Seaweed! NDA describes seaweed as follows:
Ascophyllum nodosum – a brown seaweed commonly known as knotted, knobbed or bladder wrack, or kelp – is one of many species which form part of the botanical order or algae.
I dislike the smell of seaweed. So why I had this burning desire to use it in my soap I’m not sure, but I did. The seaweed powder isn’t too bad (smell wise), but the instant it gets “wet” – as in it mixes with the oils/lye or the bar itself is used after it’s cured – it stinks! That, I realize, is probably a personal opinion that not everyone will agree with me on, but I think seaweed stinks. Even NDA describes it as having a “pungent odor.” (Notice they had a much nicer way of saying it stinks! Ha!)
Appearance: Greenish brown powder with a strong pungent odor.
New Directions Aromatics says the following about seaweed:
Benefits: Seaweed Powder is a rich source of vitamins including vitamins B12 (not found in land plants), vitamin E, amino acids, minerals, trace elements, and other nutrients. Seaweed powder makes for an effective cleansing and exfoliating agent. When applied to the skin, Seaweed treatments act as a powerful detoxifier that draws out toxins and impurities while adding beneficial nutrients. It helps to stimulate the body’s metabolism and circulation which gives skin a healthy, revitalize and glowing appearance. Seaweed contains fatty acids to combat skin irritation and inflammation; and may assist with skin ailments such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. Seaweed Powder is suitable for all skin types.
Application: Seaweed Powder can be used in face masks, detoxifying body wraps, soap making, body scrubs and bath powders.
Caution: Persons with an allergy to iodine should avoid using this product. This powder has a strong pungent odor that some may find offensive, so test product before using.
I don’t know what it was that initially made me want to use it in my soap. I just know about a year ago I had the urge. And I think after reading the benefits of seaweed I was sold. I mean did you read the above benefits? It just makes me sigh in delight when I read about all that natural goodness! So, while I might dislike the smell I love it in my facial soap.
I couldn’t leave it at a facial bar though, no! I decided to make a batch of body soap with seaweed. I scented it with eucalyptus and peppermint (two rather strong essential oils) hoping it would subdue the seaweed smell. I can’t say it does, but I think if you dislike a smell you pick it up more than any other smell. The bar itself is a very nice bar!
If you’re interested in trying some in your soap I used it at similar usage rates to clay.
I used about ½ to 1 teaspoon per pound of soap. I premix it with a little bit of distilled water, but I’ve also just added it straight to my oils and used the stick blender to mix it in with great results.
I can say I love it in my facial soap! I can’t quite deal with the smell as a body soap, though it is a nice bar. And I haven’t been brave enough to make a mask of it yet. 😉