The Results Of This DIY Seaweed Mask Are Worth Terrifying My Child While It's On My Face

The benefits of eating seaweed are many, but you can harness the power of Mother Ocean just by soaking it and slapping it on your face!
Publish date:
April 24, 2014
masks, How-To, dry skin, DIY, beta-carotene, seaweed

I love a good monster movie; always gory, ridiculous and shot
in gorgeous places, monster movies from Creature
from The Black Lagoon
to Jaws to Tremors. Jurassic Park’s gonna make you jump. The velociraptor in the kitchen
still gets me everytime. Every. Time.

This facial mask is like a good monster movie: it looks super-gross, requires a little scientific background and a little suspension of
disbelief. Why are there snakes on
this plane? The mod did it? Sure, whatever.

I’m recovering from a little holiday. When I’m traveling, I
don’t have to eat well, or sleep, drink enough water, or take off my makeup.
Any guilt I feel over letting my routines slide is met with an internal
monologue of a defiant teenager: “I’ve got nowhere to be! I’m never going to
see these people again! You’re not the boss of me!”

As I’ve gotten older, though, my no-fuss skin turns out to be a bit
fussy. My face used to enjoy a good moisturizer. Now I look like a haggard Roy
Scheider fighting a shark if I don’t slather it daily.

So after a week of using random soap and cheap lotion, it’s
time to slap on a calming, moisturizing and detoxifying mask. I’m reaching for the

Seaweed has a long legacy in the beauty industry. Among its
many touted uses, from banishing cellulite to smoothing out wrinkles, the
popularity of seaweed rises and falls with the tides. After the Fukushima
disaster, seaweed products were flying off the shelves in the U.S., being
gobbled up by people worried about radiation. Iodine found in seaweed might
provide some protection from radioactive isotopes, but the few trials done to
prove this have been largely inconclusive.

So there’s hype, and there are facts. The hype is that
seaweed is a cure-all simply by virtue of it being from the ocean. The ocean is
very mysterious, she is a fierce and fickle mistress, but come on; I can’t justify
a $350 tub of face cream, Sea-Witch Magic or no.

The facts are a lot more elusive; seaweed is packed with
vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene. A handful of studies have shown it to have anti-aging
and healing properties, especially with superficial skin issues like acne and
dermatitis. While Science hasn’t really come out with terrific evidence supporting
seaweed as an effective treatment for any skin conditions, that doesn’t
discount it’s effectiveness either.

While I won’t gamble $350 on a skin cream that may or may not work,
I’ll certainly drop $3 on a packet of dried nori. Nori is a Japanese word for
the popular red algae that we most often see shredded and air-dried into sheets
encasing sushi or seasoned with wasabi and shoyu ready to be consumed at
break-neck speed.

The benefits of eating seaweed are many, but you can harness
the power of Mother Ocean just by soaking it and slapping it on your face!

For this mask, make sure you buy just plain nori sheets; though
the wasabi-flavoured sheets are delicious for a healthy snack, I’m going to
guess it feels like hot fire on your face.

After tearing the sheets to workable pieces, dip the pieces
into a shallow dish of lukewarm water, and let them sit for about 5 seconds.
This will soften and re-hydrate the seaweed, but let it sit too long, it’ll fall apart before
you can get it on your face.

Place it all over your face, avoiding your eyes (it’s salty,
and will sting a bit), until you resemble The
Swamp Thing

Settle in with a beverage of your choice (I’m going with an
ACV spritzer because I’m gross) and let this mask cook on your
face about 15 minutes. I elected to catch up on the new episode of Inside Amy Schumer because she’s killing
it with her feminist-flavoured sketches.

When you first apply the mask, it tingles a bit. That made me
feel like it was doing something; but 20 minutes later when I peeled it off,
while I didn’t expect miracles, I was happy that it took some of the flaky skin
around my nose gently with it.

My complexion looks a little nicer, but that
might be due to just having a nice hydrating mask on for a good amount of time.

I’ve done a few seaweed masks in a row, and I feel like I
see a difference. And for the price, even if I’m just
slopping sea vegetables on my face for entertainment value, it’s worth it to
me--my skin feels really hydrated and lovely. It’s really nice after a sunburn,
and the sheets are big enough to do your shoulders!

Anyone tried this? Anyone lucky enough to be using Creme de la
Mer’s broth? What’s your favourite monster movie? Trollhunter
is my absolute favourite, hands down.