Beauty and sailing

Photo by Jess Vide from Pexels

When the weather’s good and the wind is up, there’s nothing better than setting a course for, well, anywhere really. The one downside to a day of sailing, however, is that your skin can take a proper beating. Fortunately, there are countless grooming products on the market designed to help minimize the damage sailing can inflict on your body. The key, as ever, is to be prepared. When you are going for a day you don’t need to bring your cosmetic bag cause you can do damage control when you get home but if you are on a boat for a length of time you should be careful when choosing products. Sun and seawater can damage your hair and skin so you should be extra careful with what you bring. Some products can help you fix your hair and skin but are very bad for the environment so you should keep that in mind. 

The Skin Deep® database

Environmental Working Group created the Skin Deep® database as a way to combat the serious deficiencies in cosmetics regulation. They test a lot of products and find the ones that are good for you and the environment. On their website, you can find products such as shampoos, toothpaste, lotions and hair products that are safe. 

Daily beauty routine

Your daily beauty routine is usually minimized because you know you’re apt to get dirty minutes later, or because no one else will see you besides other cruisers that have also stopped putting the landlubber effort into getting ready, or possibly because you don’t feel a need for it out in nature and you’re happy just to get back to nature. The face is clean, albeit with sunscreen because that is still a must, and hair is away from the face. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s what works for most days. But sometimes you want to look your best so you are wondering what are the products that can withstand the heat and the water. You should pay attention to making sure that all the products are waterproof. The use of water on the boat is pretty scarce so you should keep in mind that the products that you bring are easily rinsed off. It mostly goes for shaving. If you are gonna shave on the boat keep in mind that the best time to do it is when the boat is stationed somewhere safe, without a lot of waves, you don’t want to injure yourself. 

It is good to have multi-purpose and unisex products if you are sailing with mixed company. It is practical, it doesn’t take much space and it can last longer because on the boat showers are very quick because you shouldn’t use too much drinking water

Using marine organisms 

While sailing you don’t think about it much but the marine environment is a rich source of both biological and chemical diversity. This diversity has been the source of unique chemical compounds with the potential for industrial development as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, molecular probes, fine chemicals and agrochemicals. In recent years, a significant number of novel metabolites with potent pharmacological properties has been discovered from marine organisms. Although there are only a few marine-derived products currently on the market, several robust new compounds derived from marine natural products are now in the clinical pipeline, with more clinical development. While the marine world offers an extremely rich resource for novel compounds, it also represents a great challenge that requires inputs from various scientific areas to bring the marine chemical diversity up to its therapeutic potential. Beauty products infused with elements of the sea have a spa-like quality and boast an abundance of skin-loving nutrients. Ancient island cultures knew that soaking in the ocean can improve skin irritations, such as dermatitis and eczema, and help relieve aches and pains. Adding sea salt crystals to a relaxing bath is as popular today with spas worldwide as it was in ancient Roman times.


The minerals in seawater help strengthen skin, stimulate blood circulation, remove toxins, and regulate fluid retention. Like most vitamins, minerals are not produced by the body and are gradually lost throughout the day. Since your skin is your largest organ, replenishing minerals is critical to the health of your skin and your health in general.

Sea salt is a natural exfoliator, making it an ideal body scrub to slough off dead skin. Mineral-rich sea salt tossed in a bath or used as a scrub has the added benefits of improving skin tone, balancing its pH, and encouraging skin repair and hydration. Sea salt sprays can also add texture to hair.

Sea Salt


Another beauty secret from the oceans is seaweed. This marine miracle naturally cleanses and purifies the skin, helping soothe irritation and improve elasticity. It also helps reduce signs of aging by toning, smoothing, moisturizing, and stimulating skin cells.

There are more than 20,000 varieties of seaweed, which contain vitamins A, B, B, C, D, and E, as well as high levels of magnesium and potassium salts. The concentration of trace elements is 10 times greater in seaweed than in soil-grown plants, which is partly due to the abundant mineral content of seawater. Seaweed is a key ingredient in face and body products to manage wrinkles and acne, detox, and moisturize.


Like seaweed, tiny algae are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins that strengthen and nourish the skin. There are many types of algae, including blue-green spirulina, that balance skin’s natural pH, preventing irritation and infection. Algae’s high concentration of beta-carotene defends against free radical damage by creating a barrier of natural sun protection. You’ll find it in a variety of facial masks, cleansers, and moisturizers.


Harvested from microalgae and responsible for the pink color of salmon, flamingos, shrimp, and lobster, astaxanthin is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants. It is 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C in neutralizing free radicals and 1,000 times more effective than both beta-carotene and lutein in protecting the skin from exposure to UV light. Its powerful anti-inflammatory effects soothe irritation, increase moisture retention and elasticity, shrink wrinkles, and lighten age spots. It’s popping up on the ingredient labels of moisturizers and eye creams. 

Probably the right approach is for manufacturers to consider marine cosmetics as part of a wider project encompassing sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, which has been a driver with organic products.

Possibly the use of algae extracts might look like the best bet for cosmetics given their abundance, sustainable harvesting and thanks to their multiple beauty benefits. And with marine biotechnology currently said to be one of the best ways to promote anti-ageing, combat inflammation and stop free radicals, there’s no reason why companies shouldn’t be able to combine high-tech products with the preservation of ocean life and the environment.


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