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Carrageenan (red algae extract)

Commonly known as: Beta-carrageenan, Red algae extract, Carrageenan.
I.N.C.I. list name: Sodium Carrageenan, Maris Sal (Sea Salt).
Extraction process: Cleaning and sun-drying of the seaweed to eliminate sand and all non-algal materials, extraction of the plant tissues in a hot alkaline sodium hydroxide solution under vigorous agitation, filtration of the extract obtained under pressure, precipitation in alcohol (most often isopropanol), pressing of the coagulum obtained to eliminate as much liquid as possible, drying and grinding of the material to form a powder.
Source: Vegetable (red algae).
Botanical name: Furcellaria lumbricalis.
Family: Furcellariaceae.
Part of the plant extracted: Thalles.
Provenance, origin: Baltic Sea.
Chemical characteristics: Sulfurated polysaccharide (linear sulfated galactan) formed by a dimer of alternating units of α-D-1,3 and β-D-1,4-galacto-pyranose; Soluble in water or an aqueous phase; Insoluble in oils and organic solvents; Molecular weight between 10^5 and 10^6 Da approximately.
Characteristics: Ionic solution, colloidal solution, emulsion, suspension with dispersing phase.
Dosage required in cosmetic products: From 0.1 to 3%.
Function: Gel-forming agent.
Properties: Moisturizer, gelling agent, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, sheathing.
Benefits: All types of skin and hair.



  • Face care (creams, gels, lotions, serums, cream masks) ;

  • Body care (soaps, milks, shower gels) ;

  • Hygiene (toothpastes);

  • Hair care (shampoos, conditioners, masks);

  • Make-up (BB creams).


Keep the product in a cool place, away from humidity and heat. Store in an airtight container. Do not freeze.

Contra-Indications and Precautions

There are no contraindications to the cosmetic use of the red algae extract. Pregnant women and young children could use it. Avoid contact with the eyes.

Find out more

The name "carrageenan" comes from the Celtic "lichen carrageen" meaning "Irish moss". Sailors used to make jelly desserts by adding handfuls of blanched seaweed (Chondrus crispus) to their milk. There are a variety of carrageenan-producing algae, of which Chondrus crispus, Mastocarpus stellatus and Furcellaria fastigiata were the first to be used by industry. In cosmetics, red seaweed extract is an ingredient generally used to thicken formulas and give them a gel-like consistency. However, it also has benefits for the skin. It is a moisturizer, which means it has the ability to retain water, improving the overall appearance of the skin. It is also able to stimulate the natural production of hyaluronic acid.