To some people, seaweed is the disgusting clumps that wash up on beaches. But to others, it is a culinary delicacy that’s a component of Asian dishes, including wakame, a salad made with seaweed, rice vinegar and soy. Homeopaths and people who seek natural remedies to ailments also use seaweed as part of skin care regimens. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it can be eaten or applied directly to the skin as a strengthening agent and exfoliant.
Seaweed’s natural, anti-inflammatory compounds can have a positive affect on acne explosions. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is caused by release of sebum, or oils, which prevent the skin from drying. Pimples are inflammations of the skin pores, which trap the oil, resulting in blackheads or whiteheads, deeper pimples or cystic acne. Seaweed’s anti-inflammatory effect reduces the swelling of the explosion. It is also can be used as a natural exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, which can block pores.
Detoxifier and Thyroid Booster
Seaweed cleanses and exfoliates skin. Spas have long used seaweed baths for cleansing and exfoliating qualities. Seaweed, when applied to the body, draws excess fluid and waste products from the skin. It also acts as a cleanser for dead skin cells and other impurities on the surface. Seaweed is also rich in iodine, which can help boost thyroid functions. The thyroid gland produces amino acids that absorb iodine, and it also produces a metabolism-regulating chemical in the bloodstream. This metabolism regulator also helps rejuvenate the skin.
Arame, or brown seaweed, strengthens the scalp. Photo Credit seaweed on sand image by Helen Lee from Fotolia.com
Arame, the black-brown seaweed used in sushi and other Japanese dishes, also nourishes the scalp and hair follicles. The mineral-rich vegetable nourishes the hair shafts and ducts of the scalp, strengthening the hair and making it look healthier.
Rosacea is a skin condition which causes facial inflammation, swelling and a red discoloration. Seaweed is rich in vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6 and B-12, a natural anti-inflammatory. This reduces the pooling of blood beneath the skin, alleviating the symptoms. Topical lotions and creams with seaweed can nourish the skin from the outside, causing a similar or dual effect.