Marine Mask Magic: even the colour of this vibrant Dr Dennis Gross mask makes you feel energised in minutes!
Work a little oceanic marine power into your beauty ritual to help repair, heal and soothe skin.
Beauty trends may come and go, but the current obsession with all things aquatic has been around for centuries. Deeply therapeutic, marine ingredients help repair, heal and soothe skin thanks to anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. There’s a natural synergy. In nature, seawater and our own blood plasma are nearly identical in chemical composition, in mineral and trace elements. Add to that the natural osmotic effect of the skin when we’re in seawater, allowing the transdermal free-flow of minerals to boost our skin and body; it kinda makes marine the most naturally holistic ingredient to any beautifier there is don’t you think?
Some brands, like Thalgo, Phytomer and La Mer are established fans. But new harvesting techno:logy is making marine algae more readily available and sustainable, so you can expect to see a lot more seaweed in skin care to months to come.
- Starting with RENergy Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium body collection, a energising boost of sea kelp and other seaweeds derived from the West Ireland coastline.
- Estee Lauder Nutritious Micronised Algae skin wellness collection with cold-processed nutrient-dense algae for the cleanest pores you’ll ever see.
- Living Sea Therapy collection harnesses seaweed and sea minerals right out of the Cornish coast.
“Different varieties of seaweeds each deliver their unique properties and contribute to the success of the end formulation,” says Noella Gabriel, Elemis’ director of product and treatment development.”Marine algae are rich in minerals and trace elements and offer maximum skin benefits. For ageing skins, seaweeds are key; particularly brown algae as this has a strong connection with the skin’s collagen and elastin production.”
Fancy a dip? I vow there are a few little deep sea treasures here to discover and easy ways to work it into your regime…
Great for times when your body feels jaded and stressed, a mineral-rich seaweed mud wrap perks up a lazy lymphatic system. It involves being slathered in an algae mud, usually icy cold to encourage the body to perspire more once wrapped in a layer of foil or plastic, as this helps flush toxins out through the skin. And, oh my, the feel of your skin at then end is just second to none.
+ CONTINENTAL STYLE At Espace Chenot Wellness Spa, L’Albereta Relais & Chateau on Lake Iseo in Erbusco, the Chenot Phyto-Fango Detox Therapy, involves a vigorous scrub, hydrotherapy bath and then your entire body being coated in freshly mixed algae, mummified and laying on a warm chromotherapy bed that encourages perspiration (the ultimate goal of any good detox treatment as perspiration is the key to a great lymph and immune system). My dry skin felt amazing for days afterwards, and it definitely put me back on the path to a better summer body regime. Try a 3-day or 7-day spa package at chenot.com.
+ BRIT STYLE At the House of Elemis, the TTT Targeted Toning Tightener, £130 for 90 minutes, is possibly the neatest algae mud wrap I’ve ever known. A multi-layered treatment that combines salts, minerals and seaweeds, a serious dry body brushing is followed by a firm lymphatic massage, then an icy cool algae mud mask is painted onto thighs and upper arms, drying to a neat, peel-off mask so there’s no need to shower off unlike most. My skin was super smooth afterwards, and the most relaxed I’ve ever felt after a wrap. Love this London Day Spa – great to go with a chum or daughters.
Like no other bath, a thalassotherapy bath (from the Greek thalasso meaning ‘sea’ and therapia meaning ‘treatment’) uses mineral salts identical to those in seawater, to help rebalance the body as a whole, and is believed to help relieve joint and muscle aches and pains, including arthritis. I believe it – I’ve visited many spas across Europe and experienced many different treatments. Back home,
IN SPA Dip into a seaweed session with a Voya Detoxifying Seaweed Bath, voyaseaweedbaths.com to ‘book a bath’, that combines an initial steam treatment with a skin-loving algae bath, using hand-harvested seaweed from the Irish coast, that can also relax and soothe muscles too.
AT HOME Have a vitality bath by adding a hefty sprinkle of salts to your bathwater. For me it’s a nighttime thing: totally love the soporific blue of Kneipp Sweet Dreams Valerian and Hops Mineral Bath Salts, £8.95 at cultbeauty.co.uk), or try Westlab Pure Mineral Bathing Dead Sea Salt, £14.99 for 1kg, 100% dead sea salts designed to soothe aches and pains, plus boost the body’s whole detoxification and elimination process if you’ve a tendency to retain fluid. Add a capful of REN Atlantic Kelp and Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Bath Oil, £26, too, which features seaweed oil to moisturise, relax and detox a bit more. I say if it helps, chuck it in!
SCRUB DEEP DOWN Favourite pre-soak scrubs, worth having for their smell if nothing else, and great in-shower too: Voya Effervescence Nourishing Sugar Scrub, £34, with Irish seaweed, rosemary and lavender essential oils; the super spa aroma of Collistar Talasso-Scrub Revitalizing Exfoliating Salts, £21.90, though it’s a heavy jar that I wouldn’t take in the shower; the yummy yet super affordable Soaper Duper Ginger & Sea Salt Body Scrub, £7.50; or all-time fave Bliss Spa All-Over Sea Salt Body Scrub, £30.50, that’s spiked with mind-altering eucalyptus and rosemary – i.e. it wakes me up top-to-toe.
Sip it, I’m talking fishy, marine-based collagen here! Collagen is crucial to the bounce and beauty of our skin, responsible for its strength and resilience as well as its smooth, plump appearance. And if you bear in mind that by the age of 20 our own supply is already in decline, only imagine by 50 we’ve lost over half our collagen reserves! So I don’t know about you, but I’m up for any way there is to bump up my supplies inside and out. Giving your entire body the means to repair connective tissues, collagen drinks make the perfect inner-outer addition to bump up your skincare regime. I seriously love these super skin drinks, and always notice plumper, smoother skin within about four days when I make the effort. MY Favourite is still Rejuvenated Collagen Shots, £39.95 for 30 days; my bedtime secret that’s also rich in B-vits, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and copper; or Equi London Beautiful, £55 for 30 days, is a powder supplement developed by nutritionist Alice Mackintosh and city professional Rosie Speight, who had suffered from acne. Turning to her friend for dietary advice, this marine collagen, resveratrol and amino acid regime became a thing for us all to share. I was recently sent a batch of ready-mixed Gold Collagen, £35.99 for 10 x 50ml bottles also formulated with hydrolysed marine collagen. And I quite like having these on hand!
Seaweed in skincare hasking been used to help naturally boost cell repair and turnover that’s sadly swiftly slowing with age, by improving that intercellular-communication that goes on between skin cells for better overall ageing. Top of my list is Zelens Marine Complex Deep Restorative Cream, £125, great for over 50s as it’s rich yet lightweight thanks to a bold bunch of regenerative, protective and anti-inflammatory algae including Spirulina, sea lettuce, sea whip and a red seaweed called dulse. Of course, if you’re wisely seeking a little extra UV anti-ageing protection in your favourite face cream, I totally love the new Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF30, £80, brimming over with collagen boosting chlorella, and padina pavonica seaweed that feature in the original version of this best-selling super face cream.
- New names to dive for? Check out: Ishga Antioxidant Marine Face Cream, £70, featuring organic Scottish seaweed extract, luscious shea butter and macadamia nut oil; Haeckels Eco Marine Extract Facial Cream, £48, with antioxidant sea buckthorn, broccoli seed and lavender; and Inlight Line Softener Intensive, £72, a spirulina super balm with argan oil that’s great for dry, mature skin created by the genius Dr Spiezia.
Got sensitive skin issues? Redness, rosacea, psoriasis and acne often respond well to anti-inflammatory, healing properties of seaweed. Try layering serums gradually with each other one at a time within your regular skincare regime and make a note of how your skin responds. Everything starts with the outer skin barrier, so I like the idea of a good, solid environmental antioxidant protection offered in 001 Skincare Active Marine Power Concentrate Dual Action Formula, £39 at johnbellcroyden.co.uk; a scentless, gentle omega-rich multi-algae serum; or adding a little Voya My Little Hero Face Serum, £53 at voya.ie, either alone at night after cleansing or blended into foundation for a mega juicy skin boost as it’s chock full of beautiful plant oils and green algae extracts.
Looking truly tired? Try reaching for Thalgo Absolute Radiance, £39.50 at feelunique.com, seawater ampoules enhanced with a little skin brightening citric and malic acids; or refresh anytime with Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist, £29, a serum spray with mineral-enriched chlorella water that’s like your skin’s best friend in summer to pick you up.
Just love this soap-free, hand-crafted Chlorella bar, Estée Lauder Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Bar, £20, that’s cured in wooden boxes for two months before being hand polished. The perfect anti-pollution pore perfector, use morning and night to remove the day and makeup too and help purify and detox the skin. Ssssh!… must admit I like it on my body too.
If there’s one beauty treatment worth utilising for an intense marine experience, it’s got to be a facemask. NEVER have they been so popular with the promise to transform your skin plus the very suggestion that you have the luxury of time to kill! Choose from drying mud-based algae masks for a deep clean, to the latest peel-off formulas…
MUDDY Perricone MD Chloro Plasma Mask, £69, green mud with spirulina and eucalyptus activates on contact to release the chlorophyll extract fresh and turn the mask a deeper green. Leave for 10 mins then rinse.
DEEP CLEAN Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud Seaweed Mask, £3.99, a pore purifying mix-it-up mask that’s a blend of Dead Sea mud and mineral salts to noticeably improve skin texture after one use. Leave on for 10-20 mins then peel off; expect to look smoother and brighter with this smooth paste.
PEEL OFF Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask, £35 for four, used here on model Yanouk, also mixes fresh and transforms into a stretchy rubbery mask that peels off with ease thanks to dewy hyaluronic acid, without pulling skin or hairs either. Try on clean skin that has a serum already rubbed in too; leave on for 15 mins to help push the serum in deeper.
SUPER GLOWY A deeply indulgent – time and price – two-step Blanc de la Mer The Brilliance Brightening Mask Soothing Primer is like a soothing serum buffer layer that’s followed by a thin layer of a more active Brightening Mask Gel Cream, £200. I won’t deny skin look very fresh! Leave for 8 mins.
From sushi and miso to kelp and iodine supplements, anything marine from within is deemed a good thing, right? Imedeen has always featured an exclusive marine complex, and if you’re over 50 like me, Imedeen Prime Renewal, £59.99, along with vitamins C and E and zinc, is an indispensable supplement like washing your face and brushing your teeth. Equally, check out Jivesse Marine Collagen Capsules, £45 for 60 johnbellcroyden.co.uk, with peptan type 1 collagen peptides that are deemed the most effective. Go ‘matchy matchy’ with Jivesse Marine Cream too, £80, verifying the whole marine dream that… when it comes to de-ageing, what we put inside our body is as important as what we put on the outside too.