Seaweed Skincare – The Sustainably Sourced Wonder Ingredient
Naturally abundant and easy to source in a slow and ethical way, seaweed is the wonder ingredient for natural skincare. Whether you are looking for an acne treatment, something to soothe inflammed skin or a pro ageing option, seaweed skincare is as effective as they come.
Seaweed is the buzzy new skincare trend on everyone’s lips. The next big thing, the one ingredient to check on your latest skincare purchase, the one to add to your basket. However seaweed isn’t a new find. Sources differ on when and where the concept was first introduced, but there’s evidence it was used in Ancient Greece. Legend has it, the goddess of love and beauty herself Aphrodite enjoyed warm seaweed baths. Called thalassotherapy, it’s one of the most ancient beauty treatments known. We love that natural skincare often utilizes plants our ancestors have relied on sometimes for centuries or more.
Is Seaweed a truly beneficial ingredient for your skin? Is there any scientific evidence that can back this up? And is seaweed harvesting environmentally sustainable? Or is this a fad to ignore?
What is Seaweed?
Seaweed is the name given to species of marine plants and algae that grow in oceans, rivers, and lakes, and there are over 30,000 known species of Seaweed in the world. This powerful plant is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins. Seaweed grows spontaneously in abundance in our oceans, which means the environmental impact is extremely low. You don’t need any pesticides or any fertilisers to get great Seaweed! In Japan where they enjoy a seaweed rich diet, the health benefits are numerous.
What makes Seaweed to effective?
With the abundance of vitamins and minerals you find in seaweed, the benefits of using this ingredient in your skincare products are countless. Seaweed, algae, and kelp are rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamin C, meaning they hydrate, minimise fine lines, promote collagen production, boost radiance, and help treat hyperpigmentation. Seaweed also helps to regulate oil production as well as exfoliates, brightens, and moisturises dry, dull skin.
Dermatologist Lydia Sarfati, a New York City-based master aesthetician and pioneer in the seaweed industry since 1970, told Byrdie that “Seaweed is perhaps the most beneficial and abundantly available natural ingredient for skincare on the planet (..) Seaweed is a very powerful concentration of seawater and is able to uptake minerals by absorption and active transport from seawater. (..) Because of these processes, some seaweeds have a dense concentration of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins and lipids, which all pose benefits for the skin.”
How is Seaweed Pro Ageing?
Seaweed has even been demonstrated to be effective in diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Laminaria Digitata especially is a seaweed with a potentially rich source of amino acids (like glycine) and natural antioxidants (like vitamin C). Laminaria Digitata promotes collagen production to smooth lines and give the appearance of plumper, more youthful-looking skin. Thanks to its pro ageing properties, you might think it’s better suited for more mature skin. It’s actually great for all skin types, even acne-prone skin. Due in part to the fact that it regulates oil production and some seaweed has been shown to decrease oil production. Others have been shown to decrease the bacteria involved in acne formation, making this a potentially effective ingredient for anti prone skin.
It’s also great news for those who have rosacea and sensitive skin. Seaweed can effectively soothe skin with its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains natural minerals like magnesium and zinc, which can show a real improvement if your skin is prone to irritation. Finally, it improves skin texture and discolouration, as it brightens the skin and exfoliates dead skin cells.
If that hasn’t convinced you of how amazing seaweed is in skin care then nothing will. We did some research and found some pretty amazing clean and sustainable brands using seaweed in it’s formulas. Many of them are UK based, which means your product didn’t have to travel from overseas!
5 Seaweed Beauty Brands To Love
Haeckels was founded in 2012 by volunteer beach warden and coastal enthusiast Dom Bridges. Disillusioned by the production ethos of many larger skincare companies, Dom wanted to create simple handcrafted products that showcased the surrounding coasts’ natural ingredients. This intention grew with the hope that the products themselves would then promote Margate’s heritage of healthy coastal living. The company is now an established reality crafting hyper performative skincare. Haeckels plays an active part in the local community by organising beach cleans and taking part in marine conservation surveys. We love their seaweed blocks, designed to be gently exfoliating. Their collaboration with Ozone Coffee incorporates waste coffee grounds to provide a refreshing shower experience.
ishga is derived from the Gaelic word for water. The brand sources Seaweed from near the northwest coast of Scotland and creates award-winning natural skincare with it. How you ask? Well by using the life-giving power of the sea to restore your skin. Their hand-harvested seaweed yields vitamins; minerals; amino acids; antioxidants and essential fatty acids. They then combine them with local spring water to harness over 86 vitamins and minerals. Ishga’s scientists use a bespoke, natural process to create a truly unique range of organic skincare with the most remarkable pro ageing, hydrating and skin-renewing properties. As well as topical seaweed skincare they also offer seaweed capsules as a nutritional supplement.
Enjoying this article?
Then you'll love our Newsletters. At the beginning of each month, we send you the low down for the month ahead, featuring news and our favourite responsible products and brands you need to know about. And whats more, you receive all of this direct to your inbox before anyone else.
Ella is the founder of Phoenix & Providence, a brand born from the love of the Isles of Scilly. For her, sea swimming has been a way to find some time for herself as a busy mother of two. It’s also where she found inspiration behind this seaweed focused wellness business. Following the island’s history and kelp-burning heritage, kelp was burned on the islands from around 1680 to the last recorded kelp burning in 1835. The ash from this was then used in glass and soap making. Ella is now collecting the kelp and turning it into natural skincare products, maintaining a handcrafted approach and gratitude for the ocean. In addition, Phoenix & Providence protects our environment and oceans by choosing fewer chemicals, promoting a more natural, kinder approach.
Seaweed Organics is one of the most established seaweed skincare brands here in the UK. Based in Argyll, the business lifestyle involves as much time as possible spent on the Hebridean islands. In 2008 they took over Diana Drummond Ltd, becoming the first seaweed skincare business in the UK. Since then, the company has been harnessing the goodness of Hebridean native seaweeds to create high-performance skincare while developing ethical practices. Through this, Seaweed Organics became more and more convinced of the value of organic ingredients and the need to create products with no petrochemicals, lanolin, parabens, or any harsh chemicals that could irritate the skin.
VOYA works with the most advanced cosmetic scientists to produce performative seaweed-based facial and body care products. Their latest independent scientific research on the efficacy of the plant confirms that Seaweed has a profound effect on antioxidant protection, collagen production and skin barrier quality. All VOYA seaweeds have been proven to increase the skins ability to fight against free radicals by over 100%! So if you have concerns about pollution affecting your skin, try their beautiful and effective range of face care.
Did This Put A Smile On Your Face? Why Not Subscribe?
If you enjoyed this then theres plenty more on our email newsletters that you'll love. Whether you're a sustainable newbie or an eco conscious pro, our bi monthly emails will inspire you to live sustainably and ethically.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general advice only and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare or beauty advice. We make every effort to ensure we only recommend safe products however you should always do a patch test when trying new products. This post may contain affiliate links.