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A healthy immune system is at the forefront of everyone's mind. We're stocking our pantries and refrigerators with ginger, tumeric, garlic, and sea moss — all well-known immunity boosters — in an effort to protect ourselves and others from the current spread of COVID-19. And while these ingredients are most acknowledged for they can help on the inside, they also boast some serious skincare properties, and sea moss in skincare in particular, not only helps with hydration, but also does a great job at fighting acne.
You've probably seen a spike in sea moss smoothies and masks on Instagram, but the ancient algae has been used medicinally for centuries, especially in the Caribbean. While its benefits have yet to be extensively researched, it's most known in holistic spaces for aiding in immunity and digestion. More recently, however, experts are discovering that it may be equally as beneficial to the skin. Packed with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties sea moss is filled with magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids that hydrate and support healthy skin cell function.
If you're looking to go the holistic route to aid in breakouts or a dull complexion, or are simply curious about the benefits of the beloved moss, keep scrolling. The experts are raving all about it, and your body will too if you incorporate into your daily routine.
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Sea Moss For Skin: The Benefits
"Sea moss is known for its high vitamin and mineral content, and for its ability to help the skin retain moisture," Dr. Hadley King, MD, FAAD, a New York City-area dermatologist says. "It's non-comedogenic and very hydrating." However, most beneficial is its ability to prevent summer acne, particularly. "It's is rich in sulfur, which has antibacterial properties and may help foster a healthy skin microbiome," King says. "It has an antibacterial effect on propionibacterium, an acne-causing bacteria, and it can help decrease sebum production — making it potentially helpful for those with acne-prone skin." And while our days outside may be reduced, the ingredient is great for fighting environmental effects. "In addition to sulfur, it's also rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K— all ingredients that help hydrate the skin and protect from environmental elements."
Sea Moss For Skin: The Best Form
"A well-formulated product will be more pleasant to use than pure sea moss, and can combine it with other ingredients that help maximize the benefits," King says. "Seaweeds can accumulate toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic, so be aware of the sourcing of the ingredient." And simply because the product claims to be organic and containing sea moss, it doesn't necessarily mean it's true. "Many sea moss products are labeled as organic, however the term organic is loosely being used in skin care," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, FAAD, a New York City-area dermatologist, tells me. "There is no true definition of organic skin care by the FDA. In fact, the term organic is a USDA term that only applies to the foods that we eat. Different companies may have various definitions of the term organic so criteria may vary from product to product. It is unclear whether products with organic sea moss extract are any more effective for any safer than one not labeled as organic."
Sea Moss For Skin: How To Use
Mostly found in masks, moisturizers, and SPFs, sea moss can be easily incorporated into your skincare routine. "It will be beneficial during the night or day, but the antioxidant properties will be particularly helpful during the day, when our skin is exposed to free radicals from UV rays and pollution," King says. And due to its high moisture levels, skin will appear more hydrated almost instantly with use. However, if using sea moss to aid in acne, allowing the skin two to four weeks to see results is key.
If you want to reap even more of the benefits, you can consume it internally for better properties. "It is also a good source of fiber, which can help support a healthy gut microbiome, which also contributes to the health of the skin."
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