Occasionally we come across ingredients that are completely foreign to us.
Case in point? The sea moss gel in Erewhon’s Hailey Bieber skin smoothie.
But rather than trolling the Internet trying to figure out what it is (and if it will make us look more like Hailey Bieber), we’re turning to the professionals for more information on the buzz ingredient.
GO Healthy’s Resident Naturopath, Jess Blair, graciously answered our many questions about this so-called skin benefiting substance – here’s what she had to say.
What is sea moss gel?
Sea moss is actually a relative of seaweed, says Blair, “[it comes] from red algae, formally named Chondrus crispus.”
“Sea moss is harvested for its carrageenan,which offers the body a great list of health-boosting benefits. It’s also used as an ingredient to thicken milk products such as ice cream.”
You can currently find a slew of supplements that include the ingredient or purchase carrageenan in its raw form.
Sea moss health benefits
According to Blair, while sea moss does have health benefits, studies into its effects are relatively new. However, “sea moss’s cousin, seaweed, has been extensively studied with confirmed health benefits,” she explains.
“It contains iodine which plays an important role in ensuring proper thyroid function and regulating the metabolism due to its high fibre content,” she continued. “The same results are beginning to be shown in sea moss gel as well, which is very exciting.”
Sea moss gel for skin, hair & nails
Sea moss grows in the depths of the ocean, and according to Blair this affects the beneficial properties of the aquatic plant. “It’s packed full of bioactive antioxidants, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory compounds that we know offer incredible benefits to the skin,” she says.
“Sea moss is a great source of zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium” too, which helps to benefit the health of skin, hair, and nails.
How to determine sea moss gel quality
When purchasing sea moss gel it’s important to remember that the ingredient is still “relatively new within the health space, and it can be hard to determine the quality of different brands and suppliers,” says Blair.
“Sea moss gel can differ in consistency and potency,” she continued, “but a few key things to look out for when purchasing sea moss gel include a rich salty taste (it only contains ocean water salt and not table or rock salt), [that it] should only be cleaned, soaked, and blended with alkaline or fresh spring water, and is a natural gold or dark tan colour.”
“Poorer quality sea moss gels would have been bleached with chemicals rather than being dried from the natural sunlight when initially harvested,” Blair warns. “They will present a fake, artificial colour which you want to avoid.”
If you’re unsure if you want to follow Hailey Bieber’s lead and start sipping on the stuff by the smoothie-ful, Blair suggests consulting a healthcare professional for their recommendation.
Main image credit: @erewhonmarket
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.