Many people are looking for more options for moisturizing the skin. In winter the skin is extremely dry. It feels like no moisture is enough. There is a natural super moisturizer of which I have written before: kelp. Kelp, aka seaweed is one of the best ingredients for skin care. It contains a great variety of important minerals for skin. Kelp also contains other ingredients that are hardly found in terrestrial plants. One such ingredient is glutamic acid. How can you make products containing natural glutamic acid at your home? I’ll tell you about it.
Glutamic acid is a very important ingredient in cosmetics
Glutamic acid is an amino acid, or a constituent of proteins. Glutamic acid used in cosmetics is a synthetic, industrial product. Even synthetic glutamic acid is not toxic. Most glutamic acid is used to flavour foods.
At one time in Japan glutamic acid was made from kombu kelp by bacteria. Almost all Japanese foods are flavoured with monosodium glutamate, which is related to glutamic acid.
Glutamic acid has become very popular
Glutamic acid has become very popular in cosmetics because of its skin consistence. Glutamic acid acts as a very effective moisturizer or humectant on the skin. Glutamic acid also helps to stabilize the pH of the skin.
Many cosmetic products use glutamic acid. Its INCI names are:
- Acidum Glutamicum
- E 620
- L-glutamic acid
- Amino Acid
- Glutamic acid
Glutamic acid acts like hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin. Polyglutamic acid has been found to be even more potent moisturizer than hyaluronic acid. Glutamic acid is a humectant, it absorbs moisture from the skin and the outside air.
Where Can I Find Glutamic Acid?
We, homemade cosmetics makers do not have to purchase synthetic chemicals. Chemicals are concentrates and require professional scales as well as other measuring equipment for dosing. When making natural cosmetics, it is better to forget about synthetic chemicals and think where to find natural ingredients.
You can find glutamic acid in kelp
Especially, the kombu kelp is particularly rich in glutamic acid. In Japan, kombu kelp is used to make kelp broth, the Dashi. Dashi is added to Japanese soups to give a taste of umami. Glutamic acid is a non-toxic edible substance.
You can find kombu kelp in ethnic and Japanese grocery stores. It is a dried seaweed, which is a fairly well preserving product.
It is also worth of getting familiar with the kombu kelp use in kitchen. You can use kombu in salads and soups. It is really healthy and delicious. Do not leave any part of the kombu unused.
Kombu is rich in nutrients
At least the following vitamins and trace elements have been found in kombu seaweed. One 20 cm piece of Kombu contains roughly
- 200 mg of sodium
- 360 mg of potassium
- 4 percent of calcium
- 15 grams of magnesium
- Vitamins like C, A, E, K, B
- Iodine, iron, manganese and copper
How can you use kombu kelp in cosmetics?
In order to add glutamic acid to your products, you have to make a kombu broth. Kombu is very mineral-rich. It last well when boiled. So, boil about an hour on minimum heat, just let it boil gently. I used 1.5 litres of water for one kombu kelp.
Kombu infusion shelf life
Natural super moisturizer, Kombu infusion is very easy to make and use. You can keep the infusion for just about a week in the refrigerator. Then it’s time to make a new broth. If you want to use a preservative, the broth will be preserved about 3 months. As a frozen product, the kombu broth is convenient to use and most secure. You can freeze the kombu broth like ice cubes and defrost when needed.
The benefits of glutamic acid on the skin
The kombu infusion can be used in cosmetics in many ways.
- You can use the infusion as a moisturizing aqueous phase in your creams.
- You can use the infusion as a facial water. Kombu infusion is very soothing to the skin. The skin tolerates generally very well all kelp products. You can apply many layers of facial water based on kombu kelp on your skin. Let the kelp water to dry on your skin before applying next layer.
- Kombu infusion suits well for bath water. Add 0.5 litre of broth to bath water. Kombu contains not only glutamic acid but also magnesium, in suitable form to the skin. The broth bath relaxes and helps you fall asleep. It also moisturizes the whole body without greasy creams.
- Kombu infusion is particularly popular as a foot bath. You can add 0.5 litre of broth to water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. You will get a very refreshing foot bath that moisturizes and cares for your skin. Salt also softens hard skin that is easier to remove.
Benefits of glutamic acid for hair
Glutamic acid also works in hair care. In addition to glutamic acid, Natural super moisturizer, Kombu infusion, contains many other ingredients that benefit your hair
- The kombu suits very well for hair care. You can use kombu as part of your hair care routine. Traditional Japanese Funori hair wash powder is made partly from kombu powder.
- Kombu infusion is great for rinsing hair. As a mineral-rich product, Kombu infusion treats the scalp, balances fat production, moisturizes hair, has antibacterial properties, soothes irritated scalp, makes hair feel soft (moisture)…
- Kombu infusion contains the same types of mucilage as linseed. Kombu infusion rinsing makes the hair feel voluminous and soft.
- The polysaccharides of kombu infusion leave a protective layer on the hair surface.
Some people are sensitive to some amines and especially glutamate. For example, glutamates are present in flavour enhancers such as seasoned salt. In cases of hypersensitivity, kelp should also be avoided. Some tolerate kelp externally when applied to the skin but not in food. However, first test the seaweed for your skin.
Try the kombu on your own cosmetic products
Natural super moisturizer, Kombu gives you many other active ingredients in addition to glutamic acid. That is why I strongly recommend you to try a kombu. Especially on dry, mid-winter skin, kombu kelp brings a new glow.
Let us know how glutamic acid works on your skin! Please add your comments in the comment box below!
The very first skin care product line, which I have ever bought, was based on the seaweeds and sea minerals. I have already blissfully forgotten the name of the product but it left really good memories. That was my first experience of seaweed in skincare.
My first experience of seaweed in skincare
At that time my skin was a skin of a young girl, under 20 with impurities. After starting use of the series, the superficial roughness and impurities disappeared from my skin. My skin became easy to care and beautiful. I was whacked. Is this how cosmetics work? Why doesn’t everyone use this series and enjoy beautiful skin like mine?
I am afraid this smells little bit like advertisement. However, the experience I told is true. After that, I started to pay attention to seaweed and sea minerals in a whole new way. They seemed to fit my skin perfectly.
How to use seaweed in skincare
Now I want to open up also the world of seaweed and tell how you can use them in skincare. You can of course buy ready-made seaweed products like this. There are plenty of series available in natural cosmetic quality. However, I try to inspire you to try seaweed in DIY-cosmetics.
The use of seaweed in DIY-cosmetics is inspiring because you can influence so many things yourself. You can make different products for different purposes and use seaweed in all of them. Try to add seaweed to this sunflower cream. You can also add other marine ingredients to your products such as minerals, salt and the wonderful Dead Sea mud.
But the most challenging part is getting to know the countless varieties of seaweed and finding new features and uses in them. That’s why I am planning to write a comprehensive opus about seaweed. It is truly wonderful and versatile ingredient.
What kind of seaweed there are?
First, let’s get started on what kind of seaweed there are and what is available in stores and online. I will list all the minerals, vitamins and proteins seaweed contains.
By way of exception, I would also like to mention here the use of seaweed as a food. This is not a food blog and I am not about to create one. However, seaweeds are comparable to dietary supplements. If you really want to improve skin, nail and hair nutrition, you should definitely prepare seaweed dishes from time to time. Seaweed does not need to be used much. You can, for example, use it like spice in dishes.
Why seaweed is so superior?
Seaweed is rich in important minerals. Their mineral content is significantly higher than many land plants. Seaweed contains valuable proteins and vitamin B-12, which are very valuable for vegans. Many people currently have iodine deficiency. Using seaweed can effectively improve iodine intake. Seaweed in skincare is so superior.
- Seaweeds control inflammation of the skin
- Seaweeds absorb heavy metals and impurities
- The nutritional values of seaweed are unmatched
- Seaweed is well tolerated
- The skin and body are able to utilize seaweeds effectively
There are huge quantities of seaweed
A whole new world awaits you under the sea surface. Seaweeds are underwater vegetables and herbs. They are in the sea just as the dry land has different herbs and other plants. Some of the well-known seaweeds are generally on the market because they have been used as food in Asia.
Seaweeds used in cosmetics include, for example, seaweeds from the Laminaria group. The seaweed of the Laminaria group is large and leather-like seaweed. They are used to moisture in the skin, as well as to make the skin glow and beautiful. Seaweed can also help to improve the skin’s blood circulation and eliminate cellulite.
Find out what seaweed exist and what you can use for everything
I’ve listed below the best-known seaweeds. You can use all these seaweed in skincare. It is easier to use seaweed which are commonly available. Of course, all commonly known seaweed can be ordered online. If you do not find them in local online stores you will get them from abroad.
I added some tips how to use seaweed in cooking. When used as food, seaweed is incredibly rich in minerals and vitamins. Edible seaweed can also be used for skin- and haircare.
Everyone knows the Nori seaweed
Nori is used as food, more specifically in sushi and rice balls. Nori is perhaps the most common commercially exploited seaweed in the world. You can find nor seaweed easily.
Wakame is well known because of miso-soups in Japanese restaurants. It has a mild taste and it is easy to use. Wakame is extremely high in iodine. Even so much that its use should be restricted. You can add dried wakame for example, to bread or soups.
In skincare, Wakame is one of the best. Unlike many other seaweeds, it is easy to obtain. Wakame is also very easy to use. You can just grind it into masks or make it a herbal infusion.
- Moisturizes the skin
- Protects skin from sun and air pollution
- Works to prevent aging
- Soothes and removes redness from the skin
Kombu seaweed is a very strong seaweed. It is used by the Japanese in cooking to facilitate digestion. Kombu seaweed gives Japanese vegetarian food a great umami flavor. Kombu seaweed is not eaten as such but is made into a tasty broth by soaking seaweed in water. Kombu should not be cooked, as it will become bitter and slimy.
Cosmetics manufacturers like Lush is using kombu. Lush appreciates the cleansing and soothing properties of the kombu. For home cosmetics, I recommend a Kombu bath.
Dulse (Palmaria palmata)
Dulse seaweed is dark reddish, like dried beets. Use dulce in chopped salad dressings or as a popcorn spice. Dulse sprinkled on top of eggs is also delicious. Dulse has been a snack food for fishermen in the English and Irish seas. It is rich in minerals and can be eaten without cooking. Fishermen use dulse especially in egg dishes but also in meat dishes. Dulse can also be used to make delicious chocolate.
Nutritional values / 100g
- Iron 33mg
- Potassium 1720mg
- Omega3 and omega6 fatty acids
- Vitamin B-12 6.6micrograms
- Proteins 21.5gr
• Additionally, dulse seaweed contains vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, zinc, selenium and iodine
Dulse helps soothe the skin and treat skin inflammations such as eczema and acne.
Arame is very dark, almost black seaweed. Despite its color, Arame is perhaps the most mildly tasting seaweed. Dried it looks like loose black tea leaf. Use soaked, boiled Arame as a salad. Season with, for example, thyme strips, vinegar and a drop of sesame oil.
Arame is recommended for skin detox masks. Arame effectively removes impurities from the skin. It also moisturizes and brightens the skin.
The arame is sold dried as usually all seaweed. It is a good idea to rinse it before use and then soak it in cold water.
Seaweed suitable for the skin
Ascophyllum nodosum, also known as Norwegian Kelp is a very long-lived brown seaweed that is found in the North Atlantic. The Norwegian Kelp can live up to 400 years. Norwegian Kelp is used in skincare products and supplements. Norwegian Kelp helps improve skin color. It makes the skin ball and beautiful. Also in sun products, Norwegian Kelp is used to smooth out the color of the tan. Especially if your skin is sunburned or reddened otherwise it is a great help.
Norwegian Kelp is a highly nutritious seaweed. Its specialty is that it contains 70 different growth hormones. The growth hormone of Norwegian Kelp in agriculture helps the plants repair their own damages. Therefore, Norwegian Kelp is a very popular addition in fertilizers.
Thanks to its high amino acid content, seaweed is an effective anti-aging product. Seaweed amino acids help the skin to bulge and smooth out fine lines.
Rainbow seaweed, Iridaea Cordata
The surface of the rainbow seaweed shines wet in different colors of the rainbow. That gives the name. Rainbow seaweed contains high amounts of proteins, iodine, zinc, iron, vitamins A, E, and C, as well as vitamin B1, sodium, calcium and magnesium.
Rainbow seaweed is the best seaweed for seaweed baths. Its minerals and vitamins nourish the skin as they are able to dissolve in bath water. Rainbow seaweed is very effective moisturizer for the skin.
You can also add powdered rainbow seaweed to facial masks, moisturizers and serums. In facial masks, the dosage is pretty much free. For products to be left on the skin, I recommend a dosage of up to 5%.
The bladder wrack or Fucus Evanescens
Bladder wrack growing on the beach, underwater cliffs is a popular skincare product. The bladder wrack lives in tidal areas, so it is part of the time on completely dry land before being submerged again. The bladder wrack is huge in size. It is a very common seaweed. Bladder wrack has been used extensively in herbal medicine. It was once the only hope for tuberculosis in some areas.
The bladder wrack is an edible seaweed. It is commonly used to thicken soups.
Bladder wrack is high in iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium, lysine, antioxidants, vitamins such as A, C, E, and K. It also contains substances such as algin, mannitol, mucus and fucoidan. Due to the huge variety of different active ingredients, bladder wrack has become everyone’s favorite.
The bladder wrack is super moisturizing to the skin. It treats irritated skin and balances skin color. Flucoidan is one of the most effective ingredients in the fight against redness of the skin. The bladder wrack contains this compound.
The bladder wrack also removes toxins from the skin. You can combine bladder wrack with various clays or peat for an effective detox mask.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, bladder wrack can be used for sunburns and for the treatment of insect stings.
Irish Moss aka Chondrus Crispus
Irish Moss is a seaweed that everyone has eaten unknowingly. It is the source of the food additive E 407, or carrageenan. Carrageenan is used in foods starting from whipped cream and other liquid products. It is a thickener that has no nutritional value. It passes through the body without being absorbed. Carrageenan is generally well tolerated. It can also be used as a thickener in cosmetic products.
Because carrageenan is herbal, it also works as a cosmetic thickener for vegans.
Here was a pretty quick cross-section of seaweeds that you can use in DIY- cosmetics and also add to natural cosmetics products. Seaweed in skincare is easy to use.
Seaweed has been very dear to me for years. That’s why I wanted to tell you about them. Seaweed in skincare are superior.
Thank you for being involved and reading about the wonderful features of seaweed. I really hope you try them out in some form.
Have you already tried seaweed? Which seaweed did you choose and how did it go?
Please, tell me about your experiences!