Sea moss (also known as Irish moss or by its scientific term, Chondrus crispus) is a type of red algae that grows on rocks in deep ocean water. “Like other forms of seaweed, it is rich in bioactive antioxidants, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory compounds that have potential benefits for skin care,” notes board-certified dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, M.D., founder of Dr. Bailey Skin Care.

Specifically, sea moss is rich in vitamins and minerals, including zinc, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and phosphorus. “As someone from the Caribbean, I’m all too familiar with its use in drinks and smoothies (it’s very popular there), but it can also have benefits when applied to the skin,” board-certified dermatologist Ife J. Rodney, M.D., FAAD, founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, tells mbg.