Grooming gurus have long used landlocked minerals and vegetation to aid in self-preservation. But don't discount oceans, and the aquatic gardens they house, when it comes to skincare. Underwater foliage, such as algae and seaweed, is surfacing in products with increased frequency (see next page). "It's packed with nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, along with amino acids," says Margo Marrone, a U.K.'based homeopathic pharmacist and founder of The Organic Pharmacy. She also praises the organisms for their ability to boost microcirculation: "More circulation in your blood vessels helps supply valuable minerals to your cells while simultaneously promoting the elimination of toxins."
And sea plants do more than just expedite the skin's cellular cleansing functions. "Algae promotes the body's ability to produce hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring chemical responsible for the body's hydration," Marrone says. "It reduces the appearance of wrinkles by plumping your cells with water and doesn't leave a greasy feeling." David Colbert, founder of the New York Dermatology Group, is also onboard. "Algae is a known antioxidant and protects your skin from UV damage," he says. "Some studies show it fights against acne-causing bacteria and also helps with cellular regeneration."
SKIN DEEP Four Seaweed Essentials
Dermalogica After Sun Repair At no time does your skin need more love than right after you've fried it with a day in the sun. Help accelerate the hydration process with a dollop of algae. $32, 3.4 ounces
Cr'me de la Mer Body Serum Father Time can be cruel, and his effect on your skin is proof. Eradicate imperfections with this Holy Grail of products. $155, 4.2 ounces
Kiehl's Facial Fuel Age Combat Wrinkles from fine lines to deep fissures are noticeably diminished with this potion from the ocean, made specifically with men's skin in mind. $30, 2.5 ounces
Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Shampoo What use is great skin without thick, healthy locks to frame it? Maritime minerals enhance the look of your hair, too. $18, 8 ounces
THE TREATMENT HERBAL SEAWEED FACIAL Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon Celebrities ranging from Martha Stewart to Will Ferrell have long been fans of Mario Badescu's products, many of which are infused with underwater botanicals, for their alchemic properties. But at Badescu's Upper East Side salon, aestheticians perform the miracles in person. After a standard steaming, cleansing, and extraction, the finale is a nourishing seaweed mask that helps reenergize your skin and improve your complexion. $100; 320 E. 52nd St., New York City; 800-223-3728; MarioBadescu.com
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