Glossary of Active Ingredients

These are the ingredients extracted from marine algae and botanicals.  Examples include minerals, vitamins, trace elements, acids, and more.


Any substance that reduces oxidative damage to cells or its DNA caused by free radicals.  Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that attack molecules that make up cell membranes, mitochondria or DNA and alter their chemistry.  This results in damage that impairs cell function, metabolism and growth responsible for aging.

AMINOGUANIDINE HCL:  Potent antioxidants that prevent degradation of connective tissue by reducing glycolated end products.  Smoothness of skin is achieved when using this in formulations.

BETA-CAROTENES:  These are brownish-yellow pigments found in brown algae (kelp) that provide strong antioxidant protection.  There are some 600 carotenoids in the vegetable and algal kingdoms that play an important role in synthesizing Vitamin A and scavenging free radicals.  Clinical tests suggest that the best sources of beta-carotenes is from algae and fruit.

BROWN ALGAE POLYPHENOLS:  Powerful antioxidants found that protect skin cells against environmental aging factors.  Studies conducted by Ohio State University demonstrate that topical application of Brown Algae Polyphenols reduced skin tumors.  Polyphenols are anti-inflammatory and help to inhibit collagenase, the enzyme causing degradation of collagen.

FERULIC ACID:  An important antioxidant found in most plants—especially grains such as oats, rice and wheat.  It is especially appreciated for its stabilizing properties on ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).  Further, exposure to ultra violet rays of the sun seem to potentiate its antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties making this a valuable anti-aging ingredient.

MAGNESIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE (MAP):  Vitamin C is known to degrade in cosmetic formulations.  MAP provides the benefits of Vitamin C without losing its potency in creams and serums.  It has been shown to boost collagen production while providing antioxidant protection to the nucleic cellular membranes.

RESVERATROL:  Antioxidant found in red wine and Mexican bamboo.  It is a polyphenol produced by plants as a defense mechanism against disease.  Resveratrol has been shown to reduce tumors and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.  It also increases cellular metabolism by activating key proteins that have been shown to reduce the signs of aging.  It efficiently scavenges oxygen reactive species such as peroxide and protects cells against oxidative stress.

THIOTAINE:  One of the most powerful antioxidants, this amino acid provides protection against the damaging rays of the sun and free radicals.  It also recycles Vitamin C more efficiently than Co-Q-10.  Further, Thiotaine increases metabolic efficiency in the mitochondria of cells by 15% while protecting the membranes from oxidative stress.

VITAMIN E OIL:  An important anti-oxidant, Vitamin E plays a synergistic role with Vitamin C in the synthesis of collagen. When combined in a liposome, the combined strength of these two antioxidants is increased when bound together.

VITAMIN C ESTER: The oil soluble form of Vitamin C is an ester. This is a stable form of the antioxidant that is responsible for stimulating collagen synthesis and repairing cellular membranes which is important in protecting the integrity of cellular DNA. Vitamin-C Esters are found in all of the aromatherapy face oils rendering these essential oils effective in skin repair.

VITAMIN C ASCORBIC ACID: The pure form of water soluble vitamin C. Used in our mask, ascorbic acid is “activated” when water is added. This anti-oxidant does not degrade as it is used instantly. When used in cosmetics, its potency wanes as it oxidizes within 30 days. However, when encapsulated in acid-resistant liposomes, Vitamin C maintains its active properties.  Other forms of Vitamin C include Ester-C which is an oil-soluble form that is stable.  Clinical studies demonstrate that this form of Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis and is recognized in Japan as a major skin lightener.

WHITE TEA EXTRACT:  A powerful antioxidant, White Tea is the youngest form of this popular herb.  Unlike black tea which is oxidized, white tea is richer in anti-inflammatory polyphenols and tannins that are instantly bio-available to the skin.  Tannins have been shown to provide UV absorbancy reducing the damaging effects of the sun.


LAMINARIA EXTRACT: Studies show that Laminaria is effective in protecting the integrity of mitochondrial DNA.  The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell where cellular metabolism occurs.  Damage to this organelle can lead to leakage into the cytoplasm of toxic metabolites that lead to senescence.  Use of Laminaria repairs the mitochondrial membranes to prevent damage.

MICROCOCCUS LYSATE: Endonuclease enzymes are encapsulated in liposomes that stimulate recovery from sun damage to skin. The extract in these enzymes is from an organism found in soil and in the ocean, and is one of the most UV-resistant known to science. It contains the enzyme UV-endonuclease that speeds the natural recovery from sun damage. The enzyme activity stimulates the recognition and elimination of the damage to skin that has been most closely linked to the long-term effects of sun exposure.

8-OXO-GUANINE GLYCOSYLASE: Extracted from Arabidopsis, this enzyme initiates the repair of the most common form of oxidative damage to DNA.  It is especially effective in protecting oxidative stress on the mitochondria.  These enzymes shorten the time of repair to the DNA from 24 hours to 2 hours and are valuable in after sun formulations.

ORPHIDIUM PLANKTON:  A stromatolite (coral-like plankton) found in South Africa, has been shown to reduce damage to DNA.  It is usually used in combination with Photolyase enzymes in anti-aging skin care.

SOLAR PHOTOSPHERES: Enzymes extracted from micro-algae (Anacystis nidulans) responsible for DNA repair following sun exposure. At a 1% concentration in a cream, will repair 50% of damage caused to DNA within two hours. Further, these enzymes are photo-activated to become active. In short, the sun’s light acts as the catalyst to activate the enzymes extracted from micro-algae to repair damage to DNA caused by the sun in the first place.  Excellent for use in moisturizing day creams and serums.


COPPER PEPTIDES: Studies have shown that copper peptide promotes collagen and elastin production, and also acts as an antioxidant. It also promotes production of glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronic acid, as an example). Studies have also shown that copper-dependent enzymes increase the benefits of the body’s natural tissue-building processes. Copper peptides found in marine algae help to firm, smooth, and soften skin faster.

Clinical studies have found that copper peptides also remove damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue because they activate the skin’s system responsible for those functions.

DIPEPTIDE DIAMINOBUTROLY BENZYLAMIDE DIACETATES:  A small peptide that mimics the activity of Waglerin 1, a polypeptide that is found in the venom of the Temple Viper, Tropidolaemus wagleri. Clinical trials have shown that this peptide is capable of reducing mimic wrinkles by inhibiting muscle contractions.  It has been shown to enhance Botox to lengthen the benefits of treatment.

HYDROLYZED RICE PROTEINS, GLYCINE SOJA & OXIDO REDUCTASES:  Specially purified soy and rice peptides, and biotechnologically produced yeast protein. In vitro tests have shown a significant reduction in the rate of blood clotting responsible for dark circles under the eyes (35% reduction of appearance of dark circles after 8 weeks). These peptides exert a positive, localized effect on the hemodynamic properties of blood to improve oxygen supply to the tissue. Because the complex inhibits elastase and collagenases, it reduces the harmful effects of chronic UV radiation on the connective tissue, to help the skin retain its natural firmness. With the help of oxidoreductase the amount of free radicals, and thus inflammation processes, are minimized, resulting in a visible reduction of puffiness around the eyes.

HEXAPEPTIDE-11:  The up-regulation of the various growth factors, matrix proteins and cell shock/cell stress genes is directly related to skin firming, skin renewal and water retention. In addition, stress proteins can play a role in cellular apoptosis, the programmed cell death sequence. Upregulation of the lipid genes suggests that Hexapeptide-11 may play a role in improving skin lipid integrity and development

OCTAPEPTIDE-3:  Reduces the depth of wrinkles on the face caused by the contraction of muscles of facial expression, especially in the forehead and around the eyes.  Octapeptide-3 mimics one of the proteins of the complex, and by competing with it for a place in the complex, it moderately affects its formation and stability.  This peptide helps to restore skin firmness.

PERFLUORO-ESTER: A stabilized form of liquid oxygen (also known as perfluorodecinol) used to revitalize cells and oxygenate skin cells. It is also used as a vehicle to drive in other active ingredients. Studies show that the presence of liquid oxygen washes away all carbon dioxide and speeds up cellular metabolism.  Perfluoro-esters are both lipo-phobic and hydro-phobic which when penetrating into the dermis, adds 15% in volume which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.


ARBUTIN:  It is both an ether and a glycoside; a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from bearberry plant. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-lightening agent. It is one of more gentle skin lightening agents.

DICTYOPTERIS MEMBRANACEA:  This marine algae has properties that have been shown to significantly reduce the size and intensity of age spots by downgrading  MITF, the gene activator of tyrosinase.  It also reduces the number and size of melanosomes and inhibiting their maturation.  In vivo tests were conducted.  Results showed that dark spots were reduced by 29% after one month and as much as 75% after 90 days.

RETINOL: This is a derivative of vitamin A,that we encapsulate in a liposome. Retinol’s stronger counterpart is tretinoin, which is the active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova.  Retinol in a liposome is an excellent alternative. Here’s why skin responds to skin care products with retinol: vitamin A has a molecular structure that’s tiny

enough to get into the lower layers of skin, where it finds collagen and elastin.  Retinol is proven to improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and color, and your skin’s hydration levels.

TETRAHEXYDECYL ASCORBATE:  This form of vitamin C ester has been demonstrated to reduce age spots in clinical trials conducted in Japan.  In fact this is one of the few skin whitening agents permitted there due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Further it provides protection against both UV-A and UV-B radiation.  Tetra- hexydecyl ascorbate also demonstrates virtuosity in addressing a number of cosmetic issues.  In other studies, this ester of Vitamin C was shown to stimulate collagen synthesis and increased fibroblasts to strengthen the connective tissue matrix  when used in minute amounts.  Surprisingly it is also used successfully to treat acne in Southeast Asia.

TRANS-RESVERATROL:  reduce the appearance of skin pigmentation as demonstrated in clinical and in vitro studies, resulting in noticeably brighter, younger-looking skin.  It uses pure nature-identical trans-resveratrol that is free from pesticides and emodin, a potential concern with other forms of resveratrol. expression level, leading to decreased expression of MITF-regulated genes such as SILV, TYR (tyrosinae), TRP1, DCT, OCA2 which reduces melanin synthesis. KIT signaling Transresveratrol decreases KIT (=stem cell factor receptor) gene expression which additionally reducesmelanin synthesis. Melanosome function & maturation Transresveratrol also affects the function and maturation of melanosomes by reduction of SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 gene expression levels. Melanosome transport Transresveratrol attenuates melanosome transport within melanocytes, shown by the reduction of the MYO5A and MREG gene expression levels as well as the melanosome transport to keratinocytes, shown by the reduction of RAB 27A gene expression levels.



MARINE ALGAE:  Describes an enormous family of undersea plants—from the microscopic plankton and blue-green cyanobacteria to the giant kelp off the coast of California.  Unlike their terrestrial counterparts, marine algae obtain all of their nutrients directly from seawater via osmosis.  Nutritionally, one might say that these plants are pure concentrates of the elements found in seawater.  When applied in skin care, these elements are easily and efficiently absorbed due to their bio-compatibility with the body.

BROWN ALGAE: Describes a family of algae that dwell in the intertidal pools of the ocean.  They are rich in polysaccharides,(alginic acid, fucoidan, laminaran),trace elements such as iodine and minerals. The richest mineral concentration is in Laminaria algae. However, Fucus, Ascophyllum, Macrocystis, Dictyopteris, Sargassum and Ecklonia are important brown algae in their own right.  They are classified as “brown” algae due to the presence of large amounts of carotenoids such as beta-carotenes.

FUCOSE:  A complex sugar molecule found in Brown Algae, it has been shown to strengthen the connective tissue matrix by stimulating collagen and elastin synthesis (Pierre & Marie Curie School of Medicine, Paris).  Laminaria and Fucus algae extracts have significant quantities of this sugar responsible for skin firmness as evidenced by increased production of collagen and fibroblasts.  As a nutritional supplement, Fucose provides anti-tumor qualities with antioxidant power.

LAMINARAN: A complex polysaccharide that is believed to reduce cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.  Laminaran thins blood in much the same way as heparin.  It is an anti-inflammatory molecule that is found in all Brown algae which help to reduce redness and calm irritation.

MINERALS: Minerals are the principal building blocks of life. Mineral salts are vital for the building of bones and connective tissue, collagen synthesis and the running of the nervous system. Examples of minerals are calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorous.  Brown marine algae are the richest nutritional source of minerals.  These elements play a vital role in both skin care and nutrition due to the steady erosion of their presence in agricultural produce.  (1992 Senate Report).  Below are some important minerals and their functions.

• Calcium:  Strong bones are not their only function.  This mineral is used for its anti-inflammatory properties in detoxifying body treatments to reduce bloat and swelling responsible for heavy legs and cellulite.

• Magnesium:  Important in organizing collagen, magnesium levels in the American diet are often deficient due to soil erosion and agricultural practices.  There are too many functions of this vital element to list them all but it is essential in anti-aging skin care.

• Potassium:  Responsible for boosting energy, this element is essential in the detoxification at the cellular level as the energy behind the sodium/potassium pumping mechanism.


MUCCO-POLYSACCHARIDES: Refers to complex sugars found in marine algae. In brown and red algae, these complex sugars form 50% of the bulk. When taken orally, polysaccharides are indigestible and have no caloric value. But they line the intestinal walls to chelate out toxic metals and radio-active elements while improving bowel movements. When applied to topically, they soothe and moisturize dry skin. In brown algae they are composed of alginic acid, Mannitol, fucoidan and laminaran. In red algae, they have agar agar, carageenan and porphyran.

PLANKTON:  “They are the meadows of the sea” according to James Lovelock author of the Gaia Hyposthesis.  Covering the upper layers of the vast oceans of the world, they are responsible for 70% of our oxygen.  They are the base of the food chain feeding all marine life forms from shrimps to the giant whales.  Plankton contain many anti-aging ingredients including DNA repairing photolyase enzymes vital to maintaining healthy skin.

RED ALGAE: Describes a family of seaweeds that are characterized by a red pigment that colors these marine plants with red to purple hues. Red algae dwell in the deeper waters on the continental shelf where sunlight is scarce. The red pigment captures the scarce (blue) light and is vital in photosynthesis. Red algae are rich in amino acids and essential fatty acids. Porphyra (nori), palmaria (dulse), Irish Moss, agar agar are among the most important species.


TRACE ELEMENTS: These are the heavy elements found in seawater and measured in parts per million.

Examples are copper, zinc, manganese, iodine, silica, etc. These are vital as catalysts in enzymatic reactions, hormones and as building blocks of collagen.  Their presence is marine algae is strong and balanced which assures proper assimilation for bio-availability.  Among some of the more important elements in skin care are:

• Copper:  Essential in synthesis of collagen important is strengthening the dermal matrix.

• Iodine:  Combats chronically dry skin.  20% of all iodine consumed is consumed by the skin.  It also is important in stimulating metabolism in weight loss.  Lastly Iodine boosts the immune system.

• Zinc:  Topically it promotes skin elasticity.  Internally zinc promotes prostate health.



AROMATHERAPY: Strictly speaking, this is the therapeutic use of essential oils via the olfactory gland

of the nose.  It is “smell” therapy and essential oils can affect the brain by stimulation or relaxation. When applied topically to the skin, this is more aptly called phyto-aromatherapy (phyto = plant). Essential oils affect circulation by through their vaso-dilating or vaso-constricting properties. When used in skin or body care, these oils work through both the sense of smell where they affect the limbic system of the brain, as well as through topical application on the skin.

ESSENTIAL OILS: Though named essential oils, they are far from greasy. They have the texture of alcohol and contain many antiseptic chemicals such as esters, terpenes, alcohols, phenols and aldehydes. These make EO’s a useful tool in the treatment of infectious disease in Europe and Australia and they are quite useful in the treatment of acne. Essential oils also contain vitamin C, as well as other skin healing nutrients.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: An unsaturated fatty acid that is essential to human health, but cannot be

manufactured in the body. There are three types of essential fatty acids (EFAs): arachnoidic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid. EFAs are found in certain oils such as borage and red algae such as porphyra and palmaria. In skin care, they help to repair cellular membranes and maintain cellular health.

FLOWER ACIDS: Another breakthrough! Flower acids are obtained from the hibiscus flower in South Africa and infused in a seaweed gel base to provide skin exfoliation without the burn. This anti-inflammatory approach is made possible by the fact that it contains pyruvic acid (an AHA) that converts to lactic acid only when it has penetrated into the skin. This allows for a gradual peel “without the burn.”



BIO-AVAILABLE: Simply means the ability to access and put to productive use the active ingredients

contained in each product.  For instance, calcium may be in your diet, but due to the lack of sufficient magnesium and/or an over acidic GI tract, the body may fail to absorb this vital mineral.  Therefore, it is not bio-available.  Also pertains to the ability to assimilate active nutrients in the digestive tract.  The same is true in skin care.  The presence of a balanced grouping of minerals and trace elements found in marine algae are totally bio-available due to their bio-compatibility with the human body.

DETOXIFICATION:  A much overused term these days.  Simply put, the body is stressed with the presence of toxins from many different sources.  Some toxins are basically the by-products of metabolism.  Every time a cell undergoes metabolism (creation of energy for cellular function), there are waste products (proteins) that are excreted into the surrounding connective tissue.  This creates oncotic pressure which draws or traps fluids resulting in congestion and poor circulation.  This often leads to damage to the surrounding tissues and results in advanced aging of skin or cellulite.

Other toxins are in the form of harmful chemicals and pollution.  When these accumulate in the body, they are stored in its organs such as the liver, kidneys or thyroid and interfere with the body’s functions.  Liver damage can result in aging spots, thyroid disorders lead to hormonal imbalances and compromised immunity, etc.  All of these manifest themselves visibly on the body in the form of rashes, aging skin, painful joints.  Spa body treatments such as body wraps and hydrotherapy are essential tools in helping the body to rid itself of these environmental aging factors.

ENVIRONMENTAL AGING FACTORS:  Due to the toxic environment that we live in, there are many hidden aggressors that attack cellular integrity that bring on advanced aging and disease.  These include poor nutrition, pesticides, air pollution, water pollution, toxic chemicals in our clothes, packaging, pharmaceuticals and household goods including fluorides, bromides and chlorine; molds and other microbes.  We also add over exposure to ultra violet rays that bring on skin damage.

FREE RADICALS: This refers to molecules that are missing one electron and therefore are ionically charged. They attack cell membranes of the skin, the arterial walls of blood vessels and other tissues. Free radicals cause cellular damage and accelerate the aging process in much the same way as oxygen attacks iron and causes rusting that weakens this metal.

LIPOSOMES: A transport vehicle made from lecithin to drive in larger molecules deep into the dermal matrix and thereby increasing the efficiency and bio-availability of active ingredients in skin rejuvenation.

LYMPHATIC SYSTEM: This is the body’s largest vascular system used in the elimination of cellular wastes and a bulwark of its immune system. It is three times larger than the blood circulatory system and specializes in the transport of large protein wastes that are too large to be transported by the circulatory system. These wastes are transported to strategically placed lymph nodes where specialized white blood cells (macrophages) break down these large molecules into smaller particles that can be filtered out by the kidneys.

MICRONIZATION: This is a patented process of pulverizing various marine algae plants through a cold process of shearing the algae cells to a size of less than 40 microns! This effectively “bursts” the outer cell walls that are difficult to digest to release the payload of minerals and trace elements contained. In other words, these minerals are now “bio-available” as a nutrient. In topical therapies such as body wraps or hydrotherapy bath treatments, these mineral “ions” are released in greater concentration to penetrate the skin and in a sense, feed the body transdermally.  (See University of Rennes study).

TRANSDERMAL: The ability to penetrate active ingredients through the skin is referred to as transdermal.

This is possible either by encapsulating the actives into liposomes or nanospheres, using a vehicle such as essential oils or liquid oxygen, or due to ionization of micro-molecules such as minerals and trace elements.

Essential oils have a molecular structure similar to that of alcohol.  The more volatile essential oils such as citrus plants, lavender and thyme are reported to enter the bloodstream within 20-30 minutes following topical application.  Heavier oils such as sandalwood take approximately an hour.

Marine ions which are minerals and trace elements that are positively or negatively charged are able to diffuse easily through the skin’s barriers due to their miniscule size.  To put it into perspective, difference in size of a molecule of magnesium or potassium,  and a collagen molecule is similar to that of a grain of sand compared to a skyscraper.  And the difference in size between that same molecule and a skin cell is comparable to the difference between a grain of sand and one of the Rocky Mountains!  Studies conducted by the University of Rennes Cancer Research Center demonstrated the viability of dermal absorption of minerals following a warm (98 degrees F) bath.  The conclusion was that one can feed the body its minerals transdermally.