With the increasing demand for natural and safe products in cosmetics, algae with their diverse and valuable bioactive compounds are gaining vital importance. Until now, cosmetics have focused mainly on the use of freshwater and marine algae. However, algae are not restricted to aquatic habitats. They are found in essentially every type of aeroterrestrial and extreme environment on the Earth. There, they have to cope with harsh ecological conditions and have developed special strategies to thrive in these inimical habitats. Although not thoroughly studied, their adaptations include protective biochemical compounds which can find their application or are already used in the field of cosmetics. With proper cultivation techniques, algae from these habitats can provide novel sources of high-value functional products for the cosmetics industry, which have the advantage of being obtained in eco-friendly and cost-effective processes. However, it has to be considered that a few aeroterrestrial and extremophilic algae can be toxin producers, and in order to ensure conformity to the safe quality standards, all new ingredients must be properly tested. The aim of the present review is to unveil the hidden and underestimated potential of the enigmatic algae of aeroterrestrial and extreme habitats for the rapidly developing modern cosmetic industries.
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