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OZN™ Journal

Secret Skin Weapons from The Sea

by Angela Irish 01 Dec 2016

What are a few things that come to mind when thinking of seaweed? Do thoughts of a fresh rainbow sushi roll pop in your head? Perhaps you think of the plants that tickle your toes while taking a dip in the ocean? Although these common associations are correct, algae and seaweed also have an abundance of natural properties that are highly beneficial to your health and skin. After learning about algae’s rich vitamins, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties, you may think about algae and sea kelp in a new light.

Algae, sea kelp, seaweed… what are all of these organisms? Algae is a conversational term that we use to encompass a vast group of aquatic organisms with the ability to photosynthesize and produce oxygen. Algae can range everywhere from the smallest microscopic organisms (microalgae) to massive, towering kelp forests (macroalgae). Algae’s diverse range of sub-species is host to a plethora of naturally occurring elements that can do wonders for the body and skin.

Beneficial Properties of Algae & Sea Kelp

While there is a broad spectrum of algae benefits, one of the most notable is its ability to lock in moisture. To keep your skin feeling as refreshed and hydrated as if you just took a plunge into the ocean, take a look at algae’s spectacular moisturizing properties. Algae extract is known to possess restorative amino acids along with Vitamins A, C, and E, which aid in keeping the skin’s moisture balanced. Additionally, the poly galactosides and ursolic acid derived from certain types of algae work with the skin’s protective outer surface to further guard the skin and lock in moisture. By reinforcing the skin’s existing barrier layer, water and moisture are naturally retained.

One of algae’s more soothing properties is its capacity to act as an anti-inflammatory. Think of algae’s fatty acids as taking a dip in a refreshing pool after a hot day. Various types of algae, including microalgae found everywhere from the depths of the ocean to large brown kelp, have been found to have anti-inflammatory qualities. The sea kelp extract works to soothe inflamed skin through the use of its naturally occurring fatty acids. These fatty acids calm the skin, holistically reducing unwanted puffiness and inflammation.

Another buzzword you will frequently hear when uncovering the valuable properties that algae has to offer is “antioxidant.” We regularly hear that antioxidants are critical to our health, but it is important to understand how they work to fully grasp how crucial they are to our skin and overall health. Both internally and externally, our bodies come into contact with damaging molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules, which make them highly reactive and dangerous, leading to oxidation. Even though you cannot always see the visible signs of oxidation on your skin and throughout your body, you have seen it plenty of times in everyday life. Remember the other half of the banana you accidentally left out after breakfast? Hours later, you come back to find it is brown due to cell damage caused by free radicals. Essentially the same oxidation process takes place with the skin, which is why it is key to provide your body with antioxidants to prevent cell dysfunction. As antioxidants do their job, fighting against the free radicals, they get depleted and must be replenished. Luckily, there is an abundance of highly nutritious super foods and organisms such as algae and sea kelp that can provide this boost of antioxidant rejuvenation.

Due to its natural function and survival instincts, microalgae has powerful regenerative properties that allow it to thrive in even the harshest environments. Biotechnology research has found that one of the algae’s components that allow it to thrive despite its living conditions is Alguronic acid. This secret weapon found in microalgae is a polysaccharide, which can increase cell turnover, helping to regenerate damaged skin cells. Alguronic acid has been found to aid in both cell protection and reproduction.

Also, sea kelp benefits the body and skin by delivering a dose of restorative amino acids. Your body needs protein to do a number of normal functions such as producing new muscle tissue. There are numerous types of proteins and one that highly impacts the skin is collagen. However, proteins cannot produce without an adequate amount of available amino acids.  Tapping into algae and sea kelp extract for an extra dose of amino acids is a wonderful way to ensure that your proteins provide the building blocks they need to keep your body and skin healthy.

When trying to boost your Vitamin C intake, one might immediately reach for the bottle of orange juice, but seaweed has been found to have more Vitamin C than an orange. The list of Vitamin C’s benefits for your health is seemingly endless. From immune system support to helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Vitamin C can help your health in a number of ways. The same also can be said for the skin. Vitamin C has been known to keep your skin feeling as hydrated as seaweed fresh from the ocean. Vitamin C increases the production of barrier lipids, keeping moisture locked in. Among other things, Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid with potent antioxidant properties. In addition to limiting the harmful effects of oxidation, Vitamin C has also been shown to help reduce damage caused by ultraviolet light. Of course, it is not a substitute for sunscreen, but an extra dose of protection against the harmful side effects of UV light is always a good one. Next time you feel like you need to up your Vitamin C intake, consider reaching for seaweed or algae extract-enriched products.

In addition to Vitamin C, Sea Kelp is also rich with nutrients such as iodine, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, and calcium. The list does not stop with these nutrient-rich minerals. Just to name a few, sea kelp is breaking the super food charts with Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E. In total, kelp has been found to carry 46 minerals, 11, micronutrients, and 16 amino acids. The amount of naturally occurring elements is overwhelming, begging the question—how can I utilize sea kelp in my everyday life to reap the benefits?

Integrating Algae & Sea Kelp into Your Life

With this laundry list of health benefits, it comes as no surprise algae and kelp have been utilized since ancient times. There are a vast number of ways that you can integrate algae and sea kelp into your daily routine to tap into its health and skin benefits. From topical application to a tasty snack, seaweed is a versatile plant that might be your next secret weapon!

OZNaturals carries a number of products that tap into one of nature’s best moisturizers. For daily use, try our Sea Infused Herbal Moisturizer, which is safe for all skin types. The moisturizer is rich with algae extract as well as giant sea kelp extract, delivering an abundance of hydrating benefits. If you feel that your skin needs a bit of extra help restoring its dewy radiance, try utilizing an algae enhanced facial mask. OZNaturals has formulated a hydrating mask that is natural, yet effective. The Vitamin C + Sea Hydration Mask is comprised of Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B5, Spirulina (algae) extract, and giant sea kelp extract. This mask can be used two to three times a week to deliver the sea’s hydrating power to tired, dry skin.

Another one of algae’s key properties is its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory. When experiencing unwanted puffiness around the eyes and face, enlist algae to help combat this issue. In addition to utilizing algae in moisturizers, OZNaturals has integrated it into a daily cleanser, safe for all skin types. Gently wash away impurities while simultaneously soothing the skin with our Ocean Mineral Facial Cleanser. This cleanser is comprised of therapeutic elements such as Spirulina (algae) extract, giant sea kelp extract, and a proprietary concentrate of over 92 ocean minerals to cleanse the skin while reducing inflammation. For an on-the-go boost, try OZNaturals Ocean Mineral Tonic. Rich with algae extract, this tonic can help ease the signs of puffy skin both at home during your regular skincare routine and throughout the day.

Although aging is inevitable, you’re able to lessen the signs of aging by tapping into the restorative resources that algae and sea kelp have to offer. The potent antioxidants found in seaweed can help reduce signs of aging by fighting against free radicals and oxidation. When the skin is exposed to free radicals, cell damage occurs, breaking down collagen and elastin. When these are broken down, the skin can sag, increasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants are in vitamins such as Vitamin C and E, which are abundant in sea kelp and algae. Try integrating algae extract enhanced facial cleanser and moisturizer into your daily routine to take advantage of the anti-aging characteristics of antioxidants.

By utilizing products with algae extract, you can help your skin fight the signs of aging with Alguronic acid. This unique substance found in algae increases cell turnover, which in turn, leads to fresher looking skin. With age, the skin does not generate new cells and shed dead skin cells at the same rate as before. Therefore, by accessing algae’s Alguronic acid, you can help give your skin a regenerative boost. To aid in revealing younger, more vibrant looking skin, integrate algae rich skincare products such as OZNatural’s daily Ocean Mineral Facial Cleanser as well as the Vitamin C + Sea Hydration Mask.

Amino acids are also responsible for helping keep skin feeling its best, and algae are loaded with these handy helpers. Amino acids are necessary to the production of proteins, which help keep the skin tight and lifted. One of the most prominent amino acids is creatine because it aids in the production of collagen. Collagen is what keeps the skin firm, so when this is lost, signs of aging become more apparent. By integrating algae rich products into your skincare routine, you can help deliver a boost of collagen to tired skin.

In addition to at-home products, some choose to access algae’s benefits through a seaweed body wrap at the spa. Professionals spread a seaweed-based paste over the entire body before being wrapped in a hot towel. These wraps are thought to deliver similar moisturizing and regenerative results, in addition to the detoxifying effect of being wrapped in a hot towel. Seaweed wraps have gained popularity in a multitude of resorts and spas due to algae’s increasingly renowned properties. Although going to the spa is a nice, relaxing treat, try an at-home Vitamin C + Sea Mask to access algae’s benefits without spa prices.

Algae and kelp extract can help keep your skin hydrated, reduce inflammation, lessen signs of aging and keep your skin happy and healthy with a balance of essential vitamins and minerals. Kelp is giving kale a run for its money in the field of super foods, so it comes as no surprise that it holds a variety of benefits for the skin as well. From daily moisturizers and cleansers to hydrating masks and toners, there are a variety of natural products and ingredients available that can help harness the ocean’s rejuvenating properties and bring them to your skin. Try integrating algae and sea kelp products into your routine for a natural way to help improve your skin’s appearance and health.
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