From snail cream to bee venom, the beauty industry certainly has an obsession with obscure ingredients. But sometimes it’s the simple things that pack the mightiest punch. Take the humble seaweed, for example: The marine algae is currently making waves in the beauty world, thanks to a flurry of new skin-care launches singing its praises (to the tune of “Under The Sea,” we imagine).
While slimy seaweed may get a bad rap at the beach, this nutrient-rich plant gives kale a run for its money in the superfood stakes. One of the hardiest crops on our planet, seaweed is packed full of magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Not to mention that it’s bursting with natural vitamins — in particular A, B, C, D, and E — proven to boost immunity, improve heart health, and regulate hormones.
“The alginates work in the same way [as they do in the sea] when it comes to skin and help to prevent it from drying out,” explains Mark Sullivan of Living Sea Therapy. “They nourish, hydrate, and soften, while soothing dryness, acne, psoriasis, and eczema flare-ups, as well as removing toxins and cleansing pores, encouraging firmer skin tone and improving overall skin elasticity.”
Whether you opt for a seaweed-infused soak, exfoliating scrub, or detoxifying mask, getting your fix of this underwater algae couldn’t be easier. Ahead, our top picks from down where it’s wetter…
Harnessing the power of Atlantic kelp extract (otherwise known as large seaweed), this hydrating shower gel is a shortcut to soft skin. Blended with a cocktail of energizing and awakening essential oils, including sage, rosemary, geranium and cypress, it also makes for the ultimate Monday-morning wakeup call.
REN Atlantic Kelp And Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash, $27, available at REN.
The closest thing to a dip in the Cornish sea without leaving your house, these bath salts are enriched with Living Sea Therapy’s unique Living Sea Complex – a trio of sustainably hand-harvested seaweed varieties and a mineral-rich elixir sourced from the shores of the Lizard Peninsula. Not only will they hydrate and heal the skin, the mix of sage, chamomile and lavender essential oils will instantly calm a frazzled mind.
Living Sea Therapy Bath Salts, $25.56, available at Trouva.
Enriched with Atlantic seaweed extract, this body gel-cream hybrid is incredible for hydrating skin and lock in moisture. The lightweight texture helps it sink in quickly, making it an ideal option for rushed mornings.
The Body Shop Spa Of The World Atlantic Seaweed Cream, $36, available at The Body Shop.
Inspired by the ancient Greek tradition of thalassotherapy (using marine-based treatments to revitalise the body and mind), this brand decided to make the most of the abundance of seaweed just offshore in the seaside town of Margate, England, by incorporating it sustainably throughout the product range. Combining seaweed with parsley seed, this gentle gel formula cleanses without stripping the skin.
Haeckels Seaweed Cleanser, $48.28, available at Trouva.
Not just a great hydrator, seaweed can also work a treat on acne-prone skin. This 100% natural clarifying mask uses seaweed, green clay, and rosehip to help balance oil levels and reduce breakout-causing congestion. Use all over as a mask or on specific areas as a spot-busting treatment.
Idil Botanics Detoxing Green Clay Mask, $46.78, available at Content.
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