VOYA, an organic seaweed beauty product manufacturer on the Atlantic coast of Ireland, have turned seaweed into an amazing beauty range.
VOYA an Irish, family owned and run business, began in 1912, using one of our most natural of resources when the first seaweed baths opened in Strandhill, Co.Sligo.
The Irish have always known of the tremendous benefits of the seaweed on their coast. The combination of seawater and seaweed has the most outstanding beneficial properties. Seaweed naturally absorbs nourishment from the sea and contains countless minerals, vitamins and beneficial ingredients in high concentrations. In fact, no plant known has the same quantity of minerals and vitamins.
Seaweeds contain Algal polyphenols and Carotenoids, strong antioxidants, protecting against cell damage inflicted by oxygen-free radicals, a major cause of disease and ageing. Seaweed is packed with vitamins B1, B2, and B12, plus polysaccharides and is moisturising, but oil-free. It can also supply alginic acid, which elasticizes whatever it comes in contact with, including the skin.
Seaweed and seaweed baths are a traditional marine cure therapy; they act as a detoxification for the body, while transferring their amazing nutrients.
When seaweed is steamed it produces luxurious oils, these oils (complex polysaccharides, proteins, minerals and vitamins) are naturally suspended in the water and as heat opens the body’s pores, they are readily absorbed.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were an estimated 300 seaweed bathhouses in Ireland and nine in the small town of Strandhill alone. The last was destroyed in September 1961 by the worst hurricane to hit Ireland, hurricane Debbie.
Through VOYA, the Walton family has revived this Irish tradition of seaweed baths. Their reopened baths in Strandhill, Co. Sligo is now one of only a few in the country and attracts visitors from all over the world, some 40,000 every year.
As the popularity of the Walton’s Seaweed Baths grew CEO of VOYA Mark Walton put in place research and development from some of the world’s most respected cosmetic scientists, marine biologists and dermatologists. They perfected a complex method of preserving seaweed naturally. By reintroducing the dried seaweed to water in a bath this “reawakened” seaweed cells and replicated the effects of the fresh seaweed baths.
This was their first product, and it remains the one they are most proud of to this day - for its purity and simplicity.
I was pleasantly surprised by the effects of the hand-harvested seaweed bath when I tried it. For best results run a hot tub, then add the seaweed and sea salt to the hot water. The seaweed will naturally rehydrate and spring back to life. The hot water releases the plants alginate properties; to release more of this precious gel squeezing will also help. Add cool water to ensure a comfortable temperature and release the seaweed from the net if desired. Once released it does look pretty busy in the tub, but, once I was in, I was swept away on a seaside journey. The seaweed wrapped itself around my body giving a sense of calm and relaxation. It was soothing and moisturizing and afterwards my mind and body felt refreshed and rejuvenated.
As an additional bonus the seaweed can be dried and reused for three days. After use the product does make an excellent organic garden fertilizer. My only word of advice would be to take care entering and leaving the bath, as the gel is very slippery and the seaweed does naturally have its own aroma of the sea.
The seaweed bath was only the start for VOYA. Mark then set about creating a full range of seaweed-based organic products carrying some of the unique qualities and effects of seaweed into their new beauty and skincare range.
The shampoo and conditioner are fantastic. Formulated with the purifying properties of wild organic seaweed VOYA’s Silky by Nature shampoo gently cleansed my hair without stripping away the natural oils and the VOYA Forget Me Knot conditioner gave a lovely shine with no limpness to the hair.
Additional products in the range include a rejuvenating and repairing raw seaweed face mask, rich in minerals and oils from nature, organic body washes, face creams, soaps and body lotions, which marry the finest organic ingredients, such as shea butter, bee’s wax, Dead Sea salts and pure Aloe Vera, to our own seaweed extracts.
The packaging is excellent and makes a wonderful gift for any occasion.
For more information and stockists www.voya.ie/