Ingredient Spotlight: Seanol

Find out why you need to have Seanol a.k.a. Ecklonia cava extract, on your beauty counter

Seanol, also known as Ecklonia cava, is a Jeju Island marine algae you’ve probably never heard before. But Seanol is sneaking its way into Korean beauty stores. Here are the basics of what you need to know about this hot new ingredient.

What is Seanol?
Ecklonia cava is a brown marine algae that lives exclusively in the deep waters of the coast of Jeju Island, South Korea. Already established in the scientific community to have multiple therapeutic properties, Seanol is growing in demand as nutritional supplements in the US, Europe and Korea, and there is ongoing scientific research to develop Seanol into pharmaceutical medicine to treat brain degeneration due to its powerful rejuvenating effects.

As a number one bestselling ingredient in brain supplements among the elderly, Seanol reverses Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease symptoms and improves memory and cognitive function such as movement and speech. Seanol-containing shampoo is also growing in demand for treating the scalp to prevent hair loss, promote hair growth and reverse grey hair. Many nutritional supplements for women also contain Seanol to alleviate menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms without the addition of hormones.

Applied on the skin, Seanol has super-antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects to reverse the signs of aging and heal skin troubles.

The reverse-aging ingredient
Its multipotency comes from the unique chemical structures of the 14 compounds that make up Seanol. Scientifically named polyphenols, similar micronutrients from terrestrial plants are known to prevent cancer, cardiovascular diseases, microbial infection and UV damage. Seanol is carefully extracted using patented technology from marine algae to preserve its biochemical structure and activity, which are many times more effective than those found in terrestrial plants. 

What makes it so effective then?
First, Seanol is a super-antioxidant. Recent studies have shown that it protects skin cells from oxidative stress, which is what causes wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dryness as you age. Seanol directly absorbs oxygen radicals to prevent them from damaging skin cells - its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is more than 30 times higher than gogi berries

Second, Seanol inhibits enzymes that degrade skin texture and elasticity, such as elastase and matrix metalloproteinase-1. Thirdly, Seanol has tyrosinase inhibiting activity which prevents your skin from producing melanin and dark spots. Combined, this ingredient can reverse the signs of aging to lift up, brighten and hydrate your skin.

Seanol is particularly effective at fighting sun damage. Oxidative stress caused by UV rays decrease when Seanol is applied, and it has also been shown to prevent skin cancer after UV exposure. Like sunscreen, Seanol adds a layer of protection for your skin, but without the harsh chemicals.

It works wonders for sensitive skin and acne
Research shows Seanol inhibits the NF-kB complex, the master controller of inflammation. It calms inflammation in multiple organs such as the brain, kidney, gums and joints, and works magically on the skin to boost healing of scars, pain, swelling, redness and irritation. Seanol also has anti-microbial effects against bacteria called Propipnibacterium acnes, which cause acne. If you have chronic skin troubles like Psoriasis and acne, make sure to add Seanol to your skincare routine.

Bottom line
This natural ingredient is the new holy grail for aging, sensitive and acne-prone skin.

  • Anti-microbial effects against bacteria that cause acne:
    Botanical Sciences. 2014, 92(3), 425-431.
  • Protects skin cells from dying/oxidative stress from UV-B radiation:
    J Photochem Photobiol B. 2015, 153, 352-357.
    Int J Radiat Biol. 2014, 90(10), 928-935.
    Biol Pharm Bull. 2012, 35(6), 873-880.
    Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2012, 34(3), 926-934.
    Toxicol In Vitro. 2009, 23(6), 1123-1130.
  • Image source: Korea Fisheries Resources Agency

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