Skincare brands are always on the lookout for the next big game changing ingredient, but we’re forgetting all the radical inspiration beauty finds in the sea – some of the best beauty products/lines rest firmly on slimy algae and other marine finds. Shu Uemura was the first to incorporate deep sea water into their skincare and makeup products and then came a slew of beauty hits with the marine tag, including La Mer. But there’s a longer history here – mineral-rich seaweed is the backbone of thalassotherapy (centuries-old anti-aging and slimming treatments propounded by the French), which is even said to date back to ancient Roman times.
Why is this exotic sounding stuff from the sea great for your skin? It also happens to be a fun fact: both blood plasma and seawater are made up of similar minerals and trace elements. It follows then that marine plants, growing as they do in seawater and absorbing its nutrients, are great additions to your skin. (They’re also great as part of your meal too, by the way.)
There are two significant species of algae that are especially known for their beauty-enhancing properties: Chlorella vulgaris, often used in anti aging potions and Chlorella pyrenoidosa found in hair products. There’s also marine collagen, a Japanese skincare favourite for anti aging, which is derived from the substance found on fish scales – though new research and harvesting techniques (hello, high sea farming) have brought a ton of other gems from the sea to your dressing tables.
So allow us to weed out the faux from the fab – here’s a look at some of the best marine skin miracle workers out there – go fish!