Marine algae, known more commonly as seaweed, is more than just a salty snack. Seaweed is a superstar of the clean skincare world. With skin-supportive antioxidants and the ability to deliver mineral rich hydration, seaweed is the not-so-secret ingredient of our plant-based, bioactive OSEA formulas. But how do we harness the power of the sea for our skincare? Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of our signature ingredient: seaweed!
Marine algae is a member of the Protista kingdom, so while seaweed has many plant-like attributes like using chlorophyll for photosynthesis, it is not actually a plant - just one reason why algae is so unique! Seaweed is found in salt water and is crucial to the health of our oceans. Seaweed forms the base of many aquatic ecosystems: it’s a source of food for sea creatures like fish and sea urchins, and serves as a home or shelter for sea life. Seaweed is typically classified as one of three groups: brown algae, red algae, or green algae and each one offers its own distinctive benefits to the skin.
Because seaweed is essential to the balance of our Earth and her oceans, we take great care in sustainably sourcing algae for our formulations. Our USDA certified organic algae is sourced from a coastal nature preserve in Patagonia. Each piece of seaweed is carefully hand-collected to minimize the environmental impact on the delicate ocean ecosystem. Depending on the kind of seaweed, it is either foraged as it naturally migrates into shallow waters or hand cut in a way that allows the algae to naturally regenerate over time, as opposed to suppliers using diesel-powered ships who often utilize invasive methods to harvest from the ocean floor. Our seaweed is then shipped to California, rinsed with fresh spring water and allowed to dry in the SoCal sun - a simple but effective process that cleans the seaweed and removes any fishy or “eau de ocean” aroma. Once the marine algae is dry it can be converted to a fine powder extract or added to one of our organic oils to create a seaweed-oil infusion (hint: this is what makes our oils so uniquely absorbable and skin-friendly). Our seaweed is not over-processed or diluted with filler ingredients - it’s the real deal!
Meet Our Seaweeds
You’ll find mostly brown and red algaes in our results-driven products. Each individual varietal of seaweed used in our formulations offers unique benefits and we’ve got something for every skin type. Which seaweed sounds like the best fit for you?
The Hydrator - Undaria Seaweed Benefits for Dry Skin and Redness
Undaria Pinnatifida is a brown algae with a calming and moisturizing effect on the skin. Rich in nutrients like sodium, iron, potassium, calcium and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12 Undaria helps to nourish and maintain moisture balance of the skin, making it great for dry or inflamed skin. Undaria also contains Fucoidan, a calming and especially hydrating compound that reduces the appearance of redness and promotes a youthful, plump appearance (yes, please!).
The Youth Preserver - Gigartina Seaweed Benefits for Anti-Aging
Gigartina Skottsbergii is a red marine algae with hydrophilic (ie. moisture attracting) properties that make it excellent for hydration. These moisturizing properties reinforce the skin’s barrier, locking in hydration. Combined with Gigartina’s nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich profile, we see that Gigartina also helps protect skin against free radicals and harsh conditions like extreme dry climates, wind and air pollution. Additionally, Gigartina contains sulfated polysaccharides, which are known to hydrate and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Our firming and age correcting favorite Advanced Protection Cream is a Gigartina heavy moisturizer that plumps fine lines and wrinkles while creating a protective barrier for drier skin and climates.
The Balancer - Macrocystis Seaweed Benefits for Oily and Blemish-prone Skin
Macrocystis Pyrifera, also known as kelp, is a large brown algae, in fact it’s the largest of all marine algae. Macrocystis has tone perfecting properties making it a great option if you have blemish-prone skin or uneven skin tone. Macrocystis contains high levels of iodine, omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes, redness, and irritation while improving texture and tone.
Our pore perfecting Blemish Balm is Macrocystis at its finest. A lightweight moisturizer, Blemish Balm balances oilier skin, targets blemishes and prevents future breakouts.
The Seaweed Trio
Working synergistically, the seawood trio combines Gigartina Skottsbergii, Macrocystis Pyrifera and Undaria Pinnatifida to promote firmness and reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The combination of all three of our favorite seaweeds is deeply hydrating and visibly diminishes uneven skin texture.
One of our best-selling formulations that suits all skin types, the Hyaluronic Sea Serum is a weightless moisturizing serum that boasts the seaweed trio and three molecular weights of hyaluronic acid.
The Seven Seaweed Superblend
The seaweed trio on (figurative) steroids - this superblend uses Gigartina, Undaria, and Macrocystis plus four more nutrient-rich seaweeds: Fucus Serratus, Enteromorpha Compressa, Palmaria Palmata, and Ascophyllum Nodosum for full spectrum skin nutrition. Hydrating, plumping, and brightening for every skin type.
Our Vitamin Sea Serum and Eye Gel Serum boast our Seven Seaweed Superblend. As serums, the smaller molecular size of these formulations allows the skin to soak up the full benefit of the algae to brighten and revitalize the skin.
Still not sure which seaweed is right for you? Check out our Skin Quiz to tailor a seaweed based skincare ritual just for you. Believe in the Sea!