I love a good monster movie; always gory, ridiculous and shot in gorgeous places, monster movies from Creature from The Black Lagoon to Jaws to Tremors. Jurassic Park’s gonna make you jump. The velociraptor in the kitchen still gets me everytime. Every. Time.
This facial mask is like a good monster movie: it looks super-gross, requires a little scientific background and a little suspension of disbelief. Why are there snakes on this plane? The mod did it? Sure, whatever.
I’m recovering from a little holiday. When I’m traveling, I don’t have to eat well, or sleep, drink enough water, or take off my makeup. Any guilt I feel over letting my routines slide is met with an internal monologue of a defiant teenager: “I’ve got nowhere to be! I’m never going to see these people again! You’re not the boss of me!”
As I’ve gotten older, though, my no-fuss skin turns out to be a bit fussy. My face used to enjoy a good moisturizer. Now I look like a haggard Roy Scheider fighting a shark if I don’t slather it daily.
So after a week of using random soap and cheap lotion, it’s time to slap on a calming, moisturizing and detoxifying mask. I’m reaching for the seaweed.
Seaweed has a long legacy in the beauty industry. Among its many touted uses, from banishing cellulite to smoothing out wrinkles, the popularity of seaweed rises and falls with the tides. After the Fukushima disaster, seaweed products were flying off the shelves in the U.S., being gobbled up by people worried about radiation. Iodine found in seaweed might provide some protection from radioactive isotopes, but the few trials done to prove this have been largely inconclusive.
So there’s hype, and there are facts. The hype is that seaweed is a cure-all simply by virtue of it being from the ocean. The ocean is very mysterious, she is a fierce and fickle mistress, but come on; I can’t justify a $350 tub of face cream, Sea-Witch Magic or no.
The facts are a lot more elusive; seaweed is packed with vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene. A handful of studies have shown it to have anti-aging and healing properties, especially with superficial skin issues like acne and dermatitis. While Science hasn’t really come out with terrific evidence supporting seaweed as an effective treatment for any skin conditions, that doesn’t discount it’s effectiveness either.
While I won’t gamble $350 on a skin cream that may or may not work, I’ll certainly drop $3 on a packet of dried nori. Nori is a Japanese word for the popular red algae that we most often see shredded and air-dried into sheets encasing sushi or seasoned with wasabi and shoyu ready to be consumed at break-neck speed.
The benefits of eating seaweed are many, but you can harness the power of Mother Ocean just by soaking it and slapping it on your face!
For this mask, make sure you buy just plain nori sheets; though the wasabi-flavoured sheets are delicious for a healthy snack, I’m going to guess it feels like hot fire on your face.
After tearing the sheets to workable pieces, dip the pieces into a shallow dish of lukewarm water, and let them sit for about 5 seconds. This will soften and re-hydrate the seaweed, but let it sit too long, it’ll fall apart before you can get it on your face.
Place it all over your face, avoiding your eyes (it’s salty, and will sting a bit), until you resemble The Swamp Thing.
Settle in with a beverage of your choice (I’m going with an ACV spritzer because I’m gross) and let this mask cook on your face about 15 minutes. I elected to catch up on the new episode of Inside Amy Schumer because she’s killing it with her feminist-flavoured sketches.
When you first apply the mask, it tingles a bit. That made me feel like it was doing something; but 20 minutes later when I peeled it off, while I didn’t expect miracles, I was happy that it took some of the flaky skin around my nose gently with it.
My complexion looks a little nicer, but that might be due to just having a nice hydrating mask on for a good amount of time.
I’ve done a few seaweed masks in a row, and I feel like I see a difference. And for the price, even if I’m just slopping sea vegetables on my face for entertainment value, it’s worth it to me--my skin feels really hydrated and lovely. It’s really nice after a sunburn, and the sheets are big enough to do your shoulders!
Anyone tried this? Anyone lucky enough to be using Creme de la Mer’s broth? What’s your favourite monster movie? Trollhunter is my absolute favourite, hands down.