Apparently, witches rub it on furniture and doorknobs to consecrate a new home or business. Some keep a piece in their pocket to attract money. Farmers and gardeners use it as a fertilizer. We are increasingly eating it as a superfood or smearing ourselves with it to re-mineralize and rejuvenate our skin.
Seaweed contains countless beneficial minerals, vitamins in high concentrations. It naturally cleanses and purifies the skin, moisturizing and stimulating skin cells. The Irish, especially in Co. Sligo on the west coast of Ireland, have known this for centuries and believed in the therapy of sea bathing.
All VOYA products contain extracts of wild seaweed sustainably hand-harvested from the cleanest Irish sea waters off the west coast of Ireland. They boast anti-aging properties and antioxidant protection. Voya and its cosmetic scientists have formulated effective sea-weed-based facial and body products. Seaweed is an extremely gentle ingredient that can be used on most skin types and a variety of skin conditions.
Former investment banking business strategist Mark Walton and his wife, Kira, a creative illustrator from Meath, founded “VOYA Organic Beauty”. To great success, Mark’s brother Neil had re-opened “ The Celtic Seaweed Baths”, a sea-bathing house in Strandhill, Co Sligo in 2000.
Sea bathing had been popular for three centuries. The first bathhouse opened in 1912 but the last one perished in the 1961 Hurricane Debbie. A triathlete who represented Ireland in several European and international competitions, Neil was converted to seaweed by his father, Mick. He used seaweed baths to recuperate and speed up muscle recovery between events.
In 2006, Mark and Kira Walton launched a retail seaweed bath. Their active skincare and body care lines now comprise over fifty products, from advanced organic facial products for specific skin concerns to food supplements, shave gels, baths, and body oils. hand and eye creams, cleansers, moisturizers, and spritzers.
Seaweed is a fully renewable natural resource in Ireland. Since the 18th century over 800 species of seaweed has been identified. Ireland is one of the least densely populated countries in Europe and the West Coast of Ireland is the least densely populated part of Ireland. the waters are some of the most unpolluted on earth.
VOYA only uses sustainable harvesting practices. Seaweed is selected by the eye and harvested by hand. No machinery is used to protect the delicate seabed or marine life. Only a small portion of the seaweed is cut at a time. It re-grows within six months to two years.
Says Mark: “We are a raw natural beauty product. A true niche brand w focused on creating genuinely organic, seaweed-based products and spa treatments. VOYA offers luxury results-driven Cosmos-standard products based on the highest-quality botanical ingredients and aromatherapy oils.”
The COSMOS-standard, launched in February 2010, upholds the inspection and certification of organic and ecological products, eco-friendly systems, and respect for the environment throughout the production chain. To achieve COSMOS ORGANIC certification, 95 percent of a product’s agro-ingredients themselves must be organic. The finished product must have a minimum of 20 percent organic ingredients.
Other firms include Seavite, Ri Na Mara, and Algaran. The seaweed-based Seavite Super-Nutrient skincare range was created by marine scientist Patrick Mulrooney in the 1990s. In 2015, the multi-award-winning seaweed-based range was taken over by his daughters Jane and Katherine, both of whom are medical doctors with Masters in Clinical Dermatology. Italian Rosaria Piseri founded www.seaweedproducts.com offering seaweed soap as well as Algaran spa products.
Sinead O’Brien set up “Mungo Murphy Seaweed Co”. “My first introduction to seaweed was through my mother as we (my sisters and I) would be roped into collecting kelp to feed to the abalone (a type of shellfish) that my mother grows on an aquaculture farm in Rossaveel, Co. Galway. In those days my treat was to bring a bag of fresh kelp home for the bath, much to my father’s annoyance, as there would always be sand and shells leftover in the bathtub. It was only when I was living in Amsterdam that I really began to miss my seaweed. As a consumer I was also searching for really simple skincare products that didn’t contain microplastics and other unnecessary polluting ingredients, that was when I landed on my seaweed face mask.”
Soon all our bathrooms could be full of Tangleweed, bladderwrack, and serrated wrack. The Irish believe that, for our own good, we should all be bathing in sea spaghetti.