Wakame Skincare: Discover The Benefits Of This Japanese Ingredient | CoolJapan

Even if its name isn't familiar to you, it's very likely that you've already encountered wakame. It's in miso soups, sushi and salads. Sometimes, it's even toasted to make seaweed chips. Because of its umami taste and mineral-rich properties, it's become a staple in Japanese cuisine.

Wakame Salad In Bowl

A tasty wakame salad. (Photo from: Dilara Yilmaz via Unsplash)

But wakame's versatility doesn't stop at the kitchen, it's also used in several skincare products because of its supposed ability to soothe sensitive skin and promote plump complexion. Should you try wakame seaweed skincare? Here's what you should know to help you decide.

Potential skincare benefits of wakame seaweed

Wakame has amino acids that can prevent water loss in the skin

Intake of amino acids can significantly help in improving our skin's complexion because they prevent water loss and hydration. Since wakame is a type of marine plant, it's naturally abundant in amino acids from seawater, which makes it a good skincare ingredient for those who have dry or dehydrated skin. 

It's rich in vitamins that are good for your skin

Whether you want to use wakame skincare products or add the actual seaweed as part of your diet, you'll get some health benefits. Seaweed is a source of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E, according to a 2019 study.

It has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties

In the same 2019 published research paper, it was reported that seaweed fatty acids have anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties that can "act as an emollient that protects the skin from water loss". To put it succinctly, wakame seaweed skincare products can benefit those who are experiencing moisture loss the most.

Wakame seaweed skincare to try

While seaweed skincare products are widely available in the market — with the acclaimed La Mer face cream having algae as its star ingredient — wakame seaweed skincare products are yet to go into the mainstream beauty market. However, that doesn't mean that there are none at all. Here are some products that you might want to check out.

Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening Serum

For those who are looking for an alternative to vitamin C brightening products, you might like this gem from New York-based skincare brand Kahina Giving Beauty. It promises to refine skin texture and promote "luminosity". It features wakame seaweed as part of its formula blend along with promising skincare ingredients like blue tansy and argan oil. In Singapore and Malaysia, Kahina Giving Beauty products are distributed at Charis Naturals counters. They're also available at Net-A-Porter.

New Zealand Secret Day Anti-Aging Moisturiser

Claiming to "transform skin both instantly and over time", the New Zealand Secret Anti-Aging Day Cream has wakame as its hero ingredient. This rich, nourishing cream is formulated to promote the skin's natural sun protection and is blended with other essential oils like Starflower Oil to lock in moisture. It's definitely a luxurious skincare item with a steep price tag but it did get good reviews, so if it's within your budget feel free to give it a try. During its debut in the Singaporean market, founder Mona Masouminia shared that the products are inspired by nature and that's why it's packed with natural ingredients like wakame. New Zealand Secret Anti-Aging Day Cream is available for purchase at their website.

Meder Beauty Vita-Long Oil

Swiss-made skincare brand Meder Beauty Science founded by Tiina Meder believes in "natural pain-free beauty". One of their most recognised products is the wakame-infused Vita-Long Oil which was awarded Prix d’Excellence de la Beauté 2020 by Marie Claire. It's an anti-ageing oil formulated with organic vegetable and seed oils, Coenzyme Q10 and, of course, wakame. The combination work to revitalise and renew the skin so it would have a balanced sebum level and healthy appearance. You can buy it directly from their website.

Bonus: DIY Wakame mask

Moon Cho of Yin & Yang Living YouTube channel shares her own recipe in making a wakame seaweed mask. To make one, just soak a handful of wakame in water for half an hour. Afterwards, drain it and put into an electric mixer. Next, add an egg to and mix everything in. Apply onto the face, leave for at least 30 minutes and wash thoroughly with warm water. Afterwards, Moon Cho suggests sweeping some facial toner across your face. The perfect mask for self-care nights!

Next, learn about the underrated skincare ingredient azelaic acid.