ALL ABOUT SEAWEED POWDER: BEAUTY SECRETS FROM THE SEA
- Seaweed Powder is obtained from a type of brown algae called Ascophyllum nodosum, also known as kelp or rockweed.
- Seaweed benefits include emollient and purifying properties due to a rich blend of nutrients including Vitamins B12 and E, amino acids, iodine, and phenols.
- Used in skincare, Seaweed Powder is ideally suited for rejuvenating skincare blends and especially beneficial for oily, acne-prone skin.
- Used in hair care, Seaweed Powder is well suited for products that enhance volume.
- Popular uses of Seaweed Powder include detoxifying baths and spa treatments, moisturizing creams and lotions, exfoliating soaps and scrubs, and cleansing, conditioning hair masks.
WHAT IS SEAWEED POWDER?
Seaweed Powder is a fine and strongly pungent olive-green powder obtained from dried Ascophyllum nodosum, a type of intertidal brown algae. Commonly known as kelp, rockweed, or as knotted wrack, knobbed wrack, or bladder wrack, this seaweed is found along the northwestern coast of Europe and the northern Atlantic coast of North America.
Kelp is characterized by a body of long flat fronds with attached vesicles – or air bladders – that create the buoyancy necessary for exposure to sunlight. The blades and stems of kelp grow in a bushy, sheet-like structure. Characteristic of brown algae, kelp grows on hard surfaces, attaching its holdfasts (root bundle-like structures) to such solid structures as rocks, shells, and dock pilings. On average, it grows about 50-77 cm, but it can grow longer in areas with less wave activity, as waves can cause it to break.
Kelp plays a crucial role in its native ecosystems; its fronds create a sheltered habitat for small aquatic organisms, and it provides an important food source for many species. A photosynthesizer that uses aquatic carbon dioxide in its food production and produces oxygen as a byproduct, kelp also helps maintain water quality by regulating acidity levels.
On land, kelp is a valuable resource for a thriving maritime economy. For centuries it has been used as a fertilizer, mulch, and soil conditioner, and there is still much demand for this application. For this reason, kelp is one of the most widely researched species of brown algae and is often used to enhance the growth of agricultural and horticultural plants in industrial and commercial settings. It can be added directly to gardens as fertilizer or mulch, or its growth-promoting compounds can be extracted to produce a liquid crop spray.
In addition to stimulating plant growth, kelp can be processed and made into kelp meal, which is then used as a nutritious additive in feed for pets and livestock. Perhaps the most versatile use of kelp, however, lies in its chemical constituents. When exposed to a process of chemical extraction, it produces compounds called alginates, which have similar properties to carrageenan; like carrageenan, alginates can be used as a thickening, gelling, and stabilizing agents in a plethora of commercial products including foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and paints.
In the beauty industry, the powdered essence of kelp is known as a highly beneficial ingredient with a host of positive attributes for skin and hair. As a common addition to natural body care products and vegan blends, Seaweed Powder is easily absorbed and endows formulations with deep hydrating properties. Finding frequent use as a thickening agent, it affords a fuller body to many blends, with additional exfoliating action due to its somewhat sandy texture. Revered for its rich wealth of vitamins and minerals, it is a highly valued ingredient in rejuvenating formulations that bolster healthy and energetic-looking skin. It is also often found in detoxifying bath and spa products, as well as in hair care products that help maintain body and bounce.
HOW DOES SEAWEED POWDER WORK?
Seaweed Powder boasts a variety of uses in natural beauty products, both to bolster the integrity of the blends themselves, and to enhance their beneficial properties. Used in emulsifications, it acts as a binding agent to help stabilize the formulation and enhance its texture. This is particularly beneficial for creams and lotions, shampoos and conditioners, butter, serums, and gels.
When applied to the skin, Seaweed Powder has a strong purifying influence, helping to draw out the impurities that have accumulated, and leaving the skin feeling refreshed and renewed. This makes it an excellent addition to products such as masks and body wraps for a deep cleanse. It also acts as a gentle exfoliator in facial or body scrubs, helping to slough off dead skin cells and enhance the underlying skin's appearance with a healthy glow. While suitable for all skin types, Seaweed Powder is known to help balance oily skin, which makes it especially well-suited for acne-prone skin.
Seaweed Powder also possesses emollient properties that make it a fitting addition to products intended to help manage skin that has become chapped, cracked, or rough from excessive dryness. Due to its rich concentration of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, it has a soothing touch that pampers the skin while working to restore its soft texture and supple appearance.
The versatility of Seaweed Powder makes it a highly valuable ingredient in natural beauty and body care. Along with its wide range of applications, it offers a host of benefits that are just as diverse and impressive!
Seaweed benefits for beauty are abundant. This powder is loaded with beneficial compounds that feed skin and hair with the wholesome and hydrating essence of the ocean. Composed of a rich blend of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, phenolics, and bioactive peptides among other compounds, Seaweed Powder offers rich moisturizing properties and a powerfully detoxifying nature.
Swimming in moisturizing elements, including Vitamins B12 and E, Seaweed Powder is a wonderful addition to a wide range of beauty blends. Vitamin B12 is known for its applications in rejuvenating formulations to promote smooth, robust, and energetic-looking skin, and in hair care formulations to boost bounce. Vitamin E is known as a powerful emollient that helps condition the skin and hair to promote a soft, silky texture. Seaweed Powder is also rich in iodine, a mineral that is known to help regulate moisture levels and that is also known for its disinfectant properties.
In combination with the cleansing touch of iodine, phenolic compounds are known antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental stressors to maintain a fresh and spirited glow. They are also known to add value to rejuvenating products, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and to promote an even complexion. Amino acids also act as antioxidants to help fortify the skin against toxins and pollutants. Common ingredients in formulations that promote taut skin and that help manage damaged hair, they are also excellent hydrators that contribute to smooth, supple-looking skin and strong, healthy-looking hair.
Seaweed Powder has a calm and soothing character, which makes it suitable for use on all skin types. As such, it can be applied in many different blends for different purposes. The purifying value of Seaweed Powder makes it especially beneficial for use on acne-prone skin to help balance excess oil and reduce the appearance of blemishes. With its gentle exfoliating action and potent detoxifying elements, it helps to unclog blocked pores while conditioning and toning the skin to promote a clean and healthy-looking complexion.
APPLICATIONS OF SEAWEED POWDER
Seaweed Powder can be used in a variety of beauty applications to cleanse and condition skin and hair. Explore the many benefits Seaweed Powder has to offer with the following do-it-yourself ideas!
Lotions and Creams
Seaweed Powder adds textural integrity to lotions and creams, helping to thicken them in addition to contributing its own moisturizing properties. To make a simple, but powerfully protective and hydrating formulation, combine two tablespoons of powder with a cup of a natural base such as coconut oil or shea butter. Beeswax can be added to further enhance texture and a few drops of your favorite essential oils can be added for fragrance if desired. A small amount of Vitamin E oil can be added as a preservative to make a longer-lasting formulation. For a base blend that is already formulated and preserved, our all-natural Premium Cream Base is a great foundation that mixes well with many raw materials and essential oils. If using Premium Cream Base, it is recommended that additives not exceed 1% of the total volume, to maintain the product's stability.
The purifying properties of Seaweed Powder are naturally suited to luxurious spa treatments to help balance the skin's tone and texture. For a refreshing face mask to draw out toxins and replace them with fortifying vitamins and minerals, combine 1 tablespoon of Seaweed Powder with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to form a paste. Apply to face and leave on for 10 minutes before washing off with warm water. If desired, floral water of aloe vera gel juice can be used in the place of water.
For a calming, cleansing body wrap, combine half a cup of Seaweed Powder with 3 tablespoons of jojoba oil and 2 drops of lavender oil. Slowly add a fluid base – either water, floral water, or aloe vera gel juice – and stir until the mixture forms a paste. Apply to the body and cover with plastic wrap. Leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
A fine exfoliating agent, Seaweed Powder adds a polishing finish to a body scrub for smooth, shining skin. For a simple recipe, combine 2 tablespoons of Seaweed Powder with 2 tablespoons each of Himalayan Pink Salt and a carrier oil of your choice. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil for scent. In the shower, massage gently all over the body and rinse with warm water.
Seaweed Detox Bath
Give yourself the full mermaid treatment with a rich cleansing soak in a bath full of sea minerals. Used in bath powders and bath bombs, Seaweed Powder turns your tub into a languid lagoon. Simply pouring a quarter of a cup of Seaweed Powder into a warm bath will produce a soothing, detoxifying soak. If desired, you can mix the powder with some carrier oil for easier solubility and add a few drops of essential oil to enhance the scent.
To make a seaweed-rich bath bomb, combine half a cup of Seaweed Powder with two cups of baking soda, 1 cup of citric acid powder, 1 cup of arrowroot powder, and half a cup of bath salts in a mixing bowl. In a separate jar, combine two tablespoons of botanical oil or butter as a carrier solution and 10-20 drops of essential oil for fragrance, as well as any coloring agents you may want to use. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a mold and once stable, place on a tray to dry for 24-48 hours. Completed bath bombs can be stored in an airtight glass jar.
Added to soaps, Seaweed Powder lends a lightly exfoliating action for brightly buffed skin. You can create your own soap at home using one of our many Melt and Pour Soap Bases. Simply melt the base down, mix in Seaweed Powder and let the mixture cool to resolidify. New Directions Aromatics offers a variety of vegetable-based Melt and Pour Soap Bases containing naturally fragrant materials and botanical oils for an exquisitely satiny consistency. NDA also offers a range of Nature Tint Colors to suit your aesthetic preferences. Have a look through our selection to find the best base for you.
Hair Care Products
In haircare, Seaweed Powder can be added to shampoos or conditioners to enhance cleansing and hydrating properties. It can also be used as a mask to help manage excess oil and promote a healthy appearance for dull-looking or damaged hair. For a simple cleansing and conditioning hair mask, combine a few tablespoons of Seaweed Powder with water to make a paste. After washing hair or rinsing with warm water, dry slightly with a towel and then massage the mixture into the hair. Cover with a cap and leave in for 10-20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. This mask will help enhance the texture and volume of the hair, once dried. If desired, a small amount of essential oil can be added for fragrance.
In addition to the ideas mentioned, Seaweed Powder is known to mix well with a wide range of ingredients. Some of these include matcha powder, charcoal, honey, lemon, clay, and ginger, as well as a variety of essential oils and carrier oils. Take some time to browse our product pages to explore the many options for beauty synergy with the essence of the sea!
Have the secrets of the sea stirred your interest in other elemental beauty materials? For more information on the uses and benefits of popular Raw Materials in cosmetics, check out our articles on Arrowroot Powder, Guar Gum, Silk Raw Materials, and Zinc Oxide. Browse our product pages and discover the magic of Raw Materials for your needs and preferences.
SEAWEED POWDER SIDE EFFECTS
Seaweed Powder is generally safe for use on all skin types, however, there is still potential for side effects such as irritation or allergic reaction from the use of this product due to different individual needs and sensitivities. It is recommended for those who have an iodine allergy to avoid using Seaweed Powder. A physician should be consulted prior to using this product for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for those with a pre-existing medical condition, particularly a skin condition.
To minimize the risk of an adverse reaction, it is recommended to conduct a skin test prior to using Seaweed Powder. To conduct the test, melt 1 teaspoon of Seaweed Powder in 1ml of carrier oil and apply a dime-sized amount of the blend to a small area of skin that is not known to be sensitive. In the event of an adverse reaction, discontinue use of the product and seek remedial action with a health care practitioner.
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Seaweed Powder is for external use only and is not meant to be ingested. When handling seaweed powder, take care not to avoid unnecessary or excessive inhalation. As this product has a strong odor that some may find unpleasant, it is recommended to test before using it.
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