Skin : Seaweed
A Natural Symbiosis
Ever notice how a day spent on the ocean leaves your skin looking more supple and your overall wellness is renewed? It’s no coincidence. Our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water and salt, the same ratio of ocean to land. The water in our bodies is diluted with about .4% salt, almost exactly that of most ocean water. Our cells are bound together by mineral rich water, very similar to ocean water. One could easily make a case that the ocean and the human body are in a beautifully symbiotic relationship, and both need the other to sustain optimal health. Let’s first look at how the mineral-rich ingredients from the sea support our health and wellness.
There are over 28,000 different types of algae in the ocean, seaweed being one of the most prevalent. What is unique about seaweed as an ingredient in skincare is two-fold. First, seaweed has been proven to deliver essential minerals such as copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc and vitamins A, B, C, D, E, about 10x the trace minerals of land plants! Second, these minerals are naturally bioavailable and ready to be absorbed by the body and skin. Optimal mineral absorption helps our skin perform its functions, healing itself from hyperpigmentation and inflammation.Seaweed also supports hydration and collagen production. Seaweed in skincare may just be the perfect solution for those of us who can’t get into the ocean every day.
Now what can we do to support ocean health? In the last decade, there has been an awakening to the need to address our global ocean health. Ocean temperatures are rising, along with ocean levels, and ocean pollution has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. Ocean health is human health, there is just no way to discount that.
OSEA Skincare knows this well. They have relied on the ocean as the abundant source of seaweeds to produce their skincare line, rich in sea green minerals, for more than two decades. In order to source clean seaweed, OSEA traveled to Patagonia, to source Undaria (Wakame), Gigartina (Sea Vegetable) and Macrosytis Pyrifera (Giant Sea Kelp) off the coasts of Argentina and Chile. This area, with relatively low commercial transportation traffic, boasts the cleanest ocean on the planet. Furthermore, the waters, due to the unique currents, have temperature fluctuations that are optimal for growing mineral abundant seaweed. Paying special attention to harvesting methods, OSEA sources seaweed by hand and not on diesel-powered boats that harm the natural ecosystem. But we shouldn’t have to travel so far to source these relatively common sea ingredients that up until the last decade or so, were available in abundance right off the coast of California. To support the efforts to protect and restore ocean health, OSEA is a supporter of Mission Blue, an organization that is advocating for official protection for 30% of our oceans by 2030.
In addition to seaweed being harvested for its beneficial properties in skincare, there is a new surge of sea-farmers who are planting seaweed, and studying its ability to actively restore ocean health by absorbing carbon dioxide. Just like forests of trees absorb CO2 from the air, seaweed absorbs it in the water during photosynthesis, ridding the ocean of carbon and lowering the temperature.
While these initiatives are critical, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Beauty Heroes, OSEA and so many other activists in the beauty industry and beyond are doing their part to raise awareness of our role in cleaning up and protecting our oceans. It begins with reconnecting to nature and deeply sensing our symbiotic relationship. We are not separate, and one needs the other to survive. When we feel it, we can heal it.