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If you’re familiar with skincare products, you’ve probably heard about squalene: a natural antioxidant and emollient that mimics your skin’s natural oils. But did you know that for centuries, deep sea sharks have been killed for their squalene-rich livers?
Found in everyday beauty products from cream to lip gloss, squalene has become one of the most commonly used moisturizing ingredients on the clean beauty market. Along with marine microorganisms, kelp and algae, it’s no secret why ocean environments are harvested from heavily: the highest percentage of biodiversity on the planet exists below sea level.
Plants like seaweed develop unique survival properties to protect against things like UV radiation and pollution, which make them so beneficial to skincare. Packed full of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that regenerate and reinvigorate skin to a healthier glow, perhaps it’s time to add some under the sea kind of magic to your routine?
In honour of the recent World Oceans Day, we’ve rounded up a few bestsellers by green beauty brands that put our waters’ biodiversity and safety at the forefront of their mission, from packaging to ingredients. Here’s seven nutrient-rich, ocean-inspired products to Add to Cart this summer.
While many squalene harvesters have switched to extracting from olives, Biossance developed a sugar-cane derivative that saves more than two million sharks annually. Their EWG-Certified, broad-spectrum Squalene + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen is a powerful source of hydration for even the most sensitive skin, leaving no white cast behind.
SHOP IT: Biossance, $30
Founded by Aussie sibling duo Kim and Zoe, Dr Roebuck’s clean and effective skincare is specially made for sensitive, eczema-prone complexions. Inspired by the Ningaloo Reef in Australia, the brand’s Firming Serum draws its deep blue colour from a high concentration of copper tripeptide-1 which hydrates, strengthens and renews skin.
SHOP IT: Dr Roebuck’s. $68
Made in California and comprised of organic seaweed from a family-operated coop on the pristine shores of Patagonia, sustainability is at the forefront of everything OSEA does. Co-founders Jenefer and Melissa Palmer’s Hyaluronic Sea Serum is a fan favourite: formulated with three organic seaweeds and multiple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, it’s a fresh drink of water for the skin that increases volume, brightness and firmness too.
SHOP IT: OSEA, $88
In 2018, Marcella Cacci’s “love affair with the ocean” developed into a vision for the future of clean beauty (a.k.a her brand, One Ocean Beauty). And with recent mentions in the likes of Vogue and Refinery29, it seems to be catching on. Sustainably produced with UV and cryo-protective ingredients from the depths of the Antarctic and the Sea of Japan, Cacci’s Replenishing Deep Sea Moisturizer locks in hydration all day long.
SHOP IT: One Ocean Beauty, $82
Proudly made in New Zealand by an all-women team of skincare specialists, Syrene products are ‘a gift from the sea’ known for their gentleness and restorative care. In 2019, the Aquagel Oil to Foam Cleanser was a NZ Best in Beauty finalist, earning its stripes as an ultra-effective makeup remover that clears clogged pores without stripping the skin’s moisture.
SHOP IT: Syrene, $80
Sustainably sourced and packaged with post-consumer-recycled plastic, REN is celebrating 20 years of “clean.” The brand’s cult status Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic is like sunshine in a bottle - exfoliating, brightening, tightening and hydrating for a smoother, energized complexion.
SHOP IT: REN Clean Skincare, $38
Formulated by herbalist, health scientist and proud partner with 1% For The Planet, Ali Perry-Hatch, Earth Harbor uses high-performing ocean nutrients and organic botanicals to produce high quality, maritime products. The Citrine Sea Tropical Ayurvedic Exfoliator is just one of them: a triple action microdermabrasion exfoliator, cleanser and mask that smooths skin, calms flare-ups, and deeply cleanses pores.
SHOP IT: Earth Harbor, $20