Scientist John Lamont has over three decades of experience in ‘green’ beauty, and is one of the brand’s five co-founders. He is joined by two couples – Kim and John Beach, who operate in the health and wellness space, and Olly Barnes and Gosia Gasiorowski, keen surfers who run a design agency. Having all worked together in the past, each person brought their complimentary skills to the table nearly three years ago, when they began working on a range with benefits (both to the skin and the environment) that they felt were missing from the hyper-competitive beauty market.
We may be more used to seaweed with our sushi then seaweed with our serums, but the founders were drawn to the effects seaweed can have on collagen, the skin barrier and its role in protection from damage caused by antioxidants. They told us, “scientific studies have shown that high purity, certified organic seaweeds improved skin wrinkles in 45% of subjects, were effective at reducing wrinkle visibility in 100% of subjects, and reduced reddening by up to 45% relative to the control group. An expert clinician determined a 60% overall improvement in skin appearance, while 80% of study participants self-reported a visual improvement in skin firmness, tightness, and elasticity.” The winning results seaweed gives are boosted by other coastal ingredients the brand utilises, including Kakadu plum, aloe vera and macadamia oil.
John Lamont, the brand’s scientist, has worked with marine biologist Pia Winberg for over a decade, and Pia has been heavily involved in helping the founders obtain the brand’s beloved key ingredient, bio-active seaweed. Once the founders came up with the brand’s overall concept, they spent two years sourcing “the best producers along the Australian coast, from Byron to Tasmania, and many nooks and coves in between. Our seaweed, algae and kelp are wild foraged and specifically harvested to control the impact on marine environments, and this allows us to get the best extractions. Our mantra is to keep our products as natural as possible, which is why you will notice varying hues of green within our products; each product features consistent types of seaweed, but, just like in nature, each extraction we use is individual.”
It was thrilling for the founders to discover that, all over the world, indigenous cultures have been aware of the many benefits seaweed has to offer. “First Nations Australians, Polynesians, Celts and many more have cultivated and used seaweed to aid skin and body health for centuries. As a skin remedy, seaweed has been used as a water soak, much like a magnesium bath, to help replenish and nourish the skin. In New Zealand we were told that seaweed has long been used to create remedial teas for centuries. We were all probably most familiar with seaweed as an element of food in Asia, but we came to find that in that part of the world, wakame and brown seaweeds have been revered for helping boost health and longevity. In Cornwall, Ireland and the Western Hebrides of Scotland, bathing in seaweed has been a common (and now increasingly popular pastime) for us seafaring folk who aren’t not afraid of a bit of cold water… especially if it means feeling great!”
In an ever-crowded market, it’s important to remember that, as a consumer, you have the ability to put your purchasing power behind a product that can support your skin, as well as the environment. Having originally been won over by seaweed’s impact on skin, the founders then saw its eco benefits (as compared to more commonly-used skincare ingredients) as “being a real game-changer. Seaweed is a sequester of carbon from our environment, but one that uses up five times more carbon than any land-based plant, needs no pesticides, grows at a rate of knots and forms beautiful marine environments along our gorgeous shores. It is also completely renewable.”
Once the founders had sourced their ingredients, it was time for testing on guinea pigs – very human ones, that is. “Prior to launching to the public, we tested each product on our family members, who were aged between 3 and 80, with the goal of producing what we believe to be the best product we could offer”.
The founders’ favourite products remain what they call the brand’s “foundational rituals” – the Soothing Eye Cream, the Hydrating Facial Moisturiser and the Coastal Body Moisturiser. “We bring other products into being to ultimately help further the impact of these original launches. For example, we know that moisturisers are better absorbed after cleansing, so developing the right body wash became a priority”. Early adopters of the range share the sentiment, with customers’ reviews of the Soothing Eye Cream in particular, being utterly glowing (pun very much intended) – adjectives used include “nourishing” , “beautiful and “magic”. Then there’s the more prosaic, though perhaps most persuasive, review of all: “as someone with highly sensitive eyelids that are prone to eczema, I’m really wary of anything I put near them, as it often causes a reaction. Seashanty’s lovely, light and naturally-made cream felt like a calming antidote right away.” Here at Beauticate. we respect a brand that focuses on the feel of skin and the end experience for the customer, rather than making silly anti-ageing claims. Perhaps the founders say it best: “for the sensitive, thin skin around the eyes, our eye cream is a brilliant radiance booster. We love to say that it helps show off our laughter lines in the best coastal light!”
Seashanty Organics is focused on the importance of rituals; of taking the time to select and use the skincare that will do the most for your individual needs. According to the founders, “by applying our products regularly, you help your skin maintain its protective barrier and aid it in renewing itself. This is what we like to call ‘harnessing coastal wellness’ – just like the beautiful experience of a daily dip in the sea, it’s the small moments in our day that can mean and make such a difference. And we hope that by offering a range whose very existence helps to boost seaweed growth and production, your individual choice also benefits our ecosystem.” Incorporating Seashanty Organics into your own daily skincare routine might be a new small ritual for you, and on a larger scale, a ritual that helps the planet.