A beach is not only a sweep of sand, but shells of sea creatures, the sea glass, the seaweed, the incongruous objects washed up by the ocean,” said Henry Grunwald. If you have ever been at the beach, you must have noticed green, slimy and stringy plants that are washed up ashore every now and then. These shaded, miniature and plant-like bodies are known as seaweed.
Technically speaking, seaweed is marine macroalgae. It’s an autotroph (makes its own food, just like a plant), so all it needs is sunlight and salty/brackish water in order to thrive. In oceans, microscopic seaweed lives suspended by becoming the base for marine food chains. The giant ones grow in abundant forests and look like redwoods, while their roots touch the bottom of the sea. Medium-sized seaweed blooms on the beaches and shorelines.
Seaweed has been revered since ages for its various uses. Owing to the high quality and quantity of commercially important metabolites produced by seaweed, it has been widely used for various food and industrial purposes. With further exploration in the field of science, the use of seaweed has expanded to various sectors, growing profusely in the field of skincare.
A protective shield
There are some very significant and noteworthy attributes of seaweed, which has led scientists to harness its goodness for amping up the efficacy of skincare products. Seaweed tends to thrive very well in very salty to very cold waters. They can easily cope with harsh UV rays and other climatic stress factors, and also retain their strong sustainability. It is because of the very efficacious metabolites secreted by them that they are safe from the highly damaging stress factors. The same metabolites, eco-sustainably garnered from the seaweeds, have shown phenomenal results on skin.
There are many types of seaweed that can help your skin profoundly. Some of the most efficacious and significant ones are golden seaweed, brown seaweed and sugar seaweed. Sugar seaweed is procured from the very cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is incredibly resilient to extremely cold temperatures, strong UV rays; these properties have been utilised in enhancing the efficacy of various premium skincare products.
Golden seaweed’s active extracts enhance the skin barrier functioning, making skin more tough and resilient against external stress factors, which can trigger skin ageing. Sugar seaweed’s active extracts increase keratinocyte differentiation (which is the outer protein found in the epidermis of the skin, which forms a strong protective barrier for skin). It intensively increases skin hydration and skin elasticity, thereby reducing wrinkle depth. To some extent, it can also help in reactivation of old cells.
The actives of golden seaweed extracts are often used as global anti-ageing and skin defence ingredient. Golden seaweed protects the skin’s DNA after exposure to harsh UV rays and reduces skin inflammation mediators. It smoothes out wrinkles, diminishes pigments, heals acne, and makes one’s skin appear fresher and younger. What more, seaweed is full of humectants that draw in moisture from the environment, thus proving to be a great hydrant for the skin.
So, what are you waiting for? Include some seaweed into your beauty regime now!
(The author is R&D head, Omorfee)