3 min read

Sea Moss: From Chocolate Milk to Skincare Ingredient

A botanical drawing of sea moss and algae on black surface

Sea moss is one of those ingredients that has blasted off into a public space in the last couple of years: it's everywhere, from drugstore shelves in the form of supplements to sustainability news reporting seaweed farming as a solution for feeding a growing population, in chocolate milk, ice cream, jelly, blancmange, and shoe polish where it works as a thickening agent, as an ingredient in celebrities' smoothies, or in skincare, where it works to keep the skin's elasticity. In Ireland, eating sea moss is not new: it's considered a local delicacy, boiled with milk and served with cream or made into a pudding (courtesy of its gelatinous properties).  

What is Sea Moss?

Sea moss, Irish moss, or by its scientific name - Chondrus crispus, is an edible seaweed belonging to the species of red algae that grows abundantly on the rocky European and North American coasts of the Atlantic. When fresh, it is cartilaginous and can vary in color from greenish yellow to red and dark purple. It's primarily made of polysaccharide carrageenan, which makes for 55% of its dry weight. It is often harvested to extract carrageenan, which is then used as an emulsifier and thickener in food products, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Like all seaweeds, sea moss is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and iodine, as well as Vitamins K and B.   Isolated red Irish moss on white surfaceWhat Is Sea Moss Good For?

As a nutrient-rich vegetable, consuming sea moss, either raw, in the form of pills and powders, or as a gel extracted from the dried plant soaked in water, might have the following health benefits:

  • Studies have shown that seaweed supplementation affects blood glucose levels and significantly increases beneficial high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. 
  • By improving cholesterol balance and thanks to its richness in potassium, which lowers blood pressure, it may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Since it contains iodine, sea moss supplements may help to regulate thyroid function. Thyroid glands need iodine to work normally, and since the body doesn’t produce iodine, we get it from the foods we eat. 
  • Carrageenan is a natural anionic sulfate polysaccharide, and as such, can modulate the gut microbiome - or, to put it simply, it feeds the beneficial gut microbes. These friendly bacteria work for your digestive and immune systems but also profoundly affect your mood.
  • Some studies have shown that its bioactive compounds, such as proteins, peptides, amino acids, lipids, fibers, polyphenols, and polysaccharides, can enhance the immune response to certain viruses.
  • It has been used traditionally as a medicinal drug against diarrhea, dysentery, and gastric ulcers and as a component in teas for fighting colds.

Sea Moss Benefits for Skin

Seaweed consists of various compounds that can be used as active ingredients in cosmetic products: phenolic compounds for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, polysaccharides for their moisture-retaining properties, proteins to firm and plump the skin, peptides for their ability to reduce the look of wrinkles, and amino acids to help repair damaged skin. Polysaccharides are the most important compounds in seaweeds and have many cosmetic roles, such as moisturizers, hair conditioners, wound-healing, emulsifying, and thickening agents. 


Amino acids citrulline and arginine in Irish moss are natural moisturizers that prevent water loss in the skin and are essential for collagen synthesis. As a major structural protein in our skin, collagen helps maintain skin's elasticity, moisture, and volume - which sadly decreases with age but is also due to sun damage, smoking, and alcohol. Along with a healthy lifestyle, boosting collagen production helps to maintain skin healthy, radiant, and plump. 


Arginine increases skin energy levels, encouraging cell growth and metabolism and protecting the skin. Citrulline-arginine also protects the skin in extreme conditions - from cold and polluted environments to air-conditioned spaces that dry out the skin (those of us who work in the offices are well-acquainted with that problem). Lastly, sea moss is rich in sulfur, which, thanks to its antibacterial properties, might help with acne-prone skin.  

Sea Moss in Skincare

Sea moss has become an important ingredient in skincare - due to its hydrating, antioxidant, antibacterial, and protective properties. IRIS™ Hydrating Hydrogel Eye Mask uses sea moss for its richness in Vitamin K, which helps maintain skin elasticity and improve blood circulation. When applied under the eyes, it helps to revive and depuff the under-eye area and eliminate dark circles around the eyes. These soothing and cooling hydrogel patches also help hydrate, visibly firm, and brighten the delicate skin around the eyes. 


The patches are formulated with 96% natural origin ingredients, and except for sea moss, they are also rich in ceramide to lock in moisture and strengthen the skin against environmental damage, collagen to plump up and firm loose skin while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles; antioxidant Yuzu, Vitamin C & E to boost collagen, hydrate and brighten dark circles; and retinol and Vitamin B complex to help with hyperpigmentation and keep mature and sensitive skin balanced and supple. An imagine containing a yellow citrus fruit, a transparent gel smear, Irish moss, transparent bubbles, pipette dropping pale liquid, and a white powder on a white surfaceThe emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, which results in a healthy body (including the skin) and mind, has never been more accentuated or widespread than it is today. We check the ingredient lists of the food we consume, and increasingly, we check the ingredients list of the topicals we put on our skin. And since nature can offer many powerful ingredients - from antioxidant-rich oils to amino acids-rich vegetables (yes, sea moss is a vegetable), the skincare producers follow suit, which means good news for the consumers.



MYSA user avatar
Tina 26/01/2024

I use the Iris Hydrating Hydrogel Eye Masks very often, mostly in the morning because they visibly reduce my dark circles

MYSA user avatar
dora 28/01/2024

In reply to by Tina


Hi Tina,

Thank you so much for sharing your routine!

We are happy to hear that you see improvements using our Iris Hydrating Hydrogel Eye Masks! :)

Kind regards <3

MYSA user avatar
Daniela 31/01/2024

Your eye patches are excellent, I am very satisfied

MYSA user avatar
dora 01/02/2024

In reply to by Daniela


Dear Daniela,

Thank you so much for sharing your opinion!

We are trilled to hear you are loving our IRIS™ Hydrating Hydrogel Eye Mask! It makes your eyes pop and shine!

Kind regards :)


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