The ocean has an endless supply of beauty gifts. It can refresh you after a late night, create tousled waves in the straightest of hair, and mixing seawater with sand creates an instant full body exfoliant. The sea is also home to a selection of ingredients that are acclaimed to work wonders on our skin, and in high summer we see a resurgence of marine skincare hitting the shelves. So we decided to dip our toe in, and uncover just how these ingredients work and how they can transform our complexion.
In our quest for knowledge, we were lucky enough to speak to Paul Tchinnis, the director of research and development for La Mer, who shed a little light on the realm of marine skincare. According to Paul, Dr Max Huber (who was the founder of La Mer) turned to the sea for inspiration because he wanted to heal his own skin. He did thousands of experiments trying to cure his own chemical facial burns using sea kelp. "The healing properties were tremendous. This was the heart and soul of the La Mer brand,” explains Paul. La Mer specifically uses sea kelp as a key ingredient, but other skin heroes include seaweed, specifically algae, for their soothing properties and a high amount of trace minerals. Seaweed has found its place as an extremely potent antioxidant, and works to reduce inflammation. Algae has even been discovered to reduce tumors in mice in a study undertaken by the University of Ohio. Certain oceanic ingredients are very healing on the skin as they have an affinity with our own biology, as Paul explains, “we know today that he knew the minerals in sea water are very similar to the minerals in our blood plasma.” La Mer uses a mineral blend that is composed of sea water with the salt removed. As Paul explains, the minerals left behind are in their natural state, and are of a huge benefit to the skin as they mimic the natural composition of the body.
While scientists are still working out ways to harness their powers when it comes to aging, there’s no doubt that marine ingredients including kelp, seaweed and algae contain extraordinarily high amounts of trace elements, minerals, and possess a variety of soothing and moisturizing properties that are excellent for the skin. Here, four marine-inspired skincare finds we love.
the supercharged skin soother
The ultimate luxury in marine skincare, crème de La Mer is iconic, and with valid reason. Dewey and indulgent, Crème de La Mer contains the mineral broth, the key ingredient of which is the sea kelp in fermented form. It will leave skin soft, smooth, and visibly reduces fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
the lightweight serum
This serum’s main ingredient is actually seawater, meaning it contains all of the minerals and trace elements found in the ocean. Add it under moisturizer as part of your skincare routine, and watch your skin tone gradually become more even and luminous.
the marine inspired day moisturiser
This lightweight day cream contains cultivated algae, kelp and other sea plants that have firming properties. Blue sea kale and other seaweed extract are used for their high levels of moisture.
the algae infused elixir
This hard working serum contains algae extract that helps to inhibit melanin production, while boosting cell turnover to leave you with brighter, clearer skin. It also gives the skins natural exfoliation enzyme a boost, eliminating dull, pigmented surface cells.
Story by Emily Algar.