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The Innovation Blog

Highlighting the inventiveness and trends shaping our industry and its future.

An Ocean of Inspiration with Sea-Sourced Ingredients

Ocean of Inspiration Marine Algae

The latest trend to sweep the skincare and personal care world? The use of ingredients harvested from the depths – and the shallows – of the ocean.

Over the last decade the green-beauty movement has enjoyed a slow trajectory to skincare super-stardom, with the beauty world gradually discovering the benefits of nature-based ingredient lists. However, fast-forward to 2019 and green beauty is becoming bluer, with skincare, fitness and wellness brands soaking up the healing powers of water,” according to the recent article “Why Ocean Inspired Beauty is Suddenly All The Rage” in Harper’s Bazaar.

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With marine-based skincare and personal care products rising in popularity, consumers are snapping up items that feature the best oceanic ingredients to promote healthy, vibrant skin, hair, and nails. And the four buzziest ingredients driving the ocean beauty movement?  Seaweed, sea salt, red marine algae, and pearls.


Green, brown and red seaweed is all the rage for facial and body skincare products, thanks to the uniquely soothing properties of kelp. Seaweed is a natural humectant that draws in moisture from the environment and can provide superior hydration to dry, flaky skin.

Additionally, seaweed is increasingly the star ingredient in skincare products targeted at solving itchy, painful skin issues like rosacea, acne, and eczema. Seaweed is packed with omega fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc which all work to improve the skin’s barrier and naturally heal infections, cuts, or wounds.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is a time-honored and treasured ingredient for soothing bathing products.

With thalassotherapy, or the ancient Greek and Roman practice of bathing in warm seawater to relax and de-stress, now seeing a resurgence in popularity, consumers are aiming to recreate pricey thalassotherapy or spa-like experiences at home with sea salt products.

Sea salt is also seeing a surge in beauty media coverage, as it acts as a natural antimicrobial agent and detoxifier, absorbing dirt, excess oil, and other toxins from the skin. As the detox beauty trend continues to boom, products featuring sea salt will also rise in popularity for consumers.

Red Marine Algae

The tiny – but mighty – red marine algae is at the forefront of the ocean-inspired beauty craze, thanks to a host of skincare benefits and key claims. Top of the list? The ability of red marine algae to act like a natural shield for the skin.

Red marine algae lives in harsh tidal conditions, where the organism must protect itself from toxins, pollution, UV rays, and others stressors by acting as its very own shield. This incredible ability of red marine algae makes it a natural fit for trending anti-pollution skincare formulations that focus on protecting the skin.  

Additionally, red marine algae is one of the most in-vogue ingredients for anti-aging skincare product formulations, due to the high concentration of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals within the organism.

Red marine algae is at the forefront of the ocean-inspired beauty craze

“Algae has demonstrated anti-aging properties by inhibiting enzymes that break down collagen in the skin,” said dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Vickers to The Zoe Report. “Some algae can also reduce the breakdown of hyaluronic acid within the skin, thus improving hydration and suppleness.”

To sum it up? Red marine algae is a powerhouse ingredient for protective, preventative skincare formulations – and consumers are loving the skin-benefiting properties of this tiny organism.


Shimmery, shiny pearls are the fourth trendy ingredient to emerge from the depths of the ocean. Pearls contain nacre, a protein that gives the gemstone its signature shine and glow – and can also illuminate and improve consumer skin.

“Water-soluble pearl powders have been proven in studies to help nourish dry skin by enhancing the water-holding capacity of the skin. Retaining moisture in the skin is just as important as hydrating the skin. Water soluble pearl powders are naturally rich in nutrients, from amino acids to conchiolin. They are also rich in antioxidants, which help neutralize any free radicals, and prevent premature aging,” said Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho in a Byride article.

As the Korean beautyscape continues to influence consumers around the globe, products featuring pearl and pearl powder will lend their shine to skincare and personal care products.