How seaweeds benefit us all

Seaweed is a commonly used term for a vast and complex genus of plants covering some 6000 species. The term refers to the large marine algae that grow in the shallow waters at the edge of the world’s oceans.

Seaweeds provide a natural habitat and a source of food for a huge range of marine animals and enhance the natural beauty of the shore and underwater landscape. They are hugely valuable to humankind as a food, an industrial raw material and increasingly as a highly active cosmeceutical ingredient. [Read more…]

The legend of the dragon fruit

When you look at a dragon fruit the origins of its common name may appear obvious.But despite the fact that they are now grown in suitable climates all over the world – dragon fruit are actually native to Central and South America.

Not necessarily the land of dragons you may think. Pitaya or Pitahaya, as they were always known in their native land, are one of the most widely distributed members of the cactaceae family.

Genus Hylocereus has three species of dragon fruit and there is one additional species in the genus Selenicereus. [Read more…]

An ancient beauty treatment that works

Argan oil has been used as a natural beauty treatment by generations of Berber women in the mountains of Southern Morroco.

Berber women may not be able to identify just what it is about argan oil that makes such a difference to their hair and skin.

They are unlikely to talk to you about the high levels of wrinkle reducing tocopherol (vitamin E) and unsaturated fatty acids in the rich golden oil they have smeared on their skin for hundreds of years. [Read more…]

Exotic fruit with anti ageing properties

The pitaya – or dragon fruit as it is commonly known – is a stunningly beautiful fruit with an intense colour, intriguing shape and delicious taste.

As if that weren’t enough dragon fruit also have gorgeous flowers which waft heady perfume into the night air.

But for cosmetic scientists it is the anti ageing and skin firming properties of this exotic wonder fruit that offer such interesting possibilities. [Read more…]