Seaweed is becoming a celebrity plant

Seaweed is the latest super plant


Some forms are now used to help those with acne and skin spots from cancer

Another type is used to help cancer drug-dried out skin

This rather slimy weed floating around in seawater has thousands of uses, many of which are still to be discovered.  And it can be free to use, if you live near the sea.

Premila, a friend who lives in Brighton, collects the dark green large leaved seaweed you see above, takes it home and dumps it in the bath, and says she has a lovely relaxing soak.


It all started with Dr. Richard Russell (1687 – 1759) who was an 18th century physician working in Brighton.  He  encouraged his patients to use a form of water therapy that involved submersing his patients in the sea, and then drinking seawater.  This developed into Thalassotherapy, taken up eagerly by the French, and now on offer around their coastline and in the Mediterranean.

But I am glad to say that drinking sea water is no longer encouraged!  Ugh! But now medical spas using thalassotherapy treatment are found all round Europe’s sea coasts.

 Help with Acne and Spots

And come September, Mentholatum has a brand new product launching that is proving incredibly helpful to those suffering from acne and spots induced by cancer treatment.

Watch this space in September.

More Seaweed miracles

I have written about the benefits of using an Icelandic seaweed-based skincare developed by Dr. Jón Bragi Bjarnason,  Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Iceland.

This is for my type of skin – the one that is totally dried out by cancer drugs.  There are two main  products –

Age Management Gel

An Age Management Gel that you wear as a moisturiser.  It comes in a clear dispenser, and you only need one or two small drops.  Spread this over your face, and WAIT 15 minutes before putting anything else on your face.  £120.  But it lasts me 3 – 4 months, and my skin is very thirsty.

There is also a Face and Body Salvation – a clear spray that is particularly good if you are out in the sun, or travelling by air.

Then there is also a Mask – which has all the benefits of the seaweed ingredients to give your face a lift (£10).

And the seaweed content?  As they say, “the diverse marine life of Iceland’s abundant waters inspired Dr Bragi to scientifically explore the effects of a new and undiscovered enzyme. He has since dedicated his life to the understanding and development of marine enzymes, and owns the worldwide patent for these powerful extracts.

His extensive research initially focused on the therapeutic value of the enzymes for arthritis and wound healing. Clinical evidence of their effectiveness was so compelling that it prompted Dr Bragi to explore their cosmetic potential as well.

He decided to develop a unique line of skin care products based on his marine enzyme technology.

Now, after seven years of extensive trials – with incredible results – Dr. Bragi’s skincare formulations are commercially available to the public for the first time.

Important Information

As a non-scientist, my way of testing is to actually try a product on my skin, and any of my friends who have had cancer whom I can persuade!  So when trying out products I surf the web to find good/bad info that might throw more light on how and why a product works.  I came across Marta, on, who – like me – tests things on herself.  She had some good things to say about Dr. Bragi, but had tested the Age Management product and was not impressed.  So she posted an article.

The Dr. Bragi team had the courtesy to reply – I thought their comments were intesting:

1. Dr Bragi Technical Team Jul 24th, 2009

Dear Marta,

Thank you for showing an interest in our brand, it’s always good to see that our products have caught people’s attention.

After reading your blog we felt inclined to write back and correct you on a few points you made about our product. Our customers opinions and comments mean a lot to us and we appreciate your honesty however we thought we would explain a few things that perhaps were misunderstood during your research.

Firstly, let us tell you a little more about Penzyme. Indeed, this is a marine enzyme and obtained from through a strict purification process from sustainably fished organic Icelandic cod, however, no animals are killed in the name of our products – the ingredient is obtained a s a by product from cod used to obtain Omega-3 supplements which are consumed in abundance all over the world.

The cod used comes from the North Atlantic, which is extremely pure and contains absolutely no mercury or other heavy metals.

Secondly, you are absolutely right about Penzyme being made by Zymetech and used in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr Bragi is Iceland’s most respected biochemist and produces the enzyme at the University of Iceland and sells this through Zymetech which is his research and manufacture company. Dr Bragi dedicated his life to the study of marine enzymes and as you pointed out, it has been sold over the counter for a while for the treatment of various conditions. The efficacy is backed by a plethora of empirical research data which we will happily provide for anyone that may be interested. Moreover, Penzyme holds a global patent for its efficacy. Obtaining a patent is an extremely complicated and extensively vetted procedure; this is why we are so proud to produce a product containing a scientifically backed ingredient. The enzyme used in our skincare line is the same, however, it is formulated in different percentages. It is not mass produced but made in small batches by Jon Bragi himself and we are very careful with our ingredients adapted for use on the face.

The discovery of Penzyme’s efficacy on wrinkles, rosacea, acne and so on was an unexpected discovery during clinical trials on wound healing, this then lead on to more successful research which again, we will happily provide to our customers. Due to the concentration, formulation and sheer net weight, the Age Management Moisturiser is expensive but lasts a very long time and we encourage our customers to use as little as possible. This brings us to another of your points, the ‘thickness, tackiness and stickiness’ of the product. The formulation contains no oil; it is based purely on glycerine and sorbitol which may occasionally feel sticky. The enzyme can only survive in a very strict environment, which means we can only use those two base ingredients however we will soon be adding Hyaluronic Acid, which will not only make the product far less sticky but also even more efficient. Ingredients like urea (obtained from plants) and hydrochloric acid are also needed to balance out the correct pH for the enzyme, these are present in negligible percentages of 0.01%. Sodium hydroxide is used in the process as a buffing agent, only 0.15% is used.

We hope this helps you understand our product more and we are always here to answer any questions, as is Dr Bragi himself. We try to be as transparent and possible and offer all information available in order to help our customers understand the science behind our brand. We are sorry to hear the product did not work for you and we will happily send you a complimentary sample of our award winning Intensive Treatment Mask, perhaps that will change your mind and you will join the many satisfied Dr Bragi customers around the globe.

Sincerely yours,

The Dr Bragi Technical Team
2. Martamarta Jul 24th, 2009

Thank you Dr Bragi tech team for taking the time to write such an informative response. The fact that the enzyme can only live in a very strict environment is fascinating and seems obvious now that you say it. The future addition of hyaluronic acid sounds like a very good idea – I felt that it needed a moisture boost. And I’d love to try the mask!
My best, Marta

P.P.S  Hyaluronic acid is definitely something to watch – Mentholatum use this in some of their products.   I should definiutely have paid more attention to Science lessons at school, instead of learning how to read comics held in my lap.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Tagged: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: