Summer has officially kicked into overdrive with a global heat wave that has New Yorkers, Londoners and San Franciscans sweating beneath the sweltering sun. It's the perfect excuse to make like the Swedes and follow their ancient practice of swimming in ocean-adjacent locales—they swear that algae tones skin, relaxes muscles, and stimulates circulation.
The Nordic beauty pool has a wealth of homegrown brands utilizing natural resources and a sense of minimalist cool. Pioneering Swedish algae farm Simris launched two lines of supplements last year that reflect the colors found in the 50,000-plus known species of algae. The sapphire and amethyst glass jars of the Simris Algae Omega-3 line offer a plant-based alternative to fish oil, while the Simris Select range features novel snacks such as chlorella crispies, algae teas, and sun-dried spirulina sprinkles that are begging to be blended into your smoothies.
Another Swedish brand, Estelle & Thild, has a Superbioactive Repairing Oil Complex that combines microalgae with astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant in the fight against environmental aggressors and skin damage. Then there's L:A BRUKET, a skin care brand hailing from the western coast of Sweden that harvests seaweed from the cold coastal shores of the Kattegatt Sea. The process is done by hand and then taken ashore and dried in open-air sheds, as is the tradition of the area.
For centuries in Northern Europe, people have harvested seaweed as a part of the coastal way of life, adding it to restorative and soothing baths as a health remedy. Salt and seaweed are key ingredients as they revitalize and nurture our skin, as well as fuel our soul, giving us a renewed sense of energy and well-being through an intimate connection to the sea. The beauty of algae is that there's no need to rinse it off—the longer it's in contact with skin, the longer it can work its magic.
After you've made like a local and done being a bathing beauty, round up your mermaid-inspired routine with a plethora of global algae brands. Elethea is the first skin care brand to use microalgae from the Rift Valley in Kenya to create nine products, while in the heart of the biotechnology industry in San Francisco, scientists at Algenist studying microalgae as a source of environmentally sustainable, renewable energy came across an unexpected discovery. That parlayed into alguronic acid—a substance that protects and regenerates microalgae cells for immediate skin-regenerating effects—I love the brand's Algae Brightening Mask. Sauna optional.
What better way than with small-batch, fresh-from-the-sea ingredients to bring a decidedly Nordic coastal vibe to your otherwise sweat-engulfed universe? After all, shaking summer's madness by meditating on a favorite far-flung country's cooling beauty secret is pretty transformative, don't you think?
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