Sea Moss Is Good In Smoothies, But It's Also Great for Your Skin

The trending superfood can treat a handful of skin concerns.

Someone applying sea moss skincare on their face
Photo: Getty Images

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 benefits 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, 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 few 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, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Garden City, New York. "The high sulfur content can also decrease the excessive sebum production 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 your dermatologist is always the safest 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 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 are a few of our favorite skincare products formulated with sea moss.

Shop Sea Moss Skincare Products

Lush Breath of Fresh Air

Lush Breath of Fresh Air product shot.

This refreshing pick-me-up soothes and cleanses the 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 seawater, aloe vera gel, and rose absolute.

To shop: $13;

Sonya Dakar Omega Polish and Activator Duo

Sonya Dakar Omega Polish and Activator Duo product shot.

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 transform into a gentle paste that also acts as a mask and peel.

To shop: $88;

Tata Harper Crème Riche Anti-Aging Peptide Night Cream

Creme Riche Velvet Moisturizing Cream product shot.

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: $230;

Osea Red Algae Mask

Osea Red Algae Mask product shot.

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;

Serumkind Iceland Moss Drop

Serumkind Iceland Moss Drop product shot.

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 of drops.

To shop: $49;

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