formulations that you can use on your body.

Algae oil stands out because of its wide assortment of benefits and its distinctive properties. So what exactly makes algae oil so great, and how can it be used?

What is Algae Oil Made Of?

Algae oil is a multitasking hair and skin formula that locks in hydration and protects against pollution. Algae oil is sourced from certain marine algae.

Algae defines a diverse set of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms, including seaweeds. While these organisms are often used in food dishes, such as sushi wraps or jelly powder, some forms are popular for their detoxing effects and are used in nutrition.

Similar to fish oil and other marine products, algae oil is a great source of omega-9 oleic acid. Oleic acid can be found in a number of different types of oils and has a broad range of benefits, including helping to maintain healthy blood pressure levels when ingested in food.

When you use an algae based skincare formula, there are likely to be other active ingredients in the product. These might include:

  • Sea Lettuce: This is a marine active that is rich in nutrients, including fatty acids, minerals, chlorophyll, vitamins, and essential amino acids. This can help stimulate collagen production as well as reduce tissue damage caused by oxidative stress.
  • Almond oil: An active ingredient made from the almond nut. It moisturizes and conditions while smoothing the skin.
  • Jojoba seed oil: Oil produced from the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis plant. It’s an easily absorbed compound that is known for its deeply hydrating properties.
  • Argan Oil: Produced from the kernels of the argan trees of Morocco. Argan oil helps protect skin and hair while also promoting regeneration. It is also a great source of Vitamin E and Omega-6.

  • These oils, among other ingredients, in conjunction with the algae make for an overall powerful nutricosmetic that will help rejuvenate the skin, leaving a healthy and hydrated complexion.

    Algae Oil vs. Fish Oil

    Both algae and fish oil are often lumped together because they are both used for similar things. Both are excellent sources of omega-3s, and fish actually get their omega-3 content from eating algae.

    In some studies, algae oil was shown to be nutritionally equivalent to cooked salmon. This is great, as it allows vegetarians to enjoy the benefits of fish oil without having to change up their lifestyle.

    Not to mention, algae is usually grown under more controlled conditions than fish, so it’s a substance that is generally free of toxins that might be present in fish and fish oils. On top of that, fish oil has a tendency to taste… fishy. Algae oil is usually more aromatically diluted, making it more pleasant to ingest or spread on your skin.

    Lastly, algae oil tends to have less digestive effects when compared to fish oil, which might make it a stronger and more reliable dietary supplement if ingested orally.

    Benefits of Algae Oil

    Algae and fish oils are very beneficial for human health, both externally and internally. This is why algae is so common in cuisine as well as skincare.

    Algae is rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This makes it perfect for protecting the skin against UV waves, microwaves, blue light waves, and other invisible dangers. 

    Uniquely, algae can also repair the skin’s natural barrier to mimic algae’s native biome and protect against pollution. This can act as a shield to your body, keeping it safe from harmful outside forces.

    It also is incredibly nutritional for the skin and hair. Ascophyllum Nodusum, a common algae variety, has regenerative properties that can allow the skin to quickly hydrate itself. Similarly, the species Enteromorpha Compressa is known as a great source of magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.

    Ingesting algae oil has also been shown to support heart health. The same omega-3s that make it great for reducing inflammation also have been linked to maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supported blood vessel function

    Of course, don’t start eating your skincare products anytime soon. However, it’s good to know that algae oil can be so beneficial in all aspects of your health.

    This type of oil is largely similar to fish oil as far as its benefits go. However, algae oil may be more sustainably sourced, making it a solid skincare regimen for those who are environmentally conscious.

    How To Use Algae Oil

    Using algae oil externally is super easy, and its soothing properties might help make you feel calm and relaxed. Here’s how to use it on your:


    Rub a few drops of the oil between your palms and apply to a cleansed face and neck. Incorporating algae oil into your morning and nightly routines will give it the best effect, as it will allow your skin to continually stay hydrated and protected.


    Smooth a few drops of algae oil over your hair with flat palms, trying to coat as many strands as possible. Leave it in for about 10-15 minutes, and then wash out with regular shampoo. You can try to do this every time you take a shower, but don’t stress if you miss a day or two. You’ll still start to feel the results in no time.

    Is Algae Oil Good for Sensitive Skin?

    Understanding your skin type is essential when it comes to choosing the right cosmetics. When it comes to natural ingredients, there is a much lower chance of irritation and allergic reaction when compared to chemicals. Since algae is a mild, naturally-sourced ingredient, it is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive. 

    Like any skincare product, there is a chance that your skin will react negatively to the formula upon first usage. This is normal as your skin adjusts to the new product. It might take some time for you to start noticing results, but just know that even if you can’t see the benefits, they are still working.

    Although rare, if you experience an allergic reaction to the product, be sure to stop using it and consult a dermatologist before moving forward.

    Other Uses for Algae

    While the oil form of algae is great for the skin, certain species of algae can be used in other, diverse ways. For example, blue spirulina algae can be used in exfoliating detox masks that leave the skin feeling fresh and revitalized.

    Blue spirulina algae is nutrient rich, as it's full of proteins, vitamins A & E, calcium, iron, and phosphorous. This provides a deep detox cleanse that helps control oily skin whilst retaining moisture.

    Detox masks are a fun and easy way to get similar benefits to algae oil. Facial masks only need to be applied once or twice a week, so these are perfect for a busy schedule.

    In Conclusion

    Algae oil comes from the algae marine plant. Algae are diverse eukaryotes that are also used for dietary supplements and are incorporated into a number of primarily Asian cuisines.

    It’s similar to fish oil in that it is high in omega-3s, making it great for fighting inflammation and supporting heart health when ingested. Externally, it can uniquely repair the natural skin and hair barriers, protecting them against pollutants like UV rays and blue light.

    Algae oil can be applied to the skin and hair daily as a way to rejuvenate moisture and give yourself a cool, soothing sensation. Likewise, there are exfoliating algae masks that only need to be used a few times a week, but will provide similar benefits. And since it’s natural, it’s applicable for all skin types.

    Algae oil has an immense amount of positive benefits that make it an essential addition to your skincare routine. And since it's sustainably sourced, you can have great, healthy skin without feeling any guilt.