Seaweed might not be the first to mind when considering natural, plant-based ingredients for the skin. But it’s washing up in popular products from trusted brands. While there are thousands of seaweed species, several types are in skincare and cosmetics products for their varying benefits.
Today the focus is on oarweed extract or laminaria digitata extract by its proper name. This ingredient comes right from the ocean and offers attractive benefits for the skin. Learn more about oarweed uses in skincare and the direct skin benefits it can offer.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here
What Is Laminaria Digitata Extract?
Laminaria digitata extract comes from the Laminaria digitata algae (seaweed). This seaweed is very large, with broad, brown leaves that can grow up to 4 meters in length. It’s also commonly called “oarweed” due to the long, oar-like appearance of its leaves.
Oarweed seaweed grows throughout the Atlantic Ocean and is common around America, the UK, Russia, France, Greenland, and more. It has been in use for a wide variety of purposes. Historically, it was broken down and used as a fertilizer due to its nutritive properties, and in the 18th century, it was burned to create potash, which is a type of salt used to make glass.
The use of Laminaria digitata extract in skincare is more common today, though. It’s most common in the cosmetics industry. Laminaria digitata extract is derived by processing the leaves of this seaweed to concentrate its beneficial compounds.
Laminaria Digitata Extract Uses & Benefits In Skin Care
Even though laminaria digitata extract isn’t widely known by the average consumer, it’s well-known in the cosmetics industry for its skin benefits. Oarweed contains proteins, peptides, amino acids, essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins that can help hydrate, soothe, and protect the skin.
Moisturizes and protects skin
Laminaria digitata extract is full of helpful proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, and vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as triglycerides and minerals like iron and calcium. Laminaria digitata extract helps restore, repair, and protect the skin thanks to its nourishing and hydrating properties.
Laminaria digitata extract is high in carotenoids, which help inhibit the absorption of harmful UVA and UVB sun rays. This ingredient is in some sun care products. It also inhibits the tyrosinase enzyme, which impairs the formation of melanin and prevents the darkening of the skin due to sun exposure.
Calm and Soothe skin
Iodine is an antiseptic, so products containing Laminaria digitata extract can help soothe irritated or damaged skin, and help kill bacteria that may otherwise infect the skin.
Rich in Antioxidants
Oarweed contains antioxidants that can help protect the skin against damage from free radicals that can lead to premature aging. This can help prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Learn more about the uses and benefits of seaweed for skin here.
Is Laminaria Digitata Extract Vegan?
Yes. Laminaria digitata extract is completely vegan since it’s from a naturally-growing type of algae that is plentiful throughout the Atlantic Ocean. You can use skincare products with Laminaria digitata extract if you’re vegan.
Of course, you should consult with the ingredients list and the manufacturer of any skin care product to check for any other animal-derived products, and to ensure the product was not tested on animals.
Is It Safe To Use Laminaria Digitata Extract In Skin Care?
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel, laminaria digitata extract is safe to use in cosmetics based on present practices.
It on EWG’s Skin Deep with a rating of 1, which is their lowest (best) rating for ingredients based on their likelihood to cause cancer, be toxic, or irritate the skin. Laminaria is also in the Paula’s Choice ingredient glossary with a “Good” rating by their standards.
When it comes to Laminaria digitata extract skin care safety, you don’t have much to worry about. This seaweed extract is non-toxic and doesn’t have any irritant properties or other harmful effects when used in skin care, so you can feel free to use products containing this compound, even if you have sensitive skin.
Frequently Asked Ingredients
Also Known As:
As mentioned, the common name for Laminaria digitata is Oarweed. It may sometimes also be called brown kelp, Icelandic kelp, or Norwegian kelp, so be on the lookout for these names on product packaging while you shop for skincare products.
- Cosmetic Ingredient Review – Safety Assessment of Brown Algae-Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics
Other Seaweed-Based Ingredients