Published April 12, 2017 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Marine Microbial-Derived Molecules and Their Potential Use in Cosmeceutical and Cosmetic Products

  • 1. Department of Sciences and Engineering of Materials, Environment and Urbanistics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
  • 2. Department of Life and Environmental Science, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
  • 3. Ecoreach Ltd., 60131 Ancona, Italy
  • 4. Stazione Zoologica Anthon Dohrn, 80121 Naples, Italy


The oceans encompass a wide range of habitats and environmental conditions, which host a huge microbial biodiversity. The unique characteristics of several marine systems have driven a variety of biological adaptations, leading to the production of a large spectrum of bioactive molecules. Fungi, fungi-like protists (such as thraustochytrids) and bacteria are among the marine organisms with the highest potential of producing bioactive compounds, which can be exploited for several commercial purposes, including cosmetic and cosmeceutical ones. Mycosporines and mycosporine-like amino acids, carotenoids, exopolysaccharides, fatty acids, chitosan and other compounds from these microorganisms might represent a sustainable, low-cost and fast-production alternative to other natural molecules used in photo-protective, anti-aging and skin-whitening products for face, body and hair care. Here, we review the existing knowledge of these compounds produced by marine microorganisms, highlighting the marine habitats where such compounds are preferentially produced and their potential application in cosmetic and cosmeceutical fields.


This document is the accepted Authors' Copy of the paper published in Marine Drugs 2017, 15, 118; doi: 10.3390/md15040118. The original manuscript was received on 1 March 2017; accepted on 5 April 2017 and published on 12 April 2017. This study was conducted within the frame of the projects MERCES (Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas), funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 689518), and the Flagship Project RITMARE—The Italian Research for the Sea—coordinated by the Italian National Research Council and funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research within the National Research Program 2011–2013. This paper reflects only the authors' views and the funders cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained there in. Copyright © 2017. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http:// /licenses/by/4.0/).


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MERCES – Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas 689518
European Commission