In many coastal countries, seaweed has long been part of the local cuisine. Seaweed toasted with sesame oil is often eaten as a banchan or side dish in Korean restaurants and in Japanese cuisine, it’s used to wrap everything from sushi to onigiri. Seaweed has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat ailments such as excess phlegm, swollen lymph glands, and even certain types of cancer. It has long been thought that seaweed helps detoxify the body, which is why spas offer treatments such as a detoxifying seaweed wraps that absorb the impurities your skin releases.
If it’s good enough to eat, why can’t we put it on our skin?
Benefits of Marine Algae
It turns out that marine algae is full of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants. Marine algae is excellent at hydrating and protecting the skin. It also contains a high concentration of antioxidants which help fight against visible signs of aging such as wrinkles. Marine algae extracts can also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and have been used in anti-aging creams. Marine algae extracts have anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to soothe irritated skin. Because of this, many people claim that seaweed extracts can be used to control acne by calming redness. Marine algae also acts as a natural exfoliant which works to remove dead skin cells.
There are thousands of marine algae species, each one containing a multitude of benefits. The most common types of marine algae used in cosmetics are brown algae, red algae, and green algae.
Brown algae extract is most commonly used because it’s the most studied. It helps combat free radicals which are natural byproducts of our bodily functions, but if there are too many present in the body, it can wreak havoc and damage DNA, cellular membranes and enzymes. Red algae extract acts as a natural sunscreen by absorbing UVA rays. Some also have antimicrobial benefits, making it great for tackling acne. Green algae extracts help fight inflammation and free radicals that interfere with melanin production. All marine algae types have a high concentration of antioxidants so they can all help fight free radicals and prevent them from doing too much damage to your body.
Harvesting Marine Algae
Marine algae can be grown via high sea farming, in which seaweed spores are grown attached onto ropes out in sea in a protected area. It’s a sustainable process that enables seaweed to be grown for commercial use while reducing the need to harvest from the wild which can be terrible for these marine environments. Marine algae can also be grown in a laboratory by replicating natural conditions. Purified seawater is used and conditions such as light and pH can all be manipulated to ensure the quality of the algae. Harvesting marine algae through high sea farming or in a lab are sustainable eco-friendly options that result in stable and consistent final products. The marine algae extracts for our Marine Algae Care line is sourced from a lab in France in order to produce a consistent quality product.
You can reap the benefits of marine algae by snacking on some delicious toasted seaweed or slathering your skin with products that use marine algae extracts as a main ingredient such as our Ultra Rich Body Milk.