Spirulina is one of those superfoods that I absolutely cannot go a day without. After I began taking it daily, I haven’t been able to go without it. My skin, my digestive track, my energy, and even my mood has changed. I love to think of new ways to add it into my daily routine, so why not with a face mask?!
A question I regularly get asked by my clients is “how will putting something on my face and then just washing it off help?” The answer in short is, it depends on what you’re applying to your skin. It can either penetrate the skin and be absorbed by the dermis, or not. Molecule size, chemical makeup, solubility etc., affect how a product is absorbed.
Skin absorption occurs when the topically applied chemical breaks the skin barrier to reach the bloodstream. Now, of course there are many other variables that affect the probability and speed that a product is penetrated or absorbed. Some chemicals are too large to enter our bloodstream, but many are small enough to penetrate (which is why I believe it is best to use the least amount of chemical additives in skin care products as possible). I always look at it like this; when you swallow something, it goes through the digestive process before entering your bloodstream, but when it’s applied directly to your skin, there is no filtration system. The lesson here? Always think before you apply! This is why homemade masks are a great way to target specific skin issues without worrying what other crap is being put in your body that may also add to the problem at hand.
Now, back to Spirulina. Spirulina is an algae that is made up of protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. It also contains nutrients, including B vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid. Besides the amazing benefits that come from digesting Spirulina, applying it topically is said to have similar benefits to your skin.
Spirulina has a high content of vitamin A, vitamin B-12, vitamin E, all of which are powerful antioxidants, vital to skin health. Antioxidants are extremely important as they act as scavengers, neutralizing free radicals that we may be exposed to on a daily basis. We’re exposed to free radicals due to harmful UV rays, pollution, environmental factors, unhealthy lifestyle choices, etc. Free radicals enter our bodies and attack stable molecules, causing somewhat of a chain reaction, finally resulting in the disruption of living cells. This can lead to tissue damage, disease, premature aging, etc.
Along with having high antioxidant content, Spirulina is known to be very detoxifying. This helps with the appearance of dark circles, candida overgrowth that can contribute to acne, faster cellular turnover (which helps skin heal faster and helps with the appearance of fine lines), hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. Spirulina also contains tyrosine (said to slow down skin aging).
Sorry for the nerd session, just had to get that information off my chest, I can’t keep it inside any longer! I have also shared my wonderful experience with spirulina with friends and family, all of whom have noticed incredible results in overall health, clearer skin, digestion, energy, sex drive (sorry mom), mood, etc. So here it is, a super simple face mask that I swear by.
Spirulina Skin Mask
Just kidding…even though I think I’ve started a bowl this way before…
2 tsp spirulina (I use Organic Burst)
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice (do not use lemon juice if you have sensitive skin or cystic acne, as it may become irritated and inflamed)
Add lemon juice to spirulina powder, then slowly add water (a few drops at a time) until a creamy paste is formed, making sure it’s not too thin, as it will drip and get on your clothes (if you’re wearing clothes) 🙂
Boom, now feel how amazing your skin feels!
You can purchase your spirulina from most health food stores, but you should always purchase from a company you trust, as you do want make sure it’s organic. Some spirulina has been found to contain hard metals and wrongful labeling, so, even if it’s pricier than something you’d typically buy, I’d suggest going for the most trusted company. You want to know exactly where it’s coming from and in turn, know exactly what you’re putting in your body.