Sea Kelp: A Common, Effective Moisturizing Ingredient in Massage Creams
As you stroll through the beauty aisle of an upscale grocery store, you will find many products containing ingredients from the ocean. One such ingredient is sea kelp, which can be any of several different seaweed species of the genus laminaria. According to The Seaweed Site, maintained by Michael D. Guiry, Ph.D., D.Sc., these brown algae are often washed up on the beaches of the northern Atlantic Ocean, the northern Pacific Ocean, as well as the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, they are farmed in China, Japan and Korea.
Why Sea Kelp Affects Skin
If you have the chance to rub your bare toes across sea kelp when it first washes up, you may notice how slick it feels on your skin. It is this slippery texture that may translate to the hydrating benefits of sea kelp when used in massage creams. Authors of a study titled “Effects of seaweed Laminaria japonica extracts on skin moisturizing activity in vivo” found that when a cream containing laminaria extract was placed on the skin of the forearm, hydration increased by more than 14 percent when compared to forearm skin that was coated with a placebo cream instead. Published in the May/June 2013 issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Science, the study proposes sea kelp nourishes skin so well because it contains various natural moisturizing compounds.
Benefits of Sea Kelp
Among professional massage therapists, the hydrating benefits of sea kelp may come in handy when used within a massage cream that aims to not only enhance the techniques one tends to perform in the session room, but also to bring a lush sense of moisture to clients’ skin, especially those clients who suffer from dry skin. A massage cream that contains sea kelp may also be considered a special treat for clients in regions that are notorious for being dry or having dry seasonal changes.
Ask for a sample or order a small trial size of any new massage cream to be sure you can feel the added hydration before purchasing large amounts of a product simply because it contains sea kelp.
Once you have found the right massage cream to bring the skin-smoothing benefits of sea kelp into your session room, consider making mention of your massage cream and its moisturizing properties within your marketing material—and possibly adding an ocean-themed session to your practice menu.
Brandi Schlossberg is an avid bodywork client and full-time journalist based in Reno, Nevada. She has written many articles for MASSAGE Magazine, including “Find a Relaxing Massage Cream: 3 Key Ingredients” and “Choose Massage Cream Based on Client Needs.”