The Skin Benefits of Seaweed Plus DIY Skin Care Recipes

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Seaweed and Skin Care

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Seaweed comes in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and tastes. Many people around the world enjoy eating seaweed, and you can find many tasty recipes that utilize this healthy algae. Of course most of us know about sushi, which is one food enjoyed the world over that relies on dried seaweed as a main ingredient.

While some people enjoy eating seaweed, other people love putting seaweed on their skin in order to get the great skin benefits this algae offers. Seaweed can help our skin in many ways.

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The Skin and Health Benefits of Seaweed

Getty Images/Shana Novak. Seaweed Skin Benefits

Seaweed can help our skin from the outside in and from the inside out. If you eat seaweed or use a product containing seaweed you can see lots of skin benefits.

Health Benefits

Seaweed grows in the ocean and is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. It also has lots of iodine, which the average American diet can be lacking in, as well as B vitamins. There has been some research about seaweed that indicates it might help treat type 2 diabetes and can even increase life expectancy. All of these properties can help our skin stay healthy and protect it from outside damage.

Skin Benefits

The same mix of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants that can benefit your body when you eat seaweed can also help your skin when you apply seaweed to it. The antioxidants in seaweed can help prevent free radical damage to the skin and protect against skin aging. In addition, seaweed can moisturize and calm the skin. It is also good at combating acne. You can find seaweed in such products as The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner or Repechage C Serum Seaweed Filtrate Face Serum to apply directly to your skin.

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Seaweed Body Wrap

seaweed body wrap
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A seaweed body wrap is a very popular detoxification treatment in many spas around the world. Seaweed powder is mixed with oils and essential oils to create a mud-like consistency which is then applied to exfoliated skin. You are then wrapped up tight with sheets of seaweed or plastic wrap and left to relax for about 30 minutes. It is thought that the seaweed pulls out the toxins in your body and skin and can aid in general well-being, relieving aches and pains temporarily.

You can easily (but messily) make a seaweed body wrap at home. It's a good idea to exfoliate before you wrap your skin so you get the most benefit out of your wrap and the seaweed can penetrate better.

What You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup seaweed powder 
  • 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite oil (olive, argan, jojoba)
  • 2-4 drops essential oils (optional)
  • Warm water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Towels

Mix together the seaweed powder, oil, and water until your desired consistency. It should be mud like, not watery. After mixing, you can add the essential oil if you would like.

Tip: Seeing you probably don't have a bed like they do at spas, you can either line your bed with plastic, perhaps a cheap shower curtain, to protect your bed or your floor from all the mess, wherever you'd be most comfortable lying for 30 minutes.

Applying to Skin:

Standing over a towel or even in the shower is ideal. Apply mixture to your entire body, from the waist down (it's going to be messy). Once applied, you can wrap areas of your skin with plastic wrap. Having someone help with this will make it easier, especially for the torso. Just do your best — the plastic will stick to the "mud", so it doesn't have to be perfect by any means.

Once wrapped, lie down on a towel and apply another towel on top of you to keep warm. If you have a blanket you don't care much about, feel free to get under the covers to encourage sweating. Sweating can help further detoxify your skin.

Tip: While you rest, consider placing sliced cucumbers over your eyes to reduce puffiness.

After 20 to 30 Minutes:

Remove wrap and take a warm shower to rinse off all of the seaweed "mud."

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Seaweed Face Mask

Seaweed mask
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If a messy body wrap isn't your thing, reduce the above recipe by at least half or even more and make a face mask instead. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.

You can also create a different kind of facial seaweed mask. This recipe comes from XoVain:

What You Will Need:

What to Do:

  • Soak your seaweed sheets in lukewarm water for about 5 seconds until they are soft.
  • Place the sheets all over your face avoiding your eyes.
  • Wait about 15 or 20 minutes.
  • Peel off gently.

Updated by Hanah Tetro