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February 27, 2023 11:02

ITS Students Innovate Red Algae to Overcome Skin Rashes

Oleh : adminwebits | | Source :

Reynafa Agustin, ITS Industrial Chemistry Department student who has successfully used red algae as a lotion for skin rashes

ITS Campus, ITS News – Indonesia is a maritime country with abundant marine resource potential, including red algae. Seeing this potential, students from the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) developed an innovation to use red algae, Gracilaria verrucosa, as a lotion for treating skin rashes.

A student from the ITS Industrial Chemistry Department named Reynafa Agustin revealed that Gracilaria verrucosa is one of the species of red algae with the third largest population in Indonesia.

“In 2018, the presence of Gracilaria verrucosa in Indonesia reached 1.12 million tons, but its economic utilization is still not optimal,” she said.

She continued, Gracilaria verrucosa contains antibacterial and antioxidant compounds. Among others, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and phenols as antibacterial. As well as carotenoids, sterols, vitamins C and E, protein, as well as amino acids as antioxidants.

“Gracilaria verrucosa also contains anti-inflammatory compounds. This is what functions as a therapeutic material, “she explained.

Furthermore, Reynafa explained the air temperature in Indonesia, which tends to be hot, can cause various harmful side effects on human skin. Because harmful microorganisms such as Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. generally grows in times of drought.

“The abundance of these microorganisms usually causes skin diseases in the form of itching and reddish rashes,” she explained.

To overcome this, this Nganjuk-born girl took the initiative to process Gracilaria verrucosa into a lotion that can treat red rashes on the skin.

“Gracilaria verrucosa can produce agar that can be applied as a thickening agent, emulsifier, and stabilizer,” said Reynafa.

To be processed into lotion, Gracilaria verrucosa needs to be added with additional compounds, such as phenol and vitamin B12. Reynafa said that phenol could function as an antibacterial and antioxidant agent. In more detail, phenol protects the skin from extreme environmental conditions, such as hot temperatures or high humidity.

Unlike phenols, Reynafa explained that vitamin B12 contains high anti-inflammatory substances so that it can maintain cell metabolic processes. “Vitamin B12 plays a role in maintaining the body’s immune system and inhibiting inflammation,” she said.

ITS Industrial Chemistry Department student Reynafa Agustin won the Maritime Day 2022 Essay Contest through her idea of using red algae to treat skin rashes

Furthermore, the class of 2020 student explained the process of processing Gracilaria verrucosa into lotion. Gracilaria verrucosa was washed using demineralized water to be free from contamination. After washing, Gracilaria verrucosa is soaked and homogenized with demineralized water in a ratio of 1:1 to form a Gracilaria verrucosa paste.

The process is continued by mixing the lotion base ingredients consisting of stearic acid, liquid paraffin, emulsifier, cetyl alcohol, Gracilaria verrucosa paste, glycerin, triethanolamine (TEA), and demineralized water. Reynafa continued that the mixture would form a lotion formula in the oil and liquid phases.

“After that, the two will be mixed using a vortex mixer with a temperature of 70-75 degrees Celsius,” she added.

In the final stage, zinc oxide and iron oxide were added to optimize Gracilaria verrucosa’s role in treating skin rashes. After that, she mixed the Gracilaria verrucosa paste in the first process with the prepared lotion ingredients.

“After being tested, Gracilaria verrucosa lotion is proven safe and effective to treat skin rashes,” she confirmed.

Judging from its effectiveness and potential in treating skin rashes as well as empowering red algae, Reynafa’s innovation has won third place in the 2022 Maritime Day Essay Contest held by the University of Bangka Belitung 2022.

“I hope that the innovation that I sparked can provide benefits and be immediately used on a large scale,” she concluded hopefully. (ITS Public Relation)

Reporter: Hibar Buana Puspa

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