What is sea moss?Sometimes referred to as Irish moss, sea moss is a type of sea plant found off Ireland’s coast. Known for its robustness as an algae, it can withstand severe conditions. “It is an abundant source of essential vitamins and minerals including, zinc, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and phosphorus,” says Helen Cowan, Senior Skin Therapist at Dr Nestor’s Medical Cosmetic Centre. On top of this sea moss is considered a “super antioxidant”, that’s rich is omega 3.
What are the benefits of sea moss?This antioxidant rich active has major anti-inflammatory credentials, helping not only block ageing free radical damage, but aiding in the general health of the skin as many troublesome skin conditions are inflammatory in nature (think acne, rosacea, collagen loss and even hyperpigmentation).
But it doesn’t stop there. “Being rich in sulphur means it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial functions, which is thought to boost a healthy glow by aiding the skin’s microbiome,” says Cowan. The high level of sulphur in sea moss can also help to reduce overproduction of sebum, easing congestion, oiliness and acne.
Another notable benefit of sea moss is that it is thought to help reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) too. “TEWL refers to the water that passes from the dermis through your epidermis and evaporates into the air—you want as little of this to happen as possible if you want your skin to be plump and hydrated,” shares Cowan.
How do you apply sea moss?When applied topically, whether that be in a cleanser, face mask or moisturiser, sea moss is thought to help with hydration, excess oil, breakouts, and redness. However, many people like to take sea moss as an ingestible supplement for an internal antioxidant and vitamin boost.
Does sea moss have any side effects?When it comes to applying sea moss topically, as with all new skincare ingredients, it’s important to do a patch test on your skin before you go whole-hog with it in your routine. If you wish to take sea moss orally as a supplement, however, there are some things to note. “Sea moss is rich in iodine and can interfere with some medications, so always check with your GP—particularly if you are on thyroid medications or are pregnant,” suggests Cowan.
Nestor Demosthenous, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Doctor
Dr. Nestor MBChB, BSc Hons Neuro, Associate Member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine, Member of Association...Book with Nestor Demosthenous