5 Ways to Love: Kelp

Kelp is a beautiful skin care ally both internally and externally. It is loaded with minerals, nourishing inside and out, while offering a mucilaginous (I love that word) loveliness that hydrates and soothes the skin. It can readily be found in its powdered form at your local natural foods store or online at herb suppliers such as Mountain Rose Herbs.

Just the aroma of kelp makes you feel like a mermaid frolicking in the ocean. I find myself opening a jar of it just for a sniff. It's great ocean aromatherapy for those of us who live near freshwater.

Here are 5 easy ways that you can incorporate  powdered kelp into your daily skin care:

PLEASE NOTE: You may want to avoid kelp if you have an iodine allergy or sensitivity. Please check with your doc. :)

1. A simple, skin moistening facial mask

Mix a teaspoon of powdered kelp with enough water to make a runny paste. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes to become mucilaginous. Apply to freshly cleansed and exfoliated skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes. If it begins to dry, you can remoisten the mask with wet fingertips or a facial mist to reactivate its gooeyness. Remove with a warm, damp cloth and follow with your favorite toner, serum and moisturizer. This mask costs pennies and works infinitely better than many masks you can buy off-the-shelf.

2. A nourishing hair treatment

Just as kelp is great for your skin, it is also great for your scalp (which is really just the skin on your head). Double or triple the mask recipe above and apply to damp hair and scalp, massaging it in. Cover your head with a towel and relax for 30 minutes. Rinse out well with warm water, followed with a cool water rinse. Those with color treated or very light colored hair might want to test a patch first to make sure it doesn't affect hair color. I have blonde hair and it doesn't, but just in case :)

3. A boo boo healer

Take a pinch of kelp powder and mix with a few drops of water to make a paste. Use the paste on minor abrasions or skin irritations to soothe and help speed healing.

4. A relaxing ocean bath

Fill a muslin bag (or layered cheesecloth) with a large handful of powdered kelp and a large handful of sea salt. Toss it in a warm bath and soak your cares away.

5. A product "add-in"

Add sprinkles of kelp powder when using your current cleanser, exfoliant, body wash or body scrub to super charge your products with a hydrating boost.

Kelp powder can also be added to soups, stews or smoothies to get the internal nourishing benefits. Give kelp a try and rock your inner mermaid. <3

Do you already use kelp? How do you like to use it?