If you have been a reader of my blog for a little while now, you may have noticed how much I loooove baths! <3 I think it stems from my childhood – in Poland, most people live in apartment blocks and bathrooms as a result tend to be quite small. In order to save space, you usually find that people have a bath combined with a shower (so like a shower attachment connected to their bath tap). Even once we moved to Australia, baths were just the natural choice for me. Along with being super relaxing, I now know how beneficial they can be for our health (and extra beautifying 😉 ) In my salt bath post, I mentioned how beneficial baths are when you add into a warm bath ‘nutritional’ and natural ingredients. This is because your pores and skin cells expand in warm water, allowing nutrients from the water to be absorbed by our skin, reaching the deeper layers of our skin. When I first found out about Mungo Murphy’s wonderful Irish seaweed, I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the idea of using all natural seaweed in the bath. I think this was because Australia has such a large coast line (and as a result – lots of seaweed) but I’ve never come across this bath/body treatment before. If unrefined sea salt is rich in minerals and vitamins, it makes total sense that seaweed could be just as beneficial. I just had to try it, and share my results with you 🙂
Mungo Murphy only uses sustainably hand-harvested seaweed from the West Irish coast – creating wild and magical beauty products, as well as seaweed for human consumption. Apparently seaweed baths are an age-old tradition in Ireland, used to naturally treat many health conditions such as poor circulation, muscle aches, promote weight loss, depression and poor liver function. Today however, both seaweed and salt baths are still used to effectively boost circulation, speed up your metabolism, minimise the appearance of cellulite and to soothe skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and dry skin. In hot water, seaweed releases light oils which contain vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D, K and E, amino acids and trace elements (up to 79 trace elements have been found seaweed species – including maganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc). The types of seaweed harvested by Mungo Murphy also contain polysaccharide Fucoidan, which is an anti-inflammatory that is also possibly an anti-oxidant. I predict that in a matter of few years, seaweed will be labelled a ‘super food’ because it is just brimming with vitamins and nutrients (and most species are still being studied for their nutritional benefits and topical uses).
So how exactly does a seaweed bath work you ask and how do you prepare one? Quite simply really! Mungo Murphy offer Sea-Bags and loose seaweed, which they call Simply Seaweed. Let’s look at the loose variety first – Simply Seaweed.
The Simply Seaweed loose seaweed, comes in a box containing approximately 200 grams of dried Atlantic seaweed. You can break it apart to get a few seaweed baths out of one box, or use the whole amount for one bath. I would suggest either using half the seaweed or the whole amount in one go – because this way, you will get a concentrated treatment. You can also collect the seaweed from your bath and dry it out again, to reuse a second time.
Once you’ve decided on how much seaweed you want to use, pop it into a pot of boiling water and let it infuse and rehydrate for about ten minutes. During this time, the oils within the seaweed will start to release into the water. After about ten minutes, pour the pot of water and the seaweed itself, into your bath. Now while the seaweed is rehydrating and realising it’s oils, it does have a somewhat strong smell – not fishy (for some reason, I thought it may smell fishy), but it has that ocean-y salty smell we all recognise from the beach (especially if seaweed is lying around on the sand or being washed up on shore). Once the seaweed itself and the water containing the oils is mixed into your bath, because it gets ‘diluted’, the smell becomes very subtle should you be worried about this.
Having the seaweed float around you in the bath is quite lovely – it makes you feel as if you are swimming in the ocean – except that the ocean has come to you 🙂 The oils the seaweed releases are also quite light – it won’t feel as if you have coated your skin in let’s say, coconut oil. Oils which are quite thick or occlusive in nature, often feel like they sit on top of your skin (most oils actually become occlusive if you apply to much to your skin) and once they rub off, you notice that your skin is again dry as paper (occlusives work by creating a barrier on top of your skin, locking in whatever moisture is already in your skin – they won’t add in moisture themselves). Because these oils and the nutrients within the seaweed can penetrate your lipid barrier with the help of warm water, your skin feels very hydrated without that very oily feeling. It’s quite remarkable really, because the difference in the of moisturisation of your skin is very noticeable.
The warmer your bath water is, the better – however, after rehydrating the seaweed in boiling water, I have added the seaweed into a lukewarm bath before and I still felt like I got most of the benefits out of the seaweed oils. This is a great help should you live in a warmer climate (salt baths need to be very hot – the bath water has to be around 40 degrees for you to reap the benefits of the salt – not ideal if you live in a tropical climate or are in the middle of summer). Make sure that you catch some of the floating seaweed in your bath, to give it a good squeeze – you want to get all the oil possible out of the seaweed! *Fun Fact* Seaweed is rich in mineral iodine, a nutrient which is essential for a healthy functioning thyroid. Mineral iodine in turn, promotes a healthy metabolism.
A box of Simply Seaweed costs £10.66 – that’s about $20 Australian dollars atm. You can find Mungo Murphy products at Love Lula boutique – a UK based website, but don’t fret, they offer free world wide shipping! Yay! If your not sure if the loose seaweed is for you (there is a little clean up hassle) then the portioned up Sea-Bags are made for you!
The individual Sea-Bags are great! You need to rehydrate the bag full of seaweed in the same manor as the loose seaweed, however you can do this in a bowl instead of a pot as the Sea-Bag is more compact.
Once your seaweed has rehydrated and the oils have started to release from the seaweed, pour the bag and the water into your bath. Make sure you give the bag lots of good squeezes, so that all the oil can find its way out of the bag. You can use the gentle bag as a loofah as it’s made out of muslin cloth, to get some exfoliation happening while benefiting from the seaweed oils. It might be a little easier to dry out your seaweed bag after your first use of it, so you can reuse it for a second bath. I don’t find that I need to moisturise my skin after my seaweed bath (because the seaweed oils are so lovely and hydrating) but being the moisture fanatic that I am, I still try to do so, so that I can seal all of that goodness in for longer 🙂 You can buy a box of 6 Sea-Bags for £19.18 from Love Lula, which works out to be around $39 Australian dollars (the box of Simply Seaweed contains around 200g of seaweed while in all the Sea-Bags combines you get 360g of seaweed – so almost double).
There’s something about using all natural, almost ancient treatments isn’t there – they inspire the imagination… 🙂 We now also know thanks to studies that seaweed baths are very good for our health and I would say that they are even nurturing. Taking the time out of our busy schedules to take a bath is great because we get to slow down for that 20-30 minutes and relax. I love taking seaweed baths now and I will continue to treat myself to them every now and again (intermittently with my salt baths). Do give the seaweed a go, I think most people will be surprised at how lovely the treatment is!
Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. also make a powdered Nourishing Seaweed Mask which I will also review for you and show you how to use – but that review will be in another post (episode two if you will 😉 ). So stay tuned! Also, be sure to check out Mungo Murphy’s Facebook and Instagram pages to see some gorgeous Irish countryside and all the products in the making!
How does this beauty treatment sound to you Beauties? Are you a fan of baths or are you more of a shower beauty? Have you heard of seaweed baths before and are you intrigued? 🙂
Catch ya next time,