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7 Marine-Based Lines That Will Change Your Skin

Right now, the hottest anti-aging ingredients come from under the sea
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Next time you find yourself annoyed by slimy seaweed at the beach, consider this: Swimming in it may actually do fantastic things for your skin.

New research validates what some cultures have believed for thousands of years: Ocean plants have anti-aging benefits -- whether you apply them topically or eat them for dinner. And it's not just about wrinkles. In the study titled, "Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals," scientists Se-Kwon Kim and Noel Vinay Thomas at the Pukyong National University in Korea explain that marine plants also have anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties.

Recently, everything from kelp to brown algae is turning up in skin care products, and entire lines are growing around these ingredients. While some brands -- like La Mer -- have been around for a while, new harvesting technology is making marine ingredients more readily available.

We can expect to see a lot more algae in skin care in the coming years, but here are the seven lines you need to know about now.

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Gwyneth's Pick
If you've been hearing a lot about skin care brand Restorsea recently, you can thank Gwyneth Paltrow. In March, the actress became the spokesperson for the ocean-centric line.

While all the products contain brown algae for its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, the star ingredient is the gently exfoliating enzyme Aquabeautine XL. It's derived from the enzyme that's released by baby salmon to dissolve their eggs -- and it works similarly on the skin, breaking down dead cells. Sounds like something GP would love, don't you think?

Star product: Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Cream, $150. It's silky and unbelievably moisturizing, and it makes skin glow after just one use.

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Secret Ingredient
San Francisco scientists came across alguronic acid while researching microalgae, and soon after, Algenist was born. That was just a few years ago, and the line continues to pick up steam -- selling out in Sephora and on QVC. Instead of algae, Algenist products contain patented alguronic acid, the molecule that protects the algae cell. In a similar way, it protects skin cells from UV damage and stimulates the production of elastin, which helps with firmness.

Star product: Algenist Catalyst Alguronic Acid Power Treatment, $195. This new trio of serums contains the highest concentration of alguronic acid, and it works fast. In studies, skin looked brighter and tighter in 10 days.

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The Original
Aerospace physicist Max Huber created La Mer to treat chemical burns he suffered in an accident -- and it worked. By combining fermented sea kelp, vitamins and minerals, he developed the line's signature "miracle broth" -- and the recipe remains the same 40 years later. Now that's the sign of a true cult favorite.

Star product: La Mer Creme de La Mer, $155, is the signature product. It has a rich texture and soothing effect.

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Dead Sea Discovery
Instead of researching any old marine ecosytem, Ahava focused on the most mysterious of all: the Dead Sea. The resulting products contain a patented combination of Dead Sea minerals called Osmoter, as well as other botanical ingredients and brown algae.

Star product: Ahava Age Perfecting Hand Cream SPF 15, $32. This new hand treatment protects with SPF 15 while brightening existing sun damage. It's not the slightest bit greasy, and it smells amazing.

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