Test Divas: Caring for your skin with nutrients from the seas

By: Popi Bowman, Andrea Green and Jana Manolakos

Seaweeds have more vitamins and minerals than any land-based plant and offer unique, skin-loving bioactive compounds that are not present in land plants. It’s no wonder then, that a number of products identify themselves as containing these wonderful ingredients. But “buyer beware:” Check the label to see what amount of seaweed compound actually is in the product. There are a lot out there who market themselves as “seaweed-based,” and only have traces. Not so with Seaflora.

Three of our Test Divas recently sampled a few of the Seaflora products. Here’s what they had to say…

Popi:

I grew up by the ocean in B.C., so the smell of seaweed reminds me of home. Many of Seaflora’s products are minimally scented, which I consider to be a major bonus, but as one test diva remarked, if you aren’t used to seaweed, you might not like it.

I became addicted to the Sea Therapy Eye Contour Gel, which I would apply no matter what other moisturizers I was using because it has a unique, soothing quality that definitely improved my eye area. I can’t say it made my current wrinkles go away, but it did prevent the winter dryness I usually struggle with. The Seabright Moisturizing Brightener was another excellent product, although I need more time with it to know if it can lighten my significant pigment issues. Overall, though, my sensitive skin soaked it up like a sponge, with no irritation or breakouts. I also liked the Sea Therapy Facial Cleanser because its almost-slimy texture is so un-soaplike, I knew I wasn’t stripping my skin of its necessary oils. I did find one of the moisturizing products “excited” my skin too much (some tingling and pinkness), but that’s because of my skin type; overall, I couldn’t get enough of their products! Now Seaflora is on my permanent skincare wish list.

Andrea:

My two favourite products were the Wild Sun-Dried Eye Chamois and the Balancing Sea Kelp Concentrate.

The Wild Sun-Dried Eye Chamois was an all around experience. From opening the package, watching them come to life in water, to the look of them on my face, it was more than just the typical application experience. What made the product even better was they actually helped the dark circles under my eyes and reduced puffiness.

My other favourite was the Balancing Sea Kelp Concentrate. This left my skin feeling hydrated and very soft. Often seaweed products have a strong ocean scent, but this product is infused with lavender and chamomile essential oils. These oils not only smelt great, but also made it the perfect product to use at night to help reduce stress. This product has made a big difference on my face and is truly soothing before bed.

I can now see why people change to a greener beauty routine; you can truly feel the difference these products make.

Jana:

After four weeks of applying the Sea Therapy Eye Contour Gel and Sea Therapy Recovery Facial Gel both morning and night, my skin was revitalized – especially those delicate areas under and around the eyes. The texture of the cream was light and my face felt as though it had been softly sprayed by mineral-rich ocean waters. Because skin around the eyes is thinner than elsewhere on the face, it’s important to avoid heavy oils in order to prevent clogged sebaceous glands on the eyelids that can lead to styes. Both products hydrate and work to diminish fine lines and wrinkles. A natural scent, reminiscent of sea breezes, brought me back to a time when I roamed the beaches of British Columbia. It’s good to know these products are created with the planet’s health in mind.

Did you know:

Seaflora is the first skincare line in the world to use raw, organic seaweeds in their formulations?

A quick note on Seaflora…

Before we try products, we always like to get a sense of the folks who are bringing them to market. We were fascinated by the Seaflora story. Seaflora was named Canada’s Top Spa Partner this year by Spa Inc. Magazine and Leading Spas of Canada. The company’s director, Adam Butcher, emailed a lovely note to us sharing their narrative. He wrote that Seaflora clients – predominantly composed of spas across Canada – are inspired by a sense of well-being that a trip to the ocean can bring; the spa community calls upon Seaflora founder Diane Bernard to develop seaweed-specific spa treatments. He adds, “Nobody tires of the ocean. We have to do everything we can to protect it… It is possible to work within the environment in a meaningful way that does not negatively impact the marine ecosystem for future generations. That is what we do.”

The team at Seaflora believe that seaweed skincare should be as pure as the ocean, that harvesting methods must be sustainable and that manufacturing processes are gentle on these super-food-status plants so as not to strip the seaweeds of their fiber; keeping the plant in a form that is wholesome and nutritious.

No harmful chemicals – such as petrochemicals, sodium lauryl sulfates, formaldehyde, or parabens, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers, GMO, dioxins, mineral oil, imidazolindinyl urea, propylene glycol, hexane, phthalates, aluminum, formaldehyde – should ever be found in authentically nontoxic personal care products.

Butcher explains, “Our philosophy is ‘Sea-to-Spa,’ much like the farm-to-plate movement – we source as many local ingredients as close to home as possible, including all seaweeds, ocean mud and marine minerals. We are one of the largest licensed seaweed harvesting companies in British Columbia.” The company hand-harvests every species of seaweed, ensuring that the quality of the seaweed is uncompromised and remain true to Seaflora’s sustainable harvesting policies.

Seaflora ingredients are whole, healthy and nutritious, free of contaminants and toxins, rich in vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients, chlorophyll, and amino acids that help firm the appearance of skin, while fatty acids and beta-carotene increase vitality and hydration – leaving skin vibrant and youthful looking.

“We believe in formulating these healthy ingredients in small, hand-made batches, to ensure their potency and effectiveness,” Butcher says. “Our family-run business proudly manufactures our entire product line in Canada, using trusted local suppliers for our ingredients.”

For more information or to see where you can get yours, visit: https://seafloraskincare.com/

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