These Face Masks Were Basically Fished Out of the Sea

Fair warning: they all smell pretty fishy.

Though I tend relish in my status as a desert rat and despise getting my hair wet (hello hour-long blow dry session), I definitely appreciate that the sea offers a host of skin-nourishing ingredients. Over the past couple of months, in particular, I've paid careful attention to when these ingredients show up in my skincare products, and have put in some research to learn just what benefits they offer.

Today, I'm sharing four different face masks with you that utilize ingredients from the sea. Fair warning for those of you with major ocean aversions: they all smell pretty fishy.

Whamisa Organic Real Sea Kelp Sheet Mask

This Whamisa sheet mask is likely to induce nightmares for anyone who sees you wearing it (yourself included), but it's pretty legit. When you open it up from the pouch, it smells like you're at a particularly kelp-y seashore, and the texture is thick and slimy.

It comes with two separate sheets — one for your lower face, one for upper — to create a better fit, which is necessary when you're working with a thicker mask like this. It contains sea kelp, fermented sea kelp and bamboo serum, and it delivers a major boost of moisture.

Mullein & Sparrow Facial Mask and Captain Blankenship Mermaid Detox Mask

I'm really into powder masks, lately. They're easy to travel with since they're TSA approved and don't leak, and they basically don't have an expiration date.

Also, there's something fun about mixing your own mask before applying it.

Mullein & Sparrow's mask is the least "fishy" of all the masks here, so it's a good option if you want to utilize sea ingredients without having to smell the sea. It costs $30 for 2.5 oz. and does a really nice job of sucking out excess oil and soothing the skin. It contains an assortment of clays, including bentonite, kaolin, rhassoul, and sea clay. The lattermost contains algae and sea minerals that detoxify and nourish.

Captain Blankenship's Mermaid Detox Mask — $30 for 2 oz. — is a bit thicker than the Mullein & Sparrow powder mask, and has more of a fishy smell to it, as well. I love it, and had to include it here, because it contains so many sea ingredients: organic spirulina powder (a blue-green microalgea), organic bladderwrack powder (a type of kelp) and organic kelp powder. It's very soothing, loaded with vitamins, and helps with inflammation and acne-prone skin.

Circ-Cell Red Algae Clarifying Mask

While all of the above masks qualify as soothing, this one lands more on the "wake you up" side of the spectrum. It kind of tingles on the skin, and makes skin feel smoother and look brighter. It contains red algae, which is loaded with antioxidants, and various botanical oils. It also has TTO, grape seed, thyme, lavender and grapefruit oils, and is best for people who have acne-prone or combination skin.

I like to use this right before I go out for the evening for a brighter, more "alive" kind of complexion. It creates a nice, clean, clear and vibrant palette for my makeup.

  • Think you could do the sea mask thing? Or does the thought of smearing kelp all over your face kind of gross you out?
  • Do you prefer a soothing mask versus a stimulating mask?