I read once that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love who arose from the foaming depths of the sea, owed her beautiful flawless skin and glossy hair to the natural elements she had just emerged from. Fanciful as it may sound, there is much truth in this legend because science has now proven that the unique combination of chelated minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids found in seaweed and algae really can beautify the skin and hair.
Many species of seaweed have been used as important medicines and food for thousands of years, long before their healing properties had been scientifically proven. The Chinese have been using a seaweed known as bladderwrack(Fucus vesiculosus) externally since ancient times for treating burns and skin complaints, and the Polynesians used it for treating wounds, bruises and inflammation. Taken internally, it is used to treat digestive conditions where a demulcent (soothes inflamed or injured skin) is required such as with gastritis and ulcers.
Iodine was first isolated from bladderwrack in the 18th century, and was used successfully to treat thyroid related illnesses. Over the coming years various types of seaweed were employed in the manufacture of an expanding range of goods including ice cream, beer, toothpaste, stock animal feeds and fertilizers.
During the past 50 years researchers have continued to uncover a veritable treasure trove of health-giving properties hidden within seaweed, and because it is full of lipids, proteins, minerals and vitamins that are easy to absorb, more and more leading skin and hair care manufacturers now use seaweed in their product ranges. We began using bladderwrack in skin care almost 25 years ago after learning of its vast range of benefits, although some customers thought it a bit of an odd thing to include back then!
Now it’s easy to see why products containing algae and seaweeds have become so popular, because these miraculous oceanic plants offer protection against the UV radiation which leads to premature skin aging, they help to stimulate both blood and lymph circulation, and provide a rich harvest of nutrients that replenishes, revitalizes and firms the skin.
This makes it the perfect choice when looking for a natural, active botanical ingredient for use in products that is safe and gentle to the skin. Other species of seaweed that provide fantastic benefits to the skin include Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca), and spirolina (Spirulina maxima).
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