Cosmetic brands that use sea moss extract in their formulas give their products almost miraculous properties, claiming that they solve all major skin problems. Is this ingredient really that all-powerful? We’ll look into it together with the experts.
What is sea moss anyway? “Sea moss, or as it’s also called Irish or carrageen moss (Chondrus crispus), is a type of red algae,” says Anthony Rossi Jr., M.D. The ingredient is rich in vitamins A and E, which are powerful antioxidants, as well as sulfur, effective for acne and rosacea.
Due to its nutritional properties, sea moss extract creates a protective layer on the skin that allows it to retain moisture. “It forms a non-occlusive film on the skin, similar to natural protein,” explains Krupa Koestline, a cosmetic chemist. This is what allows it to have a firming and immunomodulatory effect on the skin.
One of the component’s main benefits is its ability to retain water. According to Krupa Koestline, those who regularly use products based on sea moss can suspend the process of transepidermal moisture loss in the skin (TEWL).
Since all of the ingredient’s benefits come from the fact that it forms a protective film on the skin, it’s best used as part of a cream, serum, or any other non-washable product. “It’s not as effective in cleansers,” explains Koestline.