Sea moss also known as Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) is a red algae that grows on rocks in deep oceans. It grows on the Atlantic shorelines of Ireland, North America and also in the Caribbean Islands. People in Ireland are known to eat dried sea moss in salad dating back to the Irish potato famine in the 19th century.
İrish moss is known to contain 15 essential elements, or over 80% of essential elements that form the human body (including calcium, zinc, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin K).
It also contains vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids that benefits the skin and body health.
Sea moss is also known to improve gut health, thanks to its significant amount of carrageenan (polysaccharides).
The precise skin effect of sea moss can vary because the sea moss’ nutrients levels can vary between different types of this algae and its harvest locations.
However, there are common benefits of this irish moss to the skin.
1) Moisturising benefits
On topical application, algae is known to be even a better humectant compared to hyaluronic acid.
Sea Moss contains carrageenan (polysaccharides) that forms a protective layer and helps the skin to retain moisture.
When sea moss is used topically, it can improve the transepidermal water loss (TEWL) of the skin. TEWL indicates the water that goes from the dermis (the middle layer of the skin) through the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) and then evaporates into the air.
Sea moss naturally contains calcium and potassium which can help improve the TEWL of the skin according to this study.
If a hydrated looking skin is wanted, it is necessary that the TEWL is as little as possible. Sea moss can help with that.
– Sea moss is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which also helps hydrating the skin without clogging pores.
2) Anti-inflammatory benefits
– Sea moss has a high concentration of sulfur and zinc and also vitamin A and omega-3, which leads to anti-inflammatory benefits.
It can benefit inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema.
3) Antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial benefits
Sea moss is rich in sulfur and carrageenans (polysaccharides), which gives it antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial benefits. It also helps balance the skin microbiome.
4) Can help with acne
Sulfur present in sea moss can also help balance oil production in the skin that can help with acne conditions.
Plus, due to sulfur’s and the carrageenans’ (polysaccharides) antibacterial effect on P. Acnes bacteria (the bacteria that causes acne) it can help reduce acne problems.
5) Helps to strengthen the skin barrier
Sea moss forms a protective layer over the epidermis which is similar to the skin’s own proteins. Plus, it contains calcium and potassium, which all help the skin to combat environmental stressors and strengthen the skin barrier according to these studies
6) Noncomedogenic benefits
Sea moss, on top of its moisturising benefits it is also known to be noncomedogenic.
7) Anti-aging benefits
– Sea moss contains vitamin A that has anti-aging benefits according to this study.
– provides deep hydration
Sea moss naturally contains calcium and potassium which can help improve the TEWL of the skin according to this study, which also make the skin look more youthful by preventing premature aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles.
-protect collagen in the body
Thank to vitamin K present in sea moss, it can protect the collagen in the body (collagen being an essential protein essential for a youthful look)
– Protects against free radicals
Sea moss naturally contains vitamin A , that help to protect the skin against free radical damage (free radicals are atoms that can damage skin cells by disrupting their DNA and can lead to premature signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles).
Using seaweed in your skincare can help protect your skin against free radicals’ damage and can help keep your skin look younger.
Always patch test on your wrist before trying any new product. Watch out for any irritation.
If you have sensitive skin, sea moss can cause mild irritation to your skin especially if used from a DIY mask.
Using a cream/serum containing sea moss in the ingredients’ list is recommended by dermatologists compared to applying the algae directly to the skin.
Consuming/applying large quantities of seaweed can have its adverse effects because it accumulates heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, iodine.
It can lead to itchy throat, fever, burning of the mouth, nausea and vomiting.
Always consult your own doctor before applying/consuming it.
This content does NOT provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult your own doctor for more information.