Algin is a biodegradable salt derived from seaweed that usually appears in the form of a white to yellowish-brown crystalline powder. We use this ingredient as binder in some of our hair care products, to keep them working at their best.
Algin, also commonly known as sodium alginate, is the sodium salt of alginic acid, a naturally occuring carbohydrate found in the cell walls of brown algae (Phaeophyceae) and some seaweed or kelp species (Lessonia nigrescens). Harvested seaweed can be reacted with sodium carbonate to produce this ingredient, which is used in many different industries - including textile printing, medical products and food products. When dissolved in water, algin's gelling and thickening properties make it a useful binder in some personal and hair care products.
Algin was assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel in 2014, noting no significant risks from its use in cosmetics in present practice of use and concentration.
Other names: C6H9NaO7, Sodium Alginate, natrii alginas, Algin (Laminaria spp. and other kelps); Alginic Acid, Sodium Salt
Chemical class: Gums, Hydrophilic Colloids and Derivatives
McHugh, D.J. (2003) A Guide to the Seaweed Industry. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 441, Rome, 105 p. ISSN: 0429-9345. https://www.fao.org/3/y4765e/y4765e08.htm
Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. (2014). Safety Assessment of Plant Polysaccharide Gums as Used in Cosmetics. https://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/plpogu092014slr.pdf
National Center for Biotechnology Information (2022). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 5102882, Sodium alginate. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Sodium-alginate