This article first appeared for Organic Spa Magazine in September 2019.
Antoinette Marquez, founder of Ama Sea Beauty, developed what she calls a “romantic love affair” with the ocean after moving to Santa Barbara, California from the inland United States. After discovering the transformational affect the move had on her skin, she started harnessing the ocean’s power in her diet, her life -- and her skincare.
As a trained holistic health professional, Marquez knew "how to bring a body back to health, but no one ever taught me how to do that for skin.” Then, Marquez discovered thalassotherapy: the 500-year-old French practice of utilizing seawater in skincare. In fact, thalassotherapy dates back to the bathhouse culture popular in ancient Rome and, later, Bath, England.
Intrigued, Marquez learned everything she could about seawater and seaweed, until one day she “reached down to pick up a shell and seaweed fell out of the books and into the world.” This experience inspired her to begin playing with seaweed in her kitchen, until she eventually developed Ama Sea Beauty’s original product: the zero-waste SeaTea, which utilizes hand-harvested seaweed scraps for an at-home thalassotherapy experience. As Marquez says, “Your best beauty tool is down your hall, in your bathroom.”
Nowadays, Ama Sea Beauty is just one of the natural, sustainable brands utilizing sea-derived ingredients for their beauty benefits. Read on to discover a few of our favorite sea-inspired skincare products that bring the beach with you, no matter what time of year, and no matter where you go!
Even Advanced Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel A frothy cleanser formulated with a powerful Marine Complex rich in sea minerals, Alba Botanica’s Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel scrubs away oil and dirt to reveal a beautifully bright complexion. The hypo-allergenic cleanser is just one member of the brand’s sea-inspired beauty range, Even Advanced, which harnesses ingredients from the ocean to purify skin. albabotanica.com
Seamist Marine Mineral Toner Ama Sea Beauty makes the ocean portable with its California solar dried sea water, the main ingredient in its Seamist Toner -- and better yet, the brand has done so sans plastic! The Seamist Marine Mineral Toner captures a proprietary blend of sea minerals and red snow algae powder in a responsibly-packaged bottle, so you can feel good about your skin and save the planet. amaseabeauty.com
Vitamin Sea Serum An OSM favorite, OSEA Malibu’s Vitamin Sea Serum owes its potency to brown algae, an underwater species rich in beautifying minerals. The serum contains seven different species of seaweed extracts, sourced off the glittering coast of Patagonia, to soften and elastify skin. oseamalibu.com
Dead Sea Mud Mask From blemishes and blackheads to textured and congested skin, grace & stella’s Dead Sea Mud Mask harnesses the natural powers of Dead Sea minerals to treat a variety of skin concerns. Kaolin clay draws out impurities, while deionized water rehydrates thirsty skin. graceandstella.com
Moisturizing Dead Sea Salt Soap Because what roundup of sea mineral skin care would be complete without mentioning AHAVA -- and its signature Osmoter mineral catalyst? The brand’s unique soap bar sources salt from the Dead Sea to gently cleanse and hydrate, without stripping skin of its natural oils. ahava.com
Ocean Dew Magnesium Melt Body Polish Body Bliss’ Ocean Dew line contains algae extracts sourced from the sea itself. Naturally rich in magnesium, this Body Polish sloughs away dead skin cells to soften skin, blending sea minerals with spirulina and epsom salt for a nourishing formula. bodybliss.com