Active Ingredients: Kelp

Tiffany Ong Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Kelp

Why Kelp is the New Hot Skincare Ingredient!

The use of marine life ingredients isn’t something new to the skincare industry. As a matter of fact, brands like Biotherm have cemented their name in the skincare world thanks to its life plankton essence. However, now with the advancement of technology, more and more brands are starting to incorporate marine-life into their products, and kelp is one of the few that we often see on the market. Let’s be honest, our knowledge of kelp mostly comes from the types that we see in our food, like sushi or miso soup. But did you know that there are over 30,000 known species of kelp in the ocean, not only Nori, Wakame or Kombu. Kelp is packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins that can help to hydrate the skin and prevent acne.

Now we want to let you guys know that kelp is not the same as seaweed. Seaweed is actually a term that refer to a wide array of marine-based plants and algae that grows in oceans, rivers and lakes. Whereas, kelp is a subgroup of seaweed and can only be found in saltwater. Kelp is also sometimes referred to as “brown seaweed” due to its colour, however, this can vary time to time. For all seaweed, kelp included, they are possibly the most beneficial natural skincare ingredient on the plant. This is because seaweed/kelp are able to absorb the minerals from the water-source it is found in, so either seawater or freshwater lakes and/or rivers. Therefore, the benefits of kelp shouldn’t be shocking as oceans are filled with various plants and marine organisms that are rich with minerals and nutrients that can rebuild and heal the skin.

Given that our skin and body is mostly comprised of water, it’s no wonder that something from the ocean is exactly what our skin needs.




  • There are some variety of seaweed that can help with regulating oil production, this, coupled with minerals found in kelp that penetrate the skin to remove toxins can target acne-causing bacteria. Whilst its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can target acne inflammation. 

Healing properties

  • Kelp can help to calm and soothe dry and inflamed skin due to its high iodine content that will treat dry and flaky patches.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties (magnesium and zinc) can also reduce the appearance of redness or irritation to leave your skin looking clearer and feeling more comfortable. This can be associated with chronic skin conditions such as rosacea or a sensitive reaction.

Moisturize the skin

  • Kelp is rich in minerals and antioxidants that work to soften and hydrate the skin. It also includes humectant properties that attract and retains moisture in the skin, hydrating your skin for longer periods of time.

Antioxidant protection

  • Kelp also contains a high content of antioxidants that are known to protect the skin from free radicals and environmental aggressors (pollution, UV damage, toxins) that cause oxidative stress damage. Oxidative stress is one of the major culprits to most skin concerns, especially premature ageing, thus by providing antioxidant protection it can slow down the ageing process and keep your skin feeling and looking younger longer. 

Reduces pigmentation

  • Kelp is a type of algae, and algae is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin A, C and E. Algae works as a gentle brightening agent that repairs skin damage whilst helping to reduce pigmentation (dark spots, age spots, scarring).

Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

  • Kelp possesses a high source of amino acids (glycerin) and Vitamin C, making it as especially potent ingredient that aids collagen production, helping to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Giving you the appearance of plumper and supple looking skin.


What to note?

  • There aren’t any known side effects/reactions to using kelp, but like most skincare products or ingredients, we advise conducting a patch test prior.


Products we recommend and where to find them?

iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum

iunik black snail restore serum

An anti-aging serum that is packed with 5 super foods; black beans, black rice, black sesame, eggplant and kelp that delivers antioxidant benefits. The black snail secretion filtrate also helps the skin restore itself to stay supple and smooth.


AXIS-Y Mugwort Pore Clarifying Wash Off Pack

axis-y mugwort pore clarifying wash off pack

This wash-off pack helps to unclog pores of impurities and soothe inflamed or irritated skin for a brighter and healthier complexion. It is formulated with a base of 61% Mugwort extract, Adzuki Bean granules for a gentle exfoliation and various other plant extracts, with Kelp being one them. The kelp helps to revitalize and nourish rough and irritated skin.


Dr.Jart+ Vital Hydra Sleeping Mask

dr jart vital hydra sleeping mask

A gel-type sleeping mask that works to revitalize your skin overnight and creates a protective barrier while you sleep. It is formulated with Chamaecyparis Obtusa leaf extract to soothe skin, hyaluronic acid and Micro NMF to hydrate skin and retain moisture. Although this mask doesn’t contain kelp extract, it does contain seaweed extract.


The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics

the ordinary marine hyaluronics

An alternative to the beloved and cult favourite The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5, this serums features marine-derived water reservoirs that attract and hold water similarly to hyaluronic acid but has a lighter texture and feel. Although this serum does not contain kelp explicitly, it does contain Hawaiian red algae and micro-filtered blue-green algae.


If you have anything to add or ask, feel free to join in conversation below! We’ll gladly answer all questions to the best of our ability and help you in any way we can!

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