At Home Seaweed Facials For Perfect Skin
June 14th, 2012
Seafarers of old knew it as the “Sailor’s Cure” for wounds, swellings and bruises. Along the Irish coast, its benefits have long been known and valued. Known as the “Poor Man’s Doctor”, seaweed with its vitamin-rich content, was often a life- saving dietary supplement during the famine. Its healing and detoxifying benefits had long been appreciated by Irish farmers, who while using it as a soil conditioner, realized that it also helped to heal cuts and sores on their hands.
In Ireland and Britain during the Victorian and Edwardian periods seaweed baths were popular and believed to have sprung from farming communities. At the turn of the last century, there were approximately 300 seaweed bath houses in Ireland. The therapeutic qualities of a sea-salty soak helped generations to endure the dark, wet winter. After a decline they have been popping up again in Ireland at the best spas, in more glamorous incarnations, popular with locals and tourists alike. If you don’t get the opportunity to enjoy these spas where you live, seaweed is readily available for at home seaweed baths from a variety of organic harvesters in Canada, Ireland and England or just head down to your local Asian grocery or health food shop.
An incredible wealth of minerals is drawn from the sea and retained by seaweed. When dried, seaweed, depending on the variety, has a 30-80 % mineral content including – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium – trace elements necessary for healthy skin, hair and bones. Some brown seaweed varieties such as Fucus vesiculosus (or Bladder Wrack in Ireland) contain all the minerals on the planet. Wow!
The algal polyphenols and carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that fight the signs of aging caused by free radicals. Seawater in seaweed is easily absorbed into the body as it is contains ingredients chemically similar to human plasma. Due to the softening and regenerative properties, seaweed serves as natural vitamin tonic for the skin. It is loaded with beneficial vitamins including A, C, B1, B12, D, E, K and folic acid.
Seaweed extracts are easily found in yogurt, for example, which is an excellent ingredient for facials. Unseasoned Nori makes a perfect facial: soak it for a few minutes in warm water, then massage your skin with it and let the crumbled bits sit on your face for 10-15 minutes. Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry. Known for its anti-aging properties also among Asian cultures, you will feel the immediate softening and toning effects.
Seaweed has also been effectively used by dermatologists and aestheticians to treat dermatitis, eczema and acne. Seaweed has been found to be extremely effective in shampoos, moisturizers, anti-cellulite preparations and health supplements. Whether you choose eat, drink, wear, soak in it, or massage into your skin for the best home facial, give seaweed a try for the healthiest skincare inside and out.
Here’s one many great seaweed recipes I found for home facials. Enjoy it as a weekly mask. European or otherwise, we can all reap the nourishing anti-aging benefits of seaweed skin care.
Avocado and Seaweed Facial Mask
2tbs dried seaweed
Rose water/ Water
1 ripe avocado-seaweed
1tb thick yogurt
1tb olive oil
Cover seaweed in rose water and leave to swell for 5 minutes. Squeeze out extra water and save to use as toner. Blend the seaweed with the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Apply to face and leave on for at least 15 minutes or for the length of your seaweed soak. Rinse off and splash some of the cold seaweed toner on your face.
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