[Ireland] The health boosting properties of seaweed as a ‘superfood’ are well documented but a Ballycastle company has been using locally-grown algae for more cosmetic purposes in a newly-extended range of natural skincare products.
Caraderm seaweed-based products – including the latest addition of ‘Basalt Black’ aftershave – are now being sold at the company’s new retail outlet at the Rathlin ferry terminal building in Ballycastle.
Developed by local man, Liam McBride – and backed last year by RTE ‘dragon’ Peter Casey – the main ingredient is Carrageen moss, an Irish red seaweed, ‘Chondrus crispus‘, which grows naturally on the rocky coastlines of the Atlantic ocean.
Since launching its original ‘seaweed serum’ two years ago, the McBride range has grown steadily and now includes a shampoo and body wash, bath soak, seaweed bath pouch and shaving foam.
Although in the middle of establishing a pizza delivery business at the time, the businessman became intrigued by Carrageen moss, famed for its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral qualities, after taking it as a soothing drink.
“I started taking the Carrageen moss drink and it cleared my chest after giving up cigarettes,” he said. “This got me thinking and I started doing some research and read up on all the claims about its benefits.
“I used a traditional recipe that had been handed down through our family to develop a seaweed serum which is very easily absorbed and leaves the skin feeling silky and smooth. When I trialled it locally, the response was very encouraging.”
Then, with support from Invest NI, he got in touch with Bath-based cosmetic technologist, Barbara Olioso, who helped develop his idea into a sustainable product with a proper shelf life.
“With the addition of honeysuckle flower extract and a few other natural extracts, we developed a 100 per cent natural product that is odourless, tasteless and which works on all sorts of skin irritations,” Liam added. “Customers have come back to us saying that they have used it after waxing, shaving or for treating burns, scalp irritations and chapped skin.
“We now have an affordable range of natural products and, with today’s focus on sustainability and increased awareness of the need to protect the environment, I feel that Caraderm Seaweed Skincare ticks a lot of boxes.
“I hope day-trippers to Rathlin Island this summer feel the same and try the seaweed products which will help take the sting out of scratches and sunburn.”
Photo: The Caraderm range of seaweed-based skincare
View original article at: Ballycastle businessman making waves with seaweed skincare