Seaweed Skin Care Products
Seaweed has started catching on in the skincare industry around the world. From seaweed based, marine based, seaweed extracts and more, it can be hard to tell the difference. Seaflora prides themselves on the fact that our products contain 50% or more raw, wild, sustainably hand-harvested seaweed. As far as we know, we are still the only company that can boast this as the truth! In this blog, we’re going to break down what the difference is between what “seaweed based”, “marine based” and “seaweed extract” really mean, and which one is the most beneficial for your skin! Do all products that say ‘seaweed skin care’ actually have any seaweed in them?
“Marine Based” and Seaweed Extracts
When you hear “marine based” it sounds like that product should get the majority of its ingredients from the ocean, right? Wrong. The problem is, most marine based products only contain a small amount of marine elements. “Marine based” also doesn’t have to include seaweed! Some marine based formulations only contain minerals or other ingredients that are only sourced from the ocean. This can show up as a powder, or an extract on ingredient lists, and won’t be one of the main ingredients in the product.
As a general rule of thumb, the first five ingredients on a product label will determine the majority of the contents of the product. If “Organic seaweed” is not one of the first ingredients, it’s most likely that the marine based product you’ve been using is using the healthy association of the marine environment as the marketing of their product and not as a beneficial ingredient of the product. When the ingredients on a product list the name of a seaweed with “-extract” at the end, its probable that you have a seaweed that has been overly processed, creating a less effective version.
Why do refined versions of seaweed not work as well? Seaweeds can be dried, without losing their nutritional content. Naturally the tide goes out, they dry and when the tide comes back they rehydrate and are perfectly fine. However, when the seaweed components are chemically extracted, or bleached, they no longer offer the healthy benefits that raw seaweed does.
A number of studies on the development of a variety of extraction techniques to produce algal extracts have been reported, and each extraction method, technique, or isolation has it’s own purpose. Some extracts are just meant to isolate a unique compound of the seaweed. Other extracts are meant to isolate the proteins. There are advantages and disadvantages of the various methods of algal extracts production, however these obtained seaweeds extracts are biodegradable, nontoxic, nonpolluting, and nonhazardous to humans, animals, and birds. Therefore, these can be applied to different branches of the industry.
What are Seaweed Extracts Used For?
Seaweeds are a filter of the ocean and worldwide algae populations produce more oxygen for our earth than all the forests on land combined! Seaweeds help clean the water where they live and act as eco-engineers. They bathe in mineral rich waters that make them the most highly mineralized plant on Earth. It’s no wonder why seaweed extract when used as a fertilizer can boosts crop yields, improves resistance of plants to frost and disease, increases uptake of inorganic constituents from the soil, bolsters resistance to stress conditions and reduces storage losses of fruit.
There are many ways to extract seaweeds: refining, cooking/baking and bleaching them and adding them as a powder or as extracts in different industries such as plastic replacement packaging, or as thickening agents, or as fertilizer, or in building materials and more. Seaweed really is the future, as it can be safely used for such an endless variety of applications.
Seaweed Based Products
Seaflora believes in the benefits of eating and applying raw, wild, organic, sustainably harvested seaweeds. With no fillers, or harmful preservatives, Seaflora is the ultimate choice for anyone looking for a healthy skincare line. Focused on the preservation of our beautiful coastal environment, where we sustainably hand-harvest our local seaweeds, our carbon emissions are lowered by sourcing local. Want to learn more about our harvesting values and environmental practices? Take a look at our website!
There are companies, like Bio Seaweed Gel, who have seaweed right in their name, but don’t actually use any seaweed in their products at all! When we asked them about this, we were told that, they understood that people saw seaweed as healthy, and so they thought it would be good for their marketing to incorporate it in the name of their Nail product brand.
Seaweed farming is a growing practice, and we absolutely support the growing of seaweed! Not everyone has access to such an abundance or variety of seaweed as we do, let alone to have such clean ocean to harvest them from on top of that. We are licensed to harvest 9 species of local seaweeds over the 75km between Sooke and Port Renfrew. We like to say, “Vancouver Island is a gift, wrapped in seaweed!”
Making sure you know the source of the seaweeds used in your skincare is important if you will be eating or applying it. We believe in sea-to-skin, much like the farm to plate movement. It’s never lost on us just how blessed we are to be located where we are and to have access to such a rich, sustainable, natural resource.