Sea kelp, a subgroup of seaweed, is a very effective skincare active. While it doesn’t sound like most of the other ingredients in your skincare products, sea kelp extract is an ingredient that you want to see on your product labels.
The true value of sea kelp for the skin is that it is made of many important vitamins including Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E. Sea kelp is also high in minerals like iodine, zinc, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, and potassium. In addition, sea kelp contains amino acids. An ingredient packed with all of this nutrition will certainly have a lot of health benefits.
Not all "seaweeds" are the same and not all have the same skin benefit. Sea kelp is a brown algae that has particularly powerful nutrients locked inside. How do we access all of these skin-loving nutrients? The answer is fermentation. The process of fermentation breaks down the cell walls of the sea kelp, unlocking the benefits. That's where we get the name "bioferment".
Benefits of Sea Kelp for the Skin
This antioxidant-rich active has a multitude of benefits for the skin. Here are some ways sea kelp promotes healthy skin:
- Helps the skin retain moisture and stay hydrated longer
- Increases collagen production
- Reduces the appearance of breakouts
- Removes toxins and protects from free radicals
- Boosts protection from UV rays
- Enhances the absorption of other topical ingredients
- Soothes the skin
- Stimulates faster healing
- Slows water loss, keeping skin better hydrated
Other Health Benefits of Sea Kelp
If the benefits for the skin weren’t enough to sell you on sea kelp, all of those nutrients are great for overall health as well. For example, iodine deficiency can cause issues with the metabolism, enlargement of the thyroid, fatigue, muscle weakness, elevated blood cholesterol, and more. Sea kelp, which has naturally high levels of iodine, can help raise energy levels and boost brain function. (Too much iodine can also lead to thyroid problems, so be cautious – especially when taking supplements!)
More research is needed, but it is possible that sea kelp may reduce oxidative stress, protect cardiovascular health, and prevent or slow the spread of cancer. There is also a potential link between sea kelp and weight loss in individuals with obesity. Additionally, some clinical studies suggest that sea kelp can lower blood glucose levels, which would help individuals who have Type 2 Diabetes.
Of course, never add any supplements, especially if you have health issues and are taking other medications without first speaking with your healthcare provider.
Adding Sea Kelp to your Diet
Sea kelp is available as a supplement, but when possible, it’s always better to obtain nutrients from dietary sources. If you’d like to try to increase the amount of sea kelp in your diet, here are a few ideas from Healthline:
- Add sea kelp to a smoothie or a vegetable juice
- Include sea kelp in soups and stews
- Use raw kelp noodles for pasta dishes or in salads
- Enjoy cold (with oil and sesame seeds, for example)
How Sea Kelp Can Be Used as Restorative Skin Care
Because sea kelp is so nutrient dense, it is an ideal component of skincare products used for restorative treatments. For example, if you do a chemical peel or have a professional treatment like microneedling, applying a product that contains sea kelp will help soothe the skin and promote skin renewal following your treatment.
Kate Ryan Skincare’s Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Serum contains sea kelp, which allows it to provide moisture and protection while it plumps and soothes the skin. Following a professional skincare treatment when the skin has been enhanced with wonderful actives, this serum acts as a mask to help improve the penetration of these actives deeper into the skin. Simply apply the serum to clean, dry skin, leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse.
Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Serum contains other wonderful anti-aging actives that work alongside sea kelp to provide long-term benefits. Since it replaces the natural hyaluronic acid lost from aging, the serum improves the smoothness, plumpness, and elasticity of the skin. It also reduces fine lines. In fact, many clients use the serum as a lower-cost and less-invasive alternative to injections.
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Claims on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.