At ishga, we use four types of seaweed in our organic skincare; Fucus Serratus, Fucus Vesculosis, Pelvetia Canaliculata, and Ascophyllum Nodosum. The two types that go into the majority of our products are Fucus Serratus and Fucus Vesculosis, both of which hold powerful benefits for our skin.
Also known as: Toothed wrack, Serrated wrack.
Grows in: Atlantic coast of Europe, north-east America.
Found in: The rockier parts of slow draining shores.
Fucus serratus is a brown leafy seaweed that’s rich in fucoidan and alginate. It’s used ion our water and oil extracts, which are formulated into ishga products to deliver maximum impact without the natural seaweed odour.
Environmental damage can lead to the premature ageing of skin, caused by free radicals in the air which damage skin cells. Antioxidants found in Fucus Serratus have demonstrated the ability to neutralise free radicals, helping to protect the skin from damage, while accelerating skin renewal and repair.
Collagen and elastin are two natural occurring proteins found in our bodies. Collagen helps to keep skin plump and toned, while elastin is responsible for the elasticity in the skin. Studies have demonstrated the potential for fucoidan to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. High levels of these proteins provide structure and integrity to the skin, helping to promote a healthy glow.
As we age the levels of naturally produced collagen and elastin start to decline, mainly due to enzymes called collagenase and elastase. Extracts of brown seaweeds have shown the ability to block these enzymes, which allows for an increase in collagen production and ultimately slows down signs of ageing.
Studies have also shown that brown seaweeds contain antimicrobial properties which help to kill the bacteria associated with acne, without stripping the skin of its oils.
Also known as: Bladder wrack, Rockweed and Sea oak.
Grows in: Coasts of the North Sea, Western Baltic Sea and Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Found in: More sheltered shorelines.
Fucus Vesiculosus is also a brown algae, with small air sacs that enable the seaweed to float upright in water which assists with nutrient absorption.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally produced by our bodies. It plays an important part in skin health, as it helps to maintain the extracellular space between the dermis (middle skin layer) and the epidermis (outer skin layer). This allows for nutrients to pass through and replenish the skin. The benefits of hyaluronic acid to the skin can be limited by the levels of hyaluronidase, an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of hyaluronic acid. By blocking the action of hyaluronidase, it prevents such damage happening. Studies have shown that bioactives in Fucus Vesiculosus and Fucus serratus reduce the activity of the hyaluronidase enzyme, which allows higher levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Polysaccharides (large molecules) found in the seaweed further promote hydration and water retention in the skin. They assist with healthy maintenance of the skin’s structure to help nutrients to pass through the skin barrier and into the deeper layers of the skin which stimulates skin repair and cell renewal. These polysaccharides also help to promote the production of natural hyaluronic acid and collagen production in the skin, resulting in a supple, smooth appearance.