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Skin Actives News

Skin Actives Notes

When we announced the replacement of our sea kelp bioferment with the new 'Sea Kelp Ultramarine' I was quite worried about the reaction we would receive from our existing clients. Over the past month we have sent out a lot of samples to some of our most experienced customers and I am very glad to say that the reviews are almost universally positive, in a lot of ways the reviews have surpassed our expectations. Most of the reviews can be found below but I have placed some of the longer ones on the product information page instead.

To mark the launch I did something that I have never done before, instead of using my regular shaving foam I used the sea kelp as a shaving gel and finished up by using the marine serum as an after shave. The gel allowed for an extremely close shave and left my face feeling soft with little of the irritation I usually get when I shave. My wife has been using our old sea kelp as a shaving gel for years and loves it.

  • We are getting ready to ship out a new order to Debra Dixon at, we recommend that customers in the UK, Spain, and Italy consider purchasing products directly from her as a way to avoid customs duties and delays.
  • We are getting close to the launch of our Philippines distributor, we are very excited about this collaboration and hope to have our product available locally via the internet and in stores. We are currently in discussions to create similar local arrangements in Ecuador and Turkey.
  • The launch of our tattoo product line has taken a back seat as we focus on the Ultramarine. We have been experimenting with the products and the reviews are great. We hope to have a new website up for this line in September. Products in this line will be sold through retailers.

All our past newsletters are available on our customer forum.

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July Bonus: Ultramarine Nutrient Serum
1 fl oz sample free with Orders of $150 or more

The bonus this month will be our improved, marine nutrient serum with 'Sea Kelp Ultramarine'. The objective of our marine serum is to alleviate inflammation and soothe the skin. It helps with mosquito bites, after shaving and sun after-effects.  This is why we considered the marine serum to be a prime candidate for the upgrade to Ultramarine: the added algae extracts (see below) address inflammation, so the new version should become a favorite for our clients with skin problems. Use it as a nutritional serum for oilier skin, as an after-shave, or even as first aid for mosquito bites. This great product just got even better!

Most Popular

Canvas Base Cream  4 fl oz
Collagen Serum 1 fl oz
Epidermal Growth Factor 50 mcg
KGF for Brows 10 ml
Hyaluronic Acid 1 g
Bright-I Cream 0
.5 fl oz
Sea Kelp Bioferment 2 fl oz
DREAM Cream 4 fl oz

Vitamin A - Twilight Awakening Cream 4 fl oz
DMAE Serum Plus 1 fl oz
CHAS Serum 0.5 fl oz

BKRW-UV Cream 2 fl oz
Alpha-Beta Exfoliation Towel
Copper Peptide (GHK) 2 ml

New Product - Sea Kelp Ultramarine

Macrocystis pyrifera is
a sea macroalgae rich in caragenaan, algin, minerals and many active chemicals. Fermentation makes the cell contents of this algae readily available to your skin, moisturizing it and providing the nutrients required to synthesize new components. This is similar to the key ingredient (the Miracle Broth™) in Crème de la Mer. It is fermented by the same microorganisms that convert milk into yogurt.

What is new in Skin Actives Seakelp Ultramarine?

Macrocystis pyrifera, the substrate in our bioferment, is a rich source of iodine, potassium and many essential minerals. It also contains organic chemicals like alginic acid, laminaran, laminitol, lutein, zeaxanthin, xanthophyll, violaxanthin, fucosterol, sulpholipids, inositol, phytol, phloroglucinol, aldobiuronic acid and much more. Plus, it contains fucoidans (see below).

Porphyridium extract - The extracellular polysaccharide produced by this red alga  has sulfate groups attached to the backbone are also non-reducing terminal D-xylopyranosyl and galactopyranosyl residues. It is known that this polysaccharide has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and the xylitol residues may be responsible in part for the anti-inflammatory properties (we use xylitol in our anti-inflammatory cream).

Arthrospira extract - This extract provides extra nutrition: more proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and even some sulfolipids that seem to have antiviral properties. The anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties of this extracts make it an essential active for eczema, psoriasis and other skin affections.

Brown algae extract enriched in fucoidan
Fucoidans are sulfated polysaccharides with a structure that depends on the plant source, and growing conditions. Applied to the skin fucoidan will increase the density of collagen bundles, decrease activity of proteases (enzymes that break down dermal proteins), increase scavenging of free radicals and increase cell proliferation. These effects would be mediated through increased expression of integrin a2ß1 and may also help with wound healing.
In addition to assisting in collagen synthesis, fucoidan inhibits the replication of many viruses, including herpes, human cytomegalovirus, HIV-1 and others. Fucoidan has been shown to inhibit the binding of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (involved in human ulcers) to stomach epithelial cells.

How to use Sea Kelp Ultramarine
There is no need to give instructions to sea k
elp bioferment devotees, just use as you would the basic, "old" bioferment. For newcomers, sea kelp bioferment can be used as an active (see our beginners kit), as a mask, plain or mixed with yogurt.
I use the sea kelp as a hair conditioner: it improves the texture and manageability of the hair, while providing essential nutrition. Because of its nutrition properties, sea kelp is included in practically all our products.
Many clients like to use the sea kelp as a make-up primer. It tightens the skin, and the good news is that our Ultramarine does not dry as a film when applied in small amounts.

Check out our youtube presentation showing a side by side comparison of our new and old seakelp when used in our formulation kit:

Tannin-Spitz, T.; Bergman, M.; van-Moppes, D.; Grossman, S.; Arad, M.S. Antioxidant activity of the polysaccharide of the red microalga Porphyridium sp. J. Appl. Phycol. 2005, 17, 215-222.
Matsui, S.M.; Muizzudin, N.; Arad, S.; Marenus, K. Sulfated polysaccharides from red microalgae anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. 2003, 104, 13-22.
Remirez, D., Ledon, N., Gonzalez, R. (2002) Role of histamine in the inhibitory effects of phycocyanin in experimental models of allergic inflammatory response. Inflammation, 11: 81-85. 
Naunyn-Schmiedebergs (2000) Inhibition of croton oil-induced oedema in mice ear skin by capsular polysaccharides from Cyanobacteria. Archines of Pharmacology, 361: 460-464

Kim, HM, Lee, EH, Cho, MM, Moon, YH. (1998) Inhibitory effect of mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in rats by Spirulina. Pharmacology, 55: 1071-1076.

Robert, L.; Fodil-Bourahla, I.; Bizbiz, L.; Robert, A. M.  (2004) Effects of L-fucose and fucose-rich oligo- and polysaccharides (FROP-s) on collagen biosynthesis by human skin fibroblasts. Modulation of the effect of retinol, ascorbate and alpha- tocopherol Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 58 : 65-70. 

Yang, HN, Lee, EH and Kim, HM (1997) Spirulina platensis inhibits anaphylactic reaction. Life Sciences, 61: 1237-1244    


Sea Kelp Ultramarine Reviews

For years, I have been looking for a product that will successfully tame frizzy hair. While I have discovered some products with silk and/or protein, nothing seems to really help my hair. As I live in the dry climate of Phoenix, I know that what my hair really needs are vitamins and moisture, and unfortunately, regular hair products do not help. By contrast, the new Sea Kelp Ultramarine is fantastic and makes my hair and scalp feel great. Since we developed the product, I have been using it regularly, and my hair has been smoother, softer, and feels much healthier. The benefit of using Sea Kelp Ultramarine has been that in addition to giving my hair moisture and nutrients, it is also a product that is neutral enough for my scalp as well. The silk/protein products I had tried would often make my scalp oily, and sometimes feel sort of greasy after application.  The new Sea Kelp Ultramarine feels smooth and refreshing on my scalp and soaks right in with a light scalp massage.
I have shared some of the Sea Kelp Ultramarine with my father who has graying, stubbornly frizzy, waist-length curly hair, and my aunt who has long, wavy, shoulder-length dyed hair, and both of them have raved about how soft the product makes their hair feel, taming it in a way other products have not done to give them healthier happier hair. With a gel -like consistency, the Sea Kelp Ultramarine is a little more viscous than the Sea Kelp Bioferment, but lightly stirring the product smooths it out for easier application. I apply the Sea Kelp Ultramarine to my hair with my hands, like I would mousse or a similar hair care product. What's nice is that with a larger application, the Sea Kelp Ultramarine can work as kind of a soft-hold gel. I love the mild scent of the ocean that the Ultramarine has - as it just reminds me of being at the beach. Time to relax and enjoy the sound of waves and having gorgeously healthy hair.

Rosa is a project manager at skin actives and is working on the formulation of a new conditioner incorporating Sea Kelp Ultramarine
  • So far, I love the texture/consistency of the new version better than the original formula.  I used it in my hair this morning after the shower (for about an hour, as suggested), then rinsed and my hair feels amazingly soft.  I look forward to more experimentation this weekend.
  • I think it is difficult to evaluate the new sea kelp because most people probably use it as an "active" and not as a standalone product so it may take time to see results.  On the plus side, the new sea kelp does not seem to be as flaky as the old product (which was a major complaint).  I primarily use sea kelp as a leave-in hair conditioner.  The new Ultramarine is much heavier than the old sea kelp and does not work as well for me.
  • Liked the old product better. please do not discontinue it. I am still continuing to use the new product but have not seen the advantage yet.
  • I love the sea kelp and the Ultramarine. I only use it for washing my face twice daily and love the way it makes my skin feel, so much softer….I would love to know some other ways to incorporate it into my daily skin regimen, suggestions please?
  • I used the new product on my hair and it seemed more soft and healthy looking than with the regular sea kelp.  Also when I used the original for a facial treatment, it would sometimes seem too dry and crack .  This one doesn't dry out like that and my face feels softer. I like it.
  • Just rec'd it so have used only once so far -  about a 1/4 teaspoon mixed w/some mousse to make the texture easily dispersable, and left on the hair for post shampoo styling.  It creates noticeably more volume in my fine hair than the original.  Will try it again today. 
  • I loved the original sea kelp bioferment, but the new formula is even better.  I've tried it both by itself and as part of a DIY cleanser that I'm trying to perfect.  After using it for several days, I can tell that my skin feels even softer and stays less oily longer.  It also doesn't seem to flake like the original (which didn't bother me, but is a difference that I noticed).  I'm thrilled with it!  And the color is beautiful.  Thanks for a wonderful product.
  • Both the new  sea kelp and the new eye serum are quite good but both tend to flake and peel if too much of either product is applied.   I suppose one should use very little of either product if one wants to avoid the flakes.
  • I've been using the new seakelp and love it.  The color is beautiful.  I believe it dries a little quicker than the original one and makes my skin feel very smooth. 
(If you find that the seakelp peels as it dries or is too tightening, just dilute it with a little water before use and it will be perfect - Jonatan)Additional  feedback on the new Ultramarine can be found on the new product page (


Hannah's Notes

Several times a week I receive emails asking me for a recipe of a vitamin C serum. We already sell an excellent CHAS serum, but for some reason some people want a recipe with ascorbic acid. I assume it must be because of the acidity of ascorbic acid (our CHAS serum is non acidic).

So here is the recipe:

DIY C serum - Ascorbic acid serum with ferulic acid and phloretin
tsp: teaspoon. All measurements are approximate, unless you have a laboratory scale and can measure grams and milligrams. Use level teaspoons, NOT full teaspoons.
1 tsp ascorbic acid (actual weight about 5 grams)
1 tsp Sea Kelp Bioferment
1 tsp rosehip oil
3 tsp distilled water (you can get this at the supermarket, actual weight about 15 grams)
1/8 tsp Ferulic Acid
1/8 tsp phloretin
¼ tsp antiox booster
1/4 tsp vodka or pure ethanol (NOT denatured)
Hyaluronic acid ½ teaspoon

pH about 5
Use 2 small glasses.
Glass with phase 1 (water)

Put ascorbic acid in glass, add water, stir frequently and let it fully dissolve. If not completely dissolved after 10 min, add a hint more of water. This recipe uses ascorbic acid at its limit of solubility, which is 33 grams of ascorbic acid to 100 grams of distilled water  (there is no need to do this).
Glass with phase 2 (alcohol and oils suspension)

While you are waiting for the ascorbic acid to dissolve, you can proceed with the rest. Put the ferulic acid in the 2nd glass, pour the vodka in and stir, now add the sea kelp bioferment. Add the antiox booster and rosehip oil and stir.
When the ascorbic acid has fully dissolved, mix the contents of both glasses together, stir well.
This is not a real solution but a suspension, so mix well every time before use.
Finally, add the hyaluronic acid, this will thicken the mix.
Keep refrigerated, this serum contains no preservatives and bacteria and mold will love it!

Discard if color changes to brown (will indicate that ascorbic acid has oxidized).

Final volume about 1 fl oz, or 30 mL,  so the final concentration of ascorbic acid in this water/oil mix is about 16%.
Hannah's blog entries can be found here:

We welcome your compliments and hope to learn from your criticism.
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