6 DIY Sea Moss Face Mask Recipes

Up-close shot of sea moss in a wooden bowl

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What is sea moss, exactly? Technically a type of algae, it's a red seaweed that grows profusely off the coast of Ireland. It's also called Irish moss or Chondrus crispus, and it's become as trendy as other hydrophytes like kelp and spirulina.

Sea moss is often used as a food supplement, seeing as it contains nutritious zinc, iron, iodine, potassium, calcium, manganese, and more. But it's also a great foundation for DIY skin care. The algae help balance the microbiome both on your skin and, when you eat it, in your gut. Thanks to its high sulfur content, it's also antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral.

Making your own sea moss face mask is a great natural and low-waste alternative to buying face masks from the store. In the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetics database, chemical fragrances, parabens, and palm oil appear rife in conventional mask products. They also often come packaged in mixed-material or single-use plastic containers that prove difficult to recycle. 

Here are six mask recipes featuring the powerhouse ingredient.

Readying Sea Moss for DIY Face Mask Recipes

Sea moss in a glass bowl in wooden surface

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Sea moss needs to be cleaned and prepped before it becomes a DIY beauty ingredient. It usually comes dried and dirty, so with clean hands and filtered or spring water (preferably not tap), wash your sea moss thoroughly of sea debris. Do this twice.

Then, in a large bowl, cover the sea moss with water, place a lid on the bowl, let it soak at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, drain it, and rinse. The algae will absorb the water, resulting in softer, thicker strands. This step cleans the sea moss and makes it easier to work with. 

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Sea Moss Gel

Close-up of sea moss in a blender

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Many DIY face mask recipes that call for sea moss require it in gel form. Sea moss gel is often used as a vegan gelatin substitute. You can apply it directly to your face as a basic mask (leaving it on for 15 to 20 minutes) or include it in more complex recipes. 

To make it, place your presoaked sea moss (the wet equivalent of 20 grams dried) in a blender and add 3/4 cup filtered water. Blend, adding another quarter-cup of water if the mixture is too thick. Transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Chilling it will turn the liquid into a gel. 

Treehugger Tip

Up the antioxidant content of any DIY sea moss mask by using green tea instead of water at the blending stage. 

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Sea Moss, Turmeric, and Honey Mask

Bowl of turmeric powder with raw turmeric on wooden background

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Combine sea moss with honey for extra hydration and antioxidants, then add a couple dashes of curcumin-packed turmeric powder.

Start by mixing two teaspoons of sea moss gel, one teaspoon honey, and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder in a clean pot. Warm on the lowest heat setting for three to five minutes, stirring constantly.

Check that the mask isn't too hot before putting it on your face. Apply a thin layer to your skin while it's still warm—the warmth should help open your pores—and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

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Aloe Vera Sea Moss Mask

Aloe gel on cutting board with aloe plant in background

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Aloe vera is packed with antioxidants and skin-loving vitamins A and C. It soothes and acts as an emollient, protecting and building on your skin's natural protective barrier.

To make this hydrating aloe mask, combine a quarter-cup of fresh aloe vera gel (from a houseplant, perhaps) with an equal measure of sea moss gel. For extra soothing power, puree half a cucumber (chopped) in a blender and add it to the mix. 

Apply the mask to your skin and let sit for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing.

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Green Algae Exfoliating Mask

Bowl of green seaweed powder and capsules on wooden surface

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Enhance the power of seaweed by mixing your sea moss gel with other marine vegetation: chlorella, kelp, and spirulina. The addition of bentonite clay gives this face mask a creamy consistency, plus exfoliating properties.


  • 1/2 teaspoon chlorella powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kelp powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon bentonite clay powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon sea moss gel


  1. Combine all powder ingredients in a dish.
  2. Mix in one to two tablespoons of sea moss gel—however much it takes to achieve a thick paste.
  3. Apply to skin and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse clean, pat dry, and follow up with a moisturizer as desired.
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Sea Moss, Rose Water, and Apple Mask

Grater and apple slices on a wooden surface

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Sea moss contains the bulk of the trace minerals that make up the human body. Add it to rose water and you also get a high concentration of vitamins A, B, C, and E. Add apple for the pH-balancing alpha-hydroxy acids, and voila! You have a face mask bursting with vital nutrients.

Start with a quarter-cup of sea moss gel. Mix in three tablespoons of rose water and five tablespoons of finely grated apple (sans skin). Let the mixture set in the fridge for at least an hour, then apply the cooling gel to your skin for 30 minutes. 

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Sea Moss and Charcoal Mask

Hands holding glass bowl of homemade charcoal mask

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Charcoal is dominating the skin care scene because its absorbent nature makes it like a magnet for drawing toxins from pores. Sadly, those black peel-off masks you get from the store often contain glue (an actual chemical adhesive meant to go on your face—no thank you).

But you can make your own chemical-free and vegan version by mixing a tablespoon and a half of sea moss gel with about a quarter-teaspoon of activated charcoal or one capsule's worth. Apply the inky mask to your face and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.

View Article Sources
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  2. Jinghua, Liu, et al. "Prebiotic Effects of Diet Supplemented with the Cultivated Red Seaweed Chondrus crispus or with Fructo-Oligo-Saccharide on Host Immunity, Colonic Microbiota and Gut Microbial Metabolites." BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, vol. 15, 2015, pp. 279., doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0802-5

  3. Kulshreshtha, Garima, et al. "Red Seaweeds Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii and Chondrus crispus down Regulate Virulence Factors of Salmonella Enteritidis and Induce Immune Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans." Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 7, 2016, pp. 421., doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00421

  4. Vollono, Laura, et al. "Potential of Curcumin in Skin Disorders." Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 9, 2019, pp. 2169., doi:10.3390/nu11092169

  5. Burlando, Bruno, and Laura Cornara. "Honey in Dermatology and Skin Care: A Review." Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 12, no. 4, 2013, pp. 306-313., doi:10.1111/jocd.12058

  6. Fox, Lizelle T., et al. "In Vivo Skin Hydration and Anti-Erythema Effects of Aloe vera, Aloe ferox and Aloe marlothii Gel Materials After Single and Multiple Applications." Pharmacognosy Magazine, vol. 10, no. 2, 2014, pp. S392-S403., doi:10.4103/0973-1296.133291