The trending superfood can treat a handful of skin concerns.

By Erin Lukas
Feb 03, 2021 @ 9:30 am
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Sea moss, also commonly known as Irish moss, is having a moment. While wellness enthusiasts are fans of adding the superfood to their smoothies for decades, it's also becoming an increasingly popular skincare ingredient.

Thanks to the high vitamin and mineral content of sea moss, it has benefits both when ingested or applied topically. According to Spate's January 2021 Top Rising Ingredients Report, searches for sea moss have seen 207.7% steady growth over the past couple of years.

While many people are catching on to this ingredient in 2021, sea moss gel is used in traditional drinks and food in the Caribbean and Ireland. It's also historically been used in other cultures as a remedy for everything from coughs to low libido.

Keep reading for a complete low down on sea moss, including its skincare benefits and how to incorporate it into your routine.

What Are the Skincare Benefits of Sea Moss?

Derived from red algae, sea moss hosts a handful of benefits for the skin, making it somewhat of a skincare powerhouse. Since it's high in minerals and vitamins, it can be soothing for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Sea moss can also be useful to people who suffer from acne or oily skin. "Due to a high sulfur content, sea moss has antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial functions, and it is therefore believed to help with balancing the skin microbiome," says Dr. Karen Hammerman, dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Garden City, NY. "The high sulfur content can also decrease the excessive production of sebum in the skin. Together with the antibacterial effect on P. Acnes bacteria [which causes acne], it may help reduce the severity of acne in people who suffer from this condition."

Additionally, sea moss can minimize signs of aging and the elements, like winter dryness for example. "Sea moss may also help reduce wrinkles, hydrate the skin and protect from environmental elements because it contains essential elements that make up the human body, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K," Dr. Hammerman adds.

What Skin Types Can Use Sea Moss?

Doing a patch test or consulting with your dermatologist is always the safest course of action before trying any new product. That being said, Dr. Hammerman says sensitive skin types may experience some irritation from sea moss — especially if you're attempting a DIY product like a mask.

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Is It Safe to Make Your Own Sea Moss Products?

Speaking of homemade remedies, save yourself the time and mess. It's better to experience sea moss in a professional, pre-made formula, because the ingredient will be quality sourced.

"Seaweeds can accumulate toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic so sourcing of the ingredient matters," Dr. Hammerman says.

It's also important to note that if "organic" is on the label, it doesn't necessarily mean the product is better than other options. "Many sea moss products are labeled as organic, however this term is used very loosely in skincare as the FDA has not defined it regarding topical products," she explains.  "It is unclear whether products with organic sea moss extract are any more effective or any safer than one not labeled as organic."

The dermatologist says that rather than use pure sea moss, look for a well-formulated product that combines it with other ingredients to get the maximum benefits and optimal results.

Below, a few of our favorite skincare products formulated with sea moss.

Shop Sea Moss Skincare Products

Lush Breath of Fresh Air

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This refreshing pick-me-up soothes and cleanses skin, whether you use it as a mid-day mist or a toner. Along with sea moss, Lush has infused it with a blend of sea-inspired ingredients, including sea water, aloe vera gel, and rose absolute.

To shop: $11; lushusa.com

Sonya Dakar Omega Polish and Activator Duo

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Sonya Dakar's two-step treatment covers both physical and chemical exfoliation in any routine. When mixed with the gel, the polish's micro-ground flax, oats, rice, and other grains transforms into a gentle paste that also acts as a mask and peel.

To shop: $88; sonyadakar.com

Tata Harper Crème Riche Anti-Aging Peptide Night Cream

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This thick cream is the ideal addition to winter nighttime skincare routines. It offers extreme hydration and promotes the production of skin's own moisturizers, plus treats visible signs of aging.

To shop: $195; sephora.com

Osea Red Algae Mask

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Red algae (where sea moss comes from) is the star of Osea's multitasking face mask, which draws excess oil and impurities from the skin, while simultaneously strengthening the barrier to prevent dryness.

To shop: $48; credobeauty.com

Serumkind Iceland Moss Drop

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Also known as Iceland moss, this sea moss-powered serum replenishes and soothes dry, irritated skin. Add it to your skincare routine for an extra layer of hydration or boost your favorite moisturizer with a couple drops.

To shop: $48; verishop.com