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What is Irish moss?
Health and beauty trends can be wacky, but some of them stick. Sea moss gel is one of them. It’s used for skin care and consumed for its health benefits. While there isn’t much research into its benefits, it’s an all-natural product worth trying out.
Learning more about sea moss gel will help you use it correctly and decide if it’s a good product for you. Whether you slather it onto your face or spoon it into your morning smoothie, it’s a product worth noting.
What is sea moss gel?
Sea moss gel is made from a type of seaweed commonly known as sea moss, Irish moss or Irish sea moss. Its scientific name is Chondrus crispus, but it gets the nickname Irish moss because it’s commonly found growing in rocky areas of the Atlantic coast of Ireland. However, it also grows in North America.
The gel made from this seaweed is rich in a range of nutrients. It contains a whopping 92 of the 102 minerals that make up the human body, including calcium, iodine, iron and zinc. It also contains many vitamins, including vitamins A, K, C, D and B12, plus essential fatty acids.
What are the benefits of sea moss gel?
Sea moss has a range of potential health and skin care benefits. However, it’s worth noting that research in the area is limited, so any potential benefits should be taken with a healthy dose of cynicism.
Humectants are moisturizers that can draw water from deeper inside the skin to nourish the outer layer. Sea moss gel is a highly effective humectant, but it creates a non-occlusive barrier over the skin to lock moisture in. This makes it an incredible moisturizer, whether used alone or mixed with another moisturizer or serum.
Protects the skin barrier
Sea moss creates a film over your skin that reinforces the skin barrier. Damage to the skin barrier is fairly common and can lead to itchy skin, eczema, rosacea and dull or dehydrated skin. Because the mixture of proteins in the sea moss film is similar to those of our skin barrier, it increases protection and can help reduce issues caused by its damage.
Its anti-inflammatory properties could help soothe skin suffering from inflammation, which can appear as redness, dryness or pimples. It could also play a part in reducing inflammation in other parts of the body when taken orally. That said, it’s unlikely that consuming just one type of anti-inflammatory food will make a huge difference overall.
Balances oil production
The high levels of sulfur in Irish moss gel can decrease sebum production in the skin. Sebum is the natural oil that moisturizes our skin but is commonly produced in excess quantities, leading to oily skin, blackheads and pimples. It’s great for balancing oily skin because although it reduces sebum production, it also has moisturizing properties and won’t result in dryness.
Thanks to its natural antimicrobial properties, sea moss can help to balance the skin’s microbiome. This can help with a range of skin issues, including acne, rosacea and seborrhea.
When taken orally, the high iodine levels in sea moss can help keep your thyroid functioning as it should. This is particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans, as they’re less likely to get enough iodine from their diet.
How to take sea moss gel orally
Sea moss gel can be eaten straight out of the jar, but since its taste is quite strong and not necessarily pleasant, most people like to mix it with other ingredients.
- Smoothies: One simple way of consuming sea moss gel is to add it to smoothies. It’s fairly easy to disguise the taste by using strong-flavored produce, such as ginger and lime.
- Juice: Blend sea moss into fruit juice to help it go down more smoothly. This will give your juice a thicker texture, which some people like and others don’t.
- Soups and stews: Simply mix sea moss gel into soup or stew before serving. Don’t add it while the other ingredients are still cooking, as too much heat over a prolonged period could destroy some of the nutrients.
However you choose to consume your Irish moss gel, you should take around 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. You can also buy sea moss supplements, which some people prefer to take over sea moss in its gel form.
How to use sea moss gel for skin care
Sea moss gel moisturizes skin and forms a protective barrier, so it’s best applied on its own or mixed with a leave-on product. Don’t use it as a mask or with a product that you rinse off your skin because you won’t get its full benefits.
It’s best to apply the gel at night as part of your pre-bed skin care routine. It has a thick texture and can leave a sheen on the face that you may not appreciate when you’re just about to leave the house. Start by washing your face as usual, then use any toners or serums that are part of your routine. You can then use sea moss gel in place of a moisturizer.
An alternative method is to mix it with your usual moisturizer or serum at a ratio of one part gel to three parts moisturizer or serum.
How often should you use it?
Daily application is too much for some when using sea moss gel alone. Instead, apply it just two to three times a week, and use your usual moisturizer on your off-days. However, if you mix it with your moisturizer or serum, it’s fine to use every day.
Who should use it?
Due to its balancing properties, sea moss gel works well for people of all skin types. It hydrates dry skin, reduces sebum production in oily skin and does a bit of both for combination skin. That said, it’s especially beneficial for people with oily or acne-prone skin.
Best sea moss gel
Made from nothing but sea moss and water, this gel is suitable for skin care or consumption. It’s organic and non-GMO.
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You can buy two versions of this gel: plain and unflavored or elderberry flavored. It’s free from preservatives and made in the USA.
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There’s nothing in this gel but Irish sea moss and spring water, making it a great choice for purists. You can eat it or use it topically.
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This gel offers great value for the money, but it isn’t for everyone because it contains sugar and preservatives. The added sugar makes it an excellent choice as a gelatin substitute in desserts.
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The plain version of this gel is great for skin care or consumption. Those who intend to eat the gel might prefer one of the four flavored options: coconut, mango, mango-pineapple or strawberry.
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