Ocean-Inspired Skin Care — That Will Save Your Summer Skin

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
With summer officially under way, everyone’s kicking their skin-care routine into high
gear. I get it: There’s really no better time to strive for amazing, glowing skin head-to-toe than when the weather is warm. But I’m not here to talk about skin-care regimens to get your body ready for the beach. Rather, I’m here to talk about what the beach can do for your body.

Beyond the beautiful ocean views and relaxing sounds of crashing waves, the beach provides a bounty for natural skin care. Many amazing, healthy ingredients hail from your watery surroundings. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ingredients from the sea and explain why you should be looking for them this summer:
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Chondrus Crispus
This super-hydrating extract comes from Irish moss, a form of red seaweed. It’s an amazing and powerful ingredient when used topically, as seaweed has a high concentration of many vitamins and minerals (including standouts calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium). It serves as a thickener in products like body wash, face wash, and shampoo, but also makes an excellent skin softener. Look for it as Chondrus crispus or carrageenan on your product labels.

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Fucus Vesiculosus
This is another extract from seaweed (in this case, brown seaweed) that is also high in vitamins and minerals. However, this specific seaweed extract has also been touted as having great anti-aging benefits, helping to improve circulation, increasing collagen production, and retaining moisture in the skin. Look to it for skin-tightening, wrinkle-smoothing properties. It’ll be listed as Fucus vesiculosus extract on your labels, and works great in both face and body moisturizers.

Dead Sea Salt
There are several types of salt used in body treatments, but one of my favorites is Dead Sea salt. Harvested from (you guessed it) the Dead Sea, this salt is high in mineral content and can be found in different “grades,” from coarse to fine, making it wonderful for everything from bath soaks to body scrubs. It’s great for exfoliation and treating dry, itchy skin. This ingredient can be bought on its own (it’s terrific to have around if you like to DIY) or found in natural body-product formulas.

Spirulina
This up-and-comer has gained popularity recently as a superfood and dietary supplement. A natural blue-green algae that grows in both fresh and saltwater, spirulina is high in vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin E, which are all important for your skin’s health. Spirulina helps detoxify your skin and prevent signs of aging. However, since there isn’t much research on its topical benefits just yet, I recommend you stick to ingesting it for now. You can buy spirulina supplements over the counter at many health-food stores.

Here's a quick DIY for those of you who would like to bring a little bit of the sea to your house...it's a great recipe for keeping those feet in sandals all season long.

Ingredients
1 cup sea salt (fine grain)
1/4 cup safflower oil (jojoba, apricot kernel, even olive oil will work)
1 tsp kelp powder
1/4 tsp spirulina
10 drops tea tree essential oil
8 drops peppermint essential oil
Instructions
Mix all the above ingredients together in a large glass bowl. Scoop a small portion into hands and apply on damp feet, preferably after soaking. Massage in a circular motion, focusing on rough areas like heels and calluses. Rinse well and pat dry.

Don't have time to pull all this together before your beach weekend? Well, then, you can't get to the beach fast enough! Head down to the shoreline and soften heels and calluses by letting your feet soak in the water for five to 10 minutes. Scoop up some of the saltwater-moistened sand and massage onto heels and calluses. Rinse off and feel the smoothness.
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