Photo Credit: facebook.com/algenis
The oceans cover roughly 70 percent of the Earth and with a such a diverse array of plant and animal life, these waters are a veritable treasure trove of ingredients and extracts that can potentially benefit our skin and bodies as a whole. From an overabundance of UV light on the surface to complete darkness at the oceans’ deepest depths and extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), sea life is excellent at adapting to its environment, and science is paying close attention to the compounds that enhance these organisms’ resilience and resistance to harsh conditions. Seaweed, kelp (which is actually a type of large seaweed), algae and plankton are likely just the tip of the skin- and health-enhancing iceberg, and here’s a selection of products with proven marine-based ingredients if you’re looking to dip your toes in the water…
SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 50 ($40)
When you spend your entire life in the upper layer the ocean, you’re exposed to a lot of sun—but plankton manage to survive and thrive (at least until they’re eaten by whales). That’s why SkinCeuticals set their sights on a plankton extract called artemia salina when creating sunscreens that feature an extra layer of skin protection, as this ingredient has been shown to increase the skin’s natural defense against the heat-induced stress that comes along with UV exposure. P.S. Look for this ingredient in other SkinCeuticals sunscreens as well.
Repêchage (starting at $15)
Did you know that researchers have found that sea water and human intracellular fluid are strikingly similar? So perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the human body is comprised of just about the same percentage of water that covers the earth. Repêchage is all about the power of seaweed, and this all-encompassing line taps into 12 varieties of sustainably sourced, organic marine flora to create the filtrate found in all of their products. With makeup and skincare offerings designed to improve visible signs of aging, dryness, oiliness, uneven skin tone and sensitivity as well as combinations of these common skin concerns—and a major spa presence—this brand is all about vitamin “sea.” Not sure where to start? The Hydra Blue range is ideal for all skin types, so you’re sure to find something that fits your needs.
Algenist (Starting at $18)
Microalgae may be small, but they sure are mighty. Found in challenging environments that range from the deepest parts of the ocean where there is no light or nutrients to scorching deserts and snow-covered mountains, these organisms all have one thing in common: Alguronic acid. Algenist has developed an entire line around this biotechnology-based ingredient, and the company has found it boosts cellular regeneration by 55%, helps enhance the effectiveness of other actives by up to two times and delivers visible anti-aging results in as little as 10 days.
Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Mask ($44)
This mask isn’t the newest addition to the menu at your local juice bar—but it certainly sounds like it. Packed with spirulina (a.k.a. blue-green algae) and its whopping 60% protein along with vitamins A, B12 and K, this marine organism has been found to have a slew of skin benefits. From boosting cellular turnover to maintaining a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria, spirulina has antioxidant properties that help protect against free radicals as well. With nourishing microalgae and moisturizing hyaluronic acid to boot, this mask is designed to plump up lines and wrinkles while reviving the skin’s healthy glow in just 10 minutes—and you don’t even have to get your hair wet.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil ($79)
With a trifecta of Roaring Water kelp, padina pavonica thallus (brown algae) extract and golden seaweed, this anti-aging elixir both moisturizes and nourishes the skin. Rich in vitamins, minerals, moisture-attracting sugars and essential fatty acids that help renew the skin’s firmness while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, this oil’s versatility is a huge plus. In addition to layering beneath your usual moisturizer for extra hydration, it can help enhance the results of masks when applied beforehand, decrease the abrasiveness of your exfoliating scrub, soften cuticles and boost the effectiveness of your hand cream.
NOTE: All products were purchased or sampled in store. All opinions are my own.