Kelp is Here: An Ancient Treatment for Troubled Times

Seaweed offers healing and health, what everyone is looking for this year 

 By Michele McKenzie, lead therapist at The Spa at Shangri-La Springs, Bonita Springs 


Seaweed has been used for its therapeutic health and beauty benefits for thousands of years dating back to the Roman and Egyptian Empires. Ireland is especially famous for its seaweed bath houses, which rose to popularity throughout the 1700s. Since the 18th century, over 800 species of seaweed from the Irish waters have been found.  


The waters on the west coast of Ireland are some of the most pure, unpolluted waters on Earth and supply the most potent seaweed to the spa industry.  


Seaweed can be used in many ways. Products for the face and body with seaweed include cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, masks and exfoliators. Seaweed powders and seaweed leaves, which are activated with water and applied to the body, are potent and effective healing treatments. 


The benefits of using seaweed in skincare include: 

  • Seaweed rebalances the skin both on a cellular level and topically, neutralizing the skin’s pH level, which is vital for healthy skin. 
  • Seaweed has anti-inflammatory properties which have been found to help in the healing of many skin disorders, as well as calming and healing sunburn and other irritations. 
  • Seaweed has a high level of antioxidants that fight against harmful environmental aggressors such as overexposure to the sun, pollution and harsh weather conditions that can leave the skin dehydrated, irritated and vulnerable to other issues. 
  • Seaweed improves the elasticity of the fragile elastin fibers deep within the skin layers while enhancing the production of collagen — both crucial factors in the way our skin ages. 
  • Seaweed has many vitamins, minerals and important nutrients. These substances are absorbed by the seaweed and stored within its cells in very high concentrations. When applied to the skin, they are transferred to feed and heal the skin. 

There are an array of different seaweed spa treatments and many varieties of seaweed products in use around the world. Some seaweed products may have an unpleasant odor, which has given seaweed skincare a bit of a bad reputation. Quality seaweed products are nearly odorless and complementing essential oils can cut down on any odor.  


Another aspect of seaweed is the feeling of “sliminess” of certain seaweed products, but this is good! Seaweed gel pockets have the most potent healing nutrients.  


While seaweed treatments have many benefits, some people should check with a doctor before trying. If pregnant, treatments are not recommended until second trimester, and people with allergies to iodine and seafood should talk to their doctor. Other conditions that may be affected by seaweed treatments include lymphedema, hyperthyroidism, and some post-surgery situations and cancers. 


Seaweed also has benefits in body treatments, including: 

  • Seaweed re-mineralizes, rejuvenates and restores the body’s nutrients. 
  • Seaweed detoxifies, flushing toxins from the body and increasing blood flow while stimulating lymphatic drainage, eliminating water retention and bloating of tissues and ultimately, cellulite. Seaweed can also aid in balancing metabolism and because of its iodine content, can help to regulate the thyroid gland.  
  • Seaweed reduces internal inflammation, thus alleviating bodily aches and pains.  

Overall, ancient seaweed treatments are a modern solution to enhancing appearance of skin and body health in addition to destressing and relaxation, perfect for uncertain times. 


About the Author 

Michele McKenzie is a Natural Skin and Body Care Specialist with over 30 years of experience in facial relaxation and lifting techniques that reduce swelling, increase circulation and release tension. Areas of specialty are in anti-aging, sinus relief treatments, facial muscle relaxation techniques and Reflexology which help with TMJ, headaches and the over-all balance and health of the skin. For information, visit

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To book an appointment, please call The Spa at (239) 676-7334.


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