Giant kelp or giant bladder kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, is the largest marine algae in the world one and one of the fastest growing organisms on Earth. Individual algae may grow to more than 45 metres long at a rate of as much as 60 cm per day. Giant kelp is found along the coast of the western Pacific Ocean, as well as in the southern oceans near South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
In skincare, giant kelp smooths and hydrates skin, with some studies indicating it has the ability to improve collagen synthesis, maintain skin elasticity and fight oxidative stress. Giant kelp is a certainly a popular skincare ingredient, probably made most famous by the legendary Crème de la Mer, of which it is a key active ingredient. You’ll find Macrocystis pyrifera in our Balancing Essence.
We knew we wanted to include giant kelp in our Essence from the very first start – our founder Kristina had been using other products containing it and was very impressed by its ability to heal, soothe and smooth skin. When we started looking for a suitable giant kelp extract to use, we faced a dilemma: either the extracts available were preserved with too harsh preservatives, or the extract was based in a solvent we didn’t like from a sensitive/problem skin perspective, e.g. alcohol. We were also annoyed with the fact that the extracts we found had the tiniest amounts of kelp, and not the other way around. So we decided to tailor make our giant kelp extract, and stick as much kelp as possible into the extract. It took us roughly two years to get there, but with the help of our lovely French partner, our very own glycerin and water based Kelp Pasty Extract saw the light of day. And that’s what goes into our Essence.
The kelp we use comes from South America, and the extract is tailor made for us in France.