Sea cucumbers might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of healing ingredients, but it should. Sometimes referred to as “pickles,” sea cucumbers have many healing properties that contribute to a healthier lifestyle and improved well-being.
Why? Because they’re packed with bioactive compounds that boast body-wide benefits, from anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial to anti-diabetic, as well as anti-obesity.
Indeed, the sea cucumber is part of the methods and philosophies attributed to Eastern Medicine. Considering these benefits and healing properties, they are making a comeback among the Chinese seeking a holistic path to health.
Before diving into what sea cucumbers are, let’s first establish what they are not. Sea cucumbers are not vegetables. They are invertebrate marine animals found on ocean floors worldwide. However, their denomination is not coincidental - they have an elongated shape that resembles cucumbers.
The Benefits of Sea Cucumber for Skin
Given their medical and nutritional properties, sea cucumbers could also become the next staple ingredient in one’s beauty routine. With natural beauty trends on the rise, the latest wonder ingredient being lauded by skincare experts is the sea cucumber. What led to this development? The sheer amount of functional substances contained in the sea cucumber. Its body wall represents 50% of the body weight and contains 70% insoluble collagen fibrils.
At this point, perhaps you’re wondering: how does this help my skin? Our skin contains around 75-80% collagen, but this substance degrades with age. This loss affects the overall well-being of the skin, mainly taking its toll on the structure and appearance. So, collagen is necessary to retain the skin’s elasticity, hydration, and youthfulness.
Marine collagen is the go-to ingredient for the skin-aging problem because, compared to mammalian collagen, it’s more convenient to obtain and there is no inherent risk of transmitted diseases or infections (such as BSE). Moreover, research shows that sea-cucumber collagen is more mechanically resistant, making it less likely to deteriorate when added to cosmetics.
Skincare, however, is not the only way to reap the benefits of marine collagen. It also speeds up healing in the body, helps strengthen hair, and stimulates nail growth.