Sea moss is fast becoming popular as a superfood for skin health. Beauty brands today are integrating this all-powerful natural ingredient into their formulations. While it does sound like it can do wonders for your skin, are its benefits backed by research? Can people use it actively in their skin care routine? Here, we further discuss sea moss, its potential benefits, and ways of use. We also look at its side effects you need to be wary of. Read on.
In This Article
What Is Sea Moss?
Sea moss, also known as Irish red seaweed or Irish moss, is a type of red algae. It grows abundantly on the Atlantic shorelines of Ireland, the Caribbean Islands, and North America. High-flying celebrities, including the likes of Kim Kardashian, have endorsed this superfood. Let us deep-dive to understand the benefits this ingredient has for your skin.
Sea Moss: A Glance At Its Overall Benefits
Seaweed demonstrates antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial effects (1). While more research is needed to prove the efficacy of sea moss for skin health, several dermatologists and experts swear by this powerhouse of an ingredient.
Let us understand how this ingredient can help you establish a healthy skincare routine.
- Acts As A Powerful Hydrocolloid: Irish moss traditionally has been valued for its hydrocolloid composition (2). Hydrocolloids help retain healing fluids over the wound to protect it from the outside environment.
- Helps Treat Acne: Experts claim that the high sulfur content of sea moss may help lower excess sebum production on the skin. The antibacterial properties of sea moss may also help treat acne. However, more research is warranted in this regard.
- Hydrates Skin: Irish moss is non-comedogenic. It contains 15 of the 18 essential elements that make up the human body – including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K (3). It also contains vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients hydrate skin and aid healthy skin cell functioning (4). They may also offer anti-aging benefits, prevent winter dryness, and protect the skin from the damaging effects of the environment. Sea moss is also thought to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, though more research is needed to support this claim.
- Lowers Skin Inflammation: The vitamin A and omega-3s in sea moss may help fight skin inflammation.
These are the various skin benefits of sea moss. But how can you use it on your skin?
How To Use Sea Moss On Skin
You can use this ingredient in two ways:
- As Food: You can ingest sea moss as a pill/powder/gel. Speak to your doctor prior to understand the right dosage, frequency, etc. based on your current health condition and body type. Sea moss, by itself, has no taste. You can use it as a gel in soups, smoothies, or desserts.
- As An External Product: Sea moss is increasingly being used in body lotions, facial masks, powders, and pills. Speak to your dermatologist to understand which product with sea moss would best suit your skin.
Before you start using sea moss, it is important to be aware of its side effects.
Sea Moss Side Effects
- Sea moss is high in iodine. Hence, consuming it in excess can be harmful for those with autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease (5). Excess iodine ingestion can also cause goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), thyroid gland inflammation, and thyroid cancer (5). Additionally, you might experience other side effects such as burning of the mouth, fever, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- One gram of seaweed can contain 16 to 2,984 mcg of iodine (5). Ensure you read the nutrition labels of the product before purchase.
- Stop sea moss intake if you experience an itchy throat or nausea. These symptoms can mean you are allergic to the ingredient.
- Perform a patch test before using sea moss in a face mask or as a topical cream. Watch out for signs of irritation, redness, burning, stinging, etc.
- Sea moss is high in natural fiber and may have laxative effects. Consume it with caution.
- Ensure you purchase high quality sea moss. Seaweeds are generally known to accumulate toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, and lead – and these can be harmful to your body. Speak to your dermatologist/doctor and ask for specific product recommendations.
Sea moss has emerged as a ‘superfood’ that protects the skin from free radicals and acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. It also aids skin cell regeneration and hydrates parched skin.
While there is no conclusive research on the skin benefits of this powerful natural ingredient, experts suggest to use it under professional guidance. You can use it in a variety of forms such as face masks, lotions, pills, powders, etc. Speak to your dermatologist and integrate sea moss into your skincare routine like a pro.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should you leave sea moss on your face?
You will need to use sea moss consistently over several weeks to see the desirable results. The duration you must leave it in your face depends on your particular skin requirement. Speak to your dermatologist for better clarity in this regard.
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