Conditioning and softening
A gentle, soothing cleanser, Irish moss powder rehydrates in water to leave the skin and hair feeling soft and smooth. High in sulphur, it is thought to help treat acne and dandruff.
Despite its mossy name, Chondrus crispus is a bushy, red seaweed found on the Atlantic coast of Europe, which grows between the tide lines to roughly 6 inches tall. Harvested from spring to autumn, the plant is dried and then ground to a powder. When rehydrated, it takes a soft, gel-like texture.
People tend to be disgusted by seaweed floating in the sea, slime-ly touching bathers' ankles by surprise, but most of it is actually very beneficial for the skin and hair, like the Irish moss. Its mucilage (the gel produced by the plant) is antifungal and nourishing and can be extracted to create carrageenan powder, a popular thickening agent.
Within a product formula, Irish moss acts as an emulsifier, binding materials such as water and oil together. Also, powdered materials are great for use in self-preserving products as the drier a formula is, the less bacteria are able to grow, reducing the need for synthetic preservatives.