Seaweed soup, seaweed salad, seaweed with noodles, seaweed with rice, even seaweed snacks! Seaweed may not be a common ingredient in the western diet, but it has been consumed throughout China, Japan, and Korea since the time mammoths and saber tooth tigers walked the earth. Known for its beneficial dietary and medicinal properties, seaweed was highly valued across Asia to the extent that ‘some seaweed (was) a delicacy suitable for (only) the most honoured guests, and even for the King himself,’ wrote Sze Teu in China 600 BCE. There was even a time during 700-900 CE when seaweed was used as a currency to pay taxes in Japan. More commonly outside being used for dietary or medicinal reasons, seaweed was laid on shrines as an offering to peoples ancestors. Today seaweed is available to everyone and the word about its healthy healing properties has crossed the oceans, growing in popularity in the food, cosmetic and health industries throughout western countries. Seaweed is jam packed with high quality proteins, essential amino acids (particularly the omega-3 family and essential fatty acids), vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres, complex carbohydrates, just to name a few of the goodies. This all sounds great but in practice how do these goodies actually benefit your body and skin?
Drawing out toxins and impurities from the skin and body, red seaweed is a mystical like plant used in eastern herbal medicine. Not only does it have detoxifying properties, but it is also anti-bacterial and can help maintain healthy oil-flow within the skin. DMK has utilised red seaweed in the powerful detoxifying cleanser Epitoxyl, which turns toxins trapped in the skin into a gas so it can move up and evaporate out.
Built with its own natural sunscreen, some seaweeds have ultraviolet protective properties. When formulated correctly, infusing these seaweeds into skincare products can impart these benefits into the serums and crèmes. It can be used as an inhibitor of the melanogenic cascade; the synthesis of melanin (pigment) and movement of the melanin into the top layers of the skin where it becomes visible. DMK has included some of these seaweeds in the Crème Citrique, Melanotech Crème, and Melanotech Drops formulations to help prevent pigmentation.
Asian skin types are known for seemingly being immune to the effects of time, could seaweed be the reason? Deeply nourishing the lipids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins found in seaweed feeds the skin what it needs in order to function optimally as well as aiding the skins reparative functions. Skin that is in homeostasis is less likely to experience fine lines, wrinkles and ageing uneven pigment. Some seaweed such as Laminaria Digitata can boost collagen production as well, that is why DMK has included this and other seaweeds in Pore Reduction Drops, Herb & Mineral Mist, Exoderma Peel, and Hydra Louffa.
Using luxurious seaweed for luxurious skin
When it comes to infusing seaweed with skincare DMK only uses the best of the best. Undaria pinnatifida (wakame) is a sweet edible seaweed that was only cultivated for the tables of the Japanese noble class. Now everyone can enjoy its delicious flavour and powerful cosmetic and medical properties. Wakame, translates to mean ‘young edible seaweed’ and it could definitely be considered to be a product of the fountain of youth. Within its brown-green leaves wakame holds an element that is key to the powerful DMK EFA Ultra formulation. Fucoidan is a unique ingredient that has been shown to inhibit many of the key enzymes responsible for skin damage. But that’s not all – here are five fun facts on fucoidan!
- Fucoidans have been known to increase the expression of the anti-ageing protein SIRT1 by up to 32% and therefore have anti-ageing properties. They can support cells to function in stressful environments resulting in the maintenance of youthful skin.
- Known to inhibit the entry of white blood cells into tissue spaces, fucoidan can assist in the prevention of both internal and external inflammation conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and osteoarthritis
- Can be ingested through a capsule and therefore can assist in addressing simple inflammation and bacterial infections in the gut.
- To date there are over 1500 published papers on the physical benefits of taking fucoidans to improve cellular function.
- Research has indicated that fucoidan can assist in the reduction of melanin (pigment) index of age spots
Deep, dark, and mostly unexplored, the ocean holds many secrets but thankfully the incredible properties of seaweed is not one of them. Learning to cook with this underwater foliage may seem a little daunting but it is definitely worth giving a go. Either way you always have DMK’s powerful products that can feed your skin both inside and out. Ask your DMK Skin Technician about which seaweed rich formulations they would recommend for your skin but if anything, EFA Ultra is a must!