photo of seaweed

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Seaweed Extract

Marine ingredients have become the latest “in thing” in the cosmetics industry. The use of marine ingredients in cosmetics and lotions has increased manifolds over the years, and not without reason. Despite seeming to be the latest development in the cosmetics industry, marine ingredients have long been associated with health care and beauty. One of the most popular marine ingredients that has been making headlines is seaweed extract. Seaweed is natural skin care ingredient. It is sometimes used in the form of carrageenan, a stabilizer and thickener that is extracted from seaweed. Chinese medicine has also placed great stress on the use of seaweed as a health care and beauty product. There are four types of seaweeds that are commonly used by the Chinese – Ecklonia, Sargassum, Pyrphora and Laminaria.

Seaweed is considered to be one of the most powerful ingredients because of the fact that it draws a wealth of mineral elements and micronutrients from the ocean. These elements and micronutrients include calcium, sulfur, magnesium, zinc, selenium, nickel, boron, cobalt, sodium, fluoride, phosphorus, iodine, copper and potassium and they account for almost 36% of its dry mass. Recent studies have shown that seaweed can be used as a potent antioxidant as well. According to a study done by the University of Ohio, topically applied brown algae (a type of seaweed) can reduce skin tumors by almost 60% in hairless mice.

Other benefits offered by seaweed include the ability to increase collagen production, producing an immediate skin tightening effect, reducing wrinkles, cleansing the skin, nourishing and strengthening skin cells and removing dead skin.

Now that you are aware of the importance and benefits of these seaweed extracts for your skin care, would you like to know about the various skin conditions where using seaweed extract can prove to be particularly rewarding? There are four areas and skin care concerns where the use of  seaweed extracts has  produced revolutionary results.

Acne – Seaweed consists of anti-inflammatory compounds that can truly benefit anyone suffering from acne. Acne is normally caused by the release of oils or sebum which prevent your skin from drying up. Similarly, pimples are the result of inflammation in the pores of your skin. These inflammations trap the oil and result in blackheads and whiteheads. Seaweed has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce this swelling. It can also be used to naturally exfoliate your dead cells and block pores.

Rosacea – Rosacea refers to a particular type of skin condition that leads to swelling, facial inflammation and discoloration. Seaweed is known to be rich in Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, which help it to act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. This prevents the pooling of blood under your skin and alleviates your rosacea symptoms. Topical application of seaweed extract in the form of creams and lotions can also help you to nourish your skin externally and ensure that it looks healthy and hydrated.

Scalp Strengthening – Arame is a brown colored seaweed that is commonly used in a variety of Japanese dishes. This seaweed is also known to be highly beneficial in strengthening and nourishing your hair follicles and your scalp.

Thyroid booster and detoxifier – Other practical applications of seaweed extract include thyroid boosters and detoxification. Seaweed’s anti-inflammatory properties help humans to detoxify their skin. Seaweed is also known to be extremely rich in iodine. This helps to boost thyroid functions which in turn allow you to rejuvenate your skin.

As a result of its skin care benefits, seaweed has become extremely common in spas in the form of seaweed baths. When applied to the human body, seaweed can help to draw out the excess fluid and chemicals from the body and cleanse the dead skin cells and impurities from the body’s surface.

 

 

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