Sea Moss in Skin Care Products: What Are the Benefits of Algae?
Because it’s packed with nutrients, sea moss has some potentially major benefits for your skin — it also creates a protective layer and keeps in moisture and whatever other good-for-you nutrients and ingredients you may have put on it.
“It forms a non-occlusive film on the skin that is biomimetic (similar) to naturally found proteins,” explains cosmetic chemist Krupa Koestline. “Because of this characteristic, [sea moss] extract reinforces and stimulates keratinization of the epidermis.”
In other words, it can protect your skin while giving it a protein boost, and remember — protein is essential to healthy skin.
One of the most notable benefits of sea moss as a skin-care ingredient is its ability to help your skin retain water. According to Koestline, those who use sea moss-based products may see improvements in the transepidermal water loss (TEWL) of their skin. TEWL refers to the water that passes from the dermis through your epidermis and evaporates into the air — you want as little of it as possible if you want your skin to be plump and hydrated.
Because many of sea moss’s benefits likely come from its ability to form that film on the skin, Koestline says the ingredient is best used in a moisturizer, serum, or another leave-on application. “It wouldn’t be as potent in a rinse-off product,” she explains.
Adding skin-care products with enough sea moss extract in it may get you to see more hydrated-looking skin. Koestline notes, though, that there is still more independent research that needs to be done to confirm its benefits on the skin.
That said, keep in mind that it’s not enough to have sea moss touted in your skin-care products. The specific formulation matters. “The caveat to any skin-care cure is how much of the active molecular component from a raw ingredient like sea moss will actually make its way into the final formula and how does that translate to penetration into the skin,” says Dr. Rossi. “Dose, concentration, and formulation are all important parameters to determine whether a potential active will actually achieve clinical results.”
Right now, there haven’t been studies or recommendations of exact dose for sea moss, per Dr. Rossi, so it’s still going to be a bit of trial and error. In the meantime, try our favorite sea moss-containing skin-care products: Alba Botanica Even Advanced Natural Moisturizer With Sea Moss SPF 15, and Tata Harper Crème Riche Peptide Night Cream.
What about eating sea moss?
Like many supplements, the jury is still out on whether it’s better to ingest or apply sea moss topically, says Dr. Rossi, though he does note that eating sea moss is gaining popularity in American culture and has been used in many other cultures around the world for its purported health benefits.