Where others just saw seaweed, OSEA Malibu Founder Jenefer Palmer saw a skin superfood. Over twenty years ago, when a jet-lagged Jenefer treated herself to a fresh algae bath at a spa in Buenos Aires, she had no idea that it would change her life forever. “It was the most invigorating and rejuvenating self-care experience of my life. I had to have more of that seaweed.”
Jenefer tracked this uncommon, ultra-hydrating beauty ingredient, Gigartina Skottsbergii, to Patagonia where she met and worked with a local family who taught her about the seaweed’s unique healing properties and showed her how it could be eco-responsibly harvested. Jenefer spent the following decade developing her non-toxic, plant-based skincare line in the hopes that others would recognize the incredible anti-aging potential of this skin superfood just as she had.
And they have! For the past twenty years, Jenefer’s natural, non-toxic skincare and no-nonsense approach to labeling has earned the respect of estheticians, spa professionals and skincare shoppers from Boston to Bora Bora. Here Jenefer explains exactly how and why seaweed is your skin’s new best friend.
I grew up believing that the healing benefits of the sea are endless. The sea contains a full spectrum of nutrients that seaweed is able to absorb. Sea plants are far richer in minerals and trace elements than land plants and subsequently offer us unparalleled skincare benefits.
Seaweed is loaded with antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, vitamins and other bioavailable nutrients that replenish, repair and hydrate skin. When a natural ingredient is bioavailable, it means that your body readily absorbs more of the active components. Greater absorption equals greater effectiveness and more visible results for you! We use seaweed in its purest forms to ensure maximum purity, bioavailability, and potency. In addition to soothing, hydrating, and remineralizing skin, certain types of seaweed--including the organic Gigartina and Undaria Algae that OSEA uses in its formulations--have anti-aging benefits such as boosting collagen production. Seaweed also improves circulation, is anti-inflammatory (hence is effective in healing acne) and extremely detoxifying for skin.
Why does sourcing matter so much when it comes to seaweed?
Seaweed grows in the water and absorbs everything around it so where and how a skincare company sources its seaweed is of utmost importance. We hand-harvest our USDA certified organic seaweed from the pristine waters of Patagonia at the confluence of the southward-flowing Brazil current and the Antarctic Circumpolar current.
These dynamic waters generate one of the most energetic regions of the world ocean and are some of the cleanest waters on the planet. Their constantly shifting extremes of sea surface temperature help produce the world’s most mineral-rich; nutrient-dense seaweed.
A Beginner’s Guide to Seaweed-Based Skincare
Every type of seaweed has different beneficial qualities for topical use depending on the minerals it has absorbed from its environment. I will never stop being fascinated by seaweed’s incredible healing properties.
Here’s a brief guide to some of my favorite seaweed skin superfoods:
Genus: Gigartina Skottsbergii
Say It With Us: Gee-gar-tee-nah
Why We Love It: Gigartina actively hydrates skin, protects against external aggressors, stimulates cell regeneration and actively boosts collagen production. Gigartina has been proven effective in helping to heal skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema.
Genus: Undaria Pinnatifida
Say It With Us: Un-dar-ee-yah
Why We Love It: Undaria actively protects your skin’s natural stores of hyaluronic acid and collagen, maintains your skin’s moisture balance and increases cell stability. Undaria inhibits the activity of hyaluronidase - an enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid in our skin. Hyaluronic acid makes skin smooth, elastic, firm, and flexible.
Genus: Macrocystis Pyrifera
Say It With Us: Mac-roh-sis-tis
Why We Love It: Macrocystis acts as an extremely effective natural antiseptic and anti-irritant that helps heal sebaceous cysts, blemishes, scrapes and sun damaged skin.
Experience It For Yourself: Macrocystis is one of the key active ingredients in OSEA’s products designed to treat excess oil, blemishes, uneven skin tone, and post-acne scarring: Blemish Balm and Ocean Cleansing Mudd.