Why Seaweed Is a Power Product for Your Skin
Don’t be so quick to toss away that seaweed clinging to your legs at the beach — those slimy green or brown leaves contain many nutrients and healing properties your skin will thank you for long after summer.
The benefits of seaweed, kelp, and algae have been known for centuries. More recently, a study from 2019 found that the active components from seaweed could be used for antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-acne, and moisturization purposes in cosmetics. And according to Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, founder of Urban Ocean Lab, seaweed is exceptionally nutritious, and can help save the planet.
“The ability of plants to do photosynthesis and absorb … carbon dioxides helps ameliorate ocean acidification,” she tells CircleAround. “You can support the artisanal seaweed industry that is starting to flourish.”
Megan Wong, a Registered Dietitian at AlgaeCal, a bone health supplement, agrees. We asked her for more information on why seaweed is a powerful ingredient for beauty products and rounded up some seaweed-rich brands for you to check out.
1A Natural Youth Elixir
Your body adores collagen, an essential protein that helps promote healthy skin, hair, nails, and bones. Luckily, seaweed is full of it.
“Seaweed is rich in vitamin C and a good source of manganese and zinc, three nutrients that boost collagen production,” states Wong. “Collagen keeps skin youthful by improving skin elasticity, and reducing signs of aging such as wrinkles and skin dryness.”
2Good for Gut Health
“Seaweed is a great source of prebiotics - fibers that feed the healthy bacteria in our digestive system,” Wong tells CircleAround. “A healthy balance of good gut bacteria can make a big difference in beauty and wellness.”
She adds that seaweed can be used as a supplement to help aid weight management, eczema, rosacea, and acne. Try snacking on some dried nori (sushi seaweed wraps) instead of chips next time you’re looking for a crispy snack.
3Hannes Dottir Seamasque
Created with inspiration from Icelandic roots, the minds behind Hannes Dóttir use 100 percent nutritional food and supplement-grade ingredients, like honey, vegetable glycerin, and organic Icelandic sea kelp. Use their seamasque to regenerate and exfoliate your face and neck, breathing in the scents of the sea as it sets on your skin.
4OSEA Undaria Algae Body Oil
OSEA has been female and family-owned and operated since 1996, emphasizing clean beauty in its mission and products. Their body oil uses undaria seaweed, which is rich in amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins and can help replenish your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
5The Seaweed Bath Co. Moisturizing Shampoo
Bladderwrack seaweed, also known as “sea grapes,” is the critical ingredient in this unscented shampoo, which promises to hydrate your hair and scalp without harmful ingredients like parabens and sulfates. As an added plus, the company uses recyclable bottles made from 100% post-consumer plastic, and its skincare boxes are certified Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
6Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream
Seaweed meets sweet dreams with this ultra-moisturizing night cream, perfect for keeping your skin hydrated and healthy while sleeping. Marine collagen helps retain your skin’s natural elasticity, and the oil-free formula lets your pores breathe easy all night long.
7One Ocean Beauty Blue Algae Exfoliating + Detox Mask
Blue Spirulina Algae is the star of this show, along with marine silt, to create a vitamin-rich, detoxifying face mask. One Ocean also uses coconut shell particles, which act as a natural exfoliant in place of microplastics, a huge win for skin and the environment.
8Seaweed - the Future of Beauty
If you’re looking for nutrient-dense beauty products with anti-aging properties, those with seaweed as the main ingredient are the way to go. For healthy hair, skin, nails, and more, seaweed is the power plant your skin never knew it needed until now.