Sea Kelp is a nutrient-dense seaweed that has been touted for its skin and hair benefits. Kelp forests are common among the Pacific Coast. Did you know Kelp is one of the fastest-growing organisms on the earth, grows 2 feet a day, and is a floating party island for sea otters plus a superhero for your skin and climate change – making it a sustainable plant.
Other brown seaweeds and Sea Kelp grow in a harsh marine environment. Constantly exposed to the sun and extremely high and low temperatures, they produce specialized compounds to protect themselves against environmental stresses. These compounds make brown seaweeds a potent bioactive ingredient for skin protection and care. There are so many kelp benefits for skin and for the planet. Here’s why we love kelp:
Kelp and other brown seaweeds are great for your skin!
- Vitamin and mineral-rich. Kelp is a source of vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, E, C, K, folate, niacin and calcium, iodine, and magnesium.
- Antioxidant-rich. Inflammation can occur from environmental factors, allergens, and even stress. The high levels of antioxidants in brown seaweeds may combat oxidative stress caused by inflammation and calm the skin.
- Anti-aging. It may help diminish the signs of aging. With age, skin thickness normally increases, and skin elasticity decreases especially in the face. Brown seaweed has shown a decrease in skin thickness and improvement in elasticity.
- Helps protect the skin membrane.
- Promotes skin repair.
- Helps protect from environmental stressors.
- Helps boost the skin’s natural UV protection.
- Moisturizing/hydrating – Studies show that kombu (a brown seaweed popular in Japanese cuisine) has greater hydrating and moisturizing effects than hyaluronic acid. You might be wondering how does it do its moisturizing magic? Scientists think that when kombu extract is applied to the skin, its amino acids and minerals draw water from inside the body to the outermost layer of the skin. It’s also thought that alginate and protein in seaweed attaches to skin proteins to form a protective barrier for both immediate and long-term regulation of moisture loss.
- Promotes a healthier scalp and stronger hair
- Helps stimulate new hair growth
Kelp and other brown seaweeds are great for the planet!
Our favorite antioxidant-rich algae or kelp is also a friend in the fight against climate change. Emerging research shows that seaweed is a quadruple threat when it comes to solving the carbon problem that has been causing the warming of our planet.
- It’s a carbon capture superhero. Giant kelp’s unique structure and tendency to float far into the ocean and sink to depths of thousands of feet allows it to capture and sequester carbon. In fact, 173 million tons of carbon are removed from the atmosphere each year through this natural process. In 2018 we put 32 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. One idea is to farm kelp on a massive scale. If it was done on a big enough scale, it could draw down many billions of tons of carbon dioxide a year. And proponents say it could sustainably produce large amounts of seafood to help feed a growing population. Seaweed farming is much more low maintenance than land agriculture. While we’d have to find space to grow the kelp, it’s not as much of an issue as it is to find land to grow trees. It also grows up to 2 feet a day, making it one of the fastest-growing organisms in the world.
- Fighting those famous cow burps. Livestock farming is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gasses because cows burp out methane which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Adding seaweed to livestock feed reduces methane in cow burps by up to 70%. Hundreds of millions of cows are farmed around the world. Feeding seaweed to livestock isn’t a new idea. Seaweeds have been used as livestock feed for thousands of years.
- Give your garden a natural boost. Organic gardeners know that seaweed is a nutrient-rich replacement for petrochemical fertilizers. In Europe, farmers gathered seaweed washed ashore from beaches to improve nutrient-poor soils until the advent of chemical fertilizers and the increased size of agricultural land.
- Restoring balance to the ocean. Researchers are finding that kelp can effectively absorb CO2 and reduce acidity in the ocean through photosynthesis. CO2 in the atmosphere dissolves directly into seawater, lowering the pH and making it acidic. Scientists say growing kelp in local waters could help mitigate the damaging impacts of acidification on marine life.