Podcast: Seaweed as a 'wonderful' powerhouse for skin

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Seaweed for the skin and beauty from within: Weed & Wonderful

Related tags Iodine Iodine deficiency Algae Seaweed Skin Beauty from within

The marine biologist and CEO of Weed & Wonderful, Craig Rose, discusses the company’s venture into the world of seaweed which he describes as a largely underutilised nutrient powerhouse that is abundantly available around the UK.

“We work with partners to sustainably harvest [the seaweed]. We’ve got our own equipment for the food processing, all based up in Scotland on the Outer Hebrides,” Rose explains in this NutraIngredients podcast, with the company providing seaweed health solutions to consumers since 2015.

In the face of current climate challenges making terrestrial crop farming a highly unpredictable practice, Rose describes how seaweed is touted the sustainable food of the future; a claim resulting from the algae’s ability to grow without dependence on fresh water, land, or fertiliser.

He emphasises: “The key thing is that it has a huge amount of nutrients in there. But iodine is a critical one.

“Stats show that up to 84% of women in the UK don’t get enough iodine in the diet, and across Europe its around 70%. These are big numbers for a nutrient that’s essential to get in your diet.”

He describes how this led him to creating easy and convenient ways for people to increase their iodine intakes through seaweed.

“So that was where the brand was born and it was very much because seaweed people know it's good for them, but they're still think it's a bit weird. It’s not weird, it’s wonderful!”

Seaweed for beauty

Rose describes how following the initial launch of the brand, suppling just the 100% Scottish organic seaweed supplement, the main feedback came from women reporting improvements to the appearance of their hair, nails and skin, as well as energy levels.

​Beauty from within is definitely an area we’ve moved to, because seaweed has been used increasingly for skin care within the external beauty and cosmetics market,” ​he reflects.

“There has been this growing realisation that you can put whatever you want on your skin, but if you’ve not got the right nutrition, it won’t help”.

He adds: “We then grew the range to offer products focussed, for example, at menopause. So that has the seaweed plus other natural nutrients. It supports things like brain function to address brain fog, skin, bone, and muscle health which can decline as you get older and go through menopause.

“W​e took the seaweed and blended it with all natural and plant-based B-vitamins, zinc, selenium, biotin, and vitamin C. This is a one-a-day, all-natural capsule. Everything we do is natural but rooted in scientific health claims.”

Discussing the company’s ‘Beauty+’ product, which targets hair, nails, skin, collagen formation, and protection against oxidative stress, Rose adds: ​We did a nutritionist-led study which showed that after just 30 days of taking the supplement, women reported a 65-70% improvement in the quality of their hair and nails.”

He also discusses his additional work on thyroid health, with iodine deficiencies being a key cause of an underactive thyroid, which can lead to brittle hair and nails, energy, and weight management issues.

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