Marine Ingredients and Human Skin: Seaweed and Its Healthful Benefits

Nothing feels better than a day at the beach – the wind in your hair, the salt on your skin, and the sun warming every inch of you.  Even after you’ve left the seaside, you often feel refreshed and invigorated for several days.  That’s not just a result of taking a day off and relaxing.  The ocean is home to many types of plant life that can actually be very beneficial to the skin.  Seaweed, for example, is becoming a more and more popular ingredient in skin care products designed to combat wrinkles.

Seaweed has been shown in clinical trials to inhibit the process of glycation.  Glycation is a process triggered when naturally occurring sugar molecules in the skin bond to a protein or lipid without the control of an enzyme.  This process inhibits or impairs the functioning of biomolecules, which weakens the surface of the skin.  Weakened skin is less firm and more prone to wrinkling.

Seaweed has also been shown to inhibit the enzymes elastase and collagenase, which break down the structural proteins elastin and collagen.  Elastin gets its name from its elastic properties, as you probably could have guessed.  It allows skin to retain its shape after stretching or contracting.  Collagen is responsible for the strength of your skin.  You may recognize it as the stuff celebrities have injected into their lips to make them cartoonishly plump, but it’s a very important structural protein, and its breakdown is one of the main causes of wrinkles.

Thalassotherapy is the name given to medicinal treatments derived from seawater or marine products – the name comes from the Greek word thalassa, or sea.  Seaweed and other marine products have been used in traditional medicines in island cultures like Japan and Ireland for centuries, but in recent years thalassotherapy has become more and more popular in cosmetics and skin treatments worldwide.

If you can’t get to a beach, or don’t much like the idea of rolling around in wet seaweed (the products in these clinical trials use seaweed extract, not just the raw stuff), you’re in luck.  More and more products with seaweed extract are coming onto the market as we continue to discover more about the restorative properties of the sea and its plant life.

To learn more about thalassotherapy and other skin treatments, please contact us at 702-496-2066 or visit our website at