Free shipping on all domestic orders over $39

What Is It: Phytessence Wakame

August 7, 2013 Reviewed by admin 22 Comments
Hailed as the next wonder anti-aging ingredient, phytessence wakame is derived from an exotic kelp (actually a sea algae) native to the sea of Japan. Belonging to the Phaeophycae Laminariales plant family, phytessence wakame is said to have immune-stimulating, cancer preventing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties. Perhaps in part due to the invigorating effects of wakame, it is one of the most commonly eaten algae in Japan. I'm sure that I unknowingly swallowed some of it (along with any number of unidentified foods) while I was in Japan last spring.

Not only can phytessence wakame be eaten both fresh and dried, but it can also be transformed into a cosmetic extract using new technology. Like their wholesome diet, which centers on essential fatty acid-packed raw seafood and antioxidant-rich leafy green vegetables, the Japanese have for centuries assimilated all sorts of naturally occurring elements in their cosmetics, from almond oil to rice bran. Who knew that an indigenous sea kelp is one of their best kept secrets for keeping their skin healthy and youthful?

Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and protein, this super food is also rich in vital minerals like calcium (15x more than milk), iron, potassium, and sodium, all of which nourish the body inside and out. While polysaccharies function as fibroblast stimulators, oligoelements maintain the skin' moisture balance. Phytessence wakame is especially good at healing inflamed skin because of its high levels of B-group vitamins, in particular B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, and B12. It also contains an active ingredient called sulfated polyfucose, which protects cell wall integrity and stability against damaging environmental factors, such as UV light, temperature, and abrasions.

Most importantly, phytessence wakame has demonstrated dose-dependent inhibition of the activity of hyaluronidase in vitro. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that attacks the skin's supply of hyaluroic acid, which improves elasticity and smoothness. By binding collagen and elastin fibers together, hyaluronic acid makes skin smooth, firm, and flexible. Without hyaluronic acid, elastin and collagen fibers lose their "glue," leading to a loss of youthful appearance. In inhibiting hyaluronidase, wakame prevents the deterioration of the extracellular matrix, which is a dominant means of defense against visible aging and the weakening of dermal thickness.

Thus, phytessence wakame helps to hamper one of the main factors contributing to skin decline with age. When collagen, a fibrous protein possessing great tensile strength, and elastin, another protein that helps skin stay flexible, start to break down due to aging, skin begins to sag and becomes less firm. Hyaluronidase prevents skin from forming new collagen and elastin molecules because it destroys their connective glue, hyaluronic acid. It seems perfectly logical to include an ingredient that blocks the activity of this unwelcome enzyme in skin care.

I came across phytessence wakame while researching noteworthy ingredients in topical anti-aging products. Though this marine phytoactive often makes an appearance in natural Japanese formulations, it isn't that common in American products, particularly in concentrations high enough for real results. You'll find it on ingredients lists under the name Undaria Pinnatifida. Some skin care lines I uncovered that really highlight phytessence wakame are Corrective Skincare and Xtend-Life. Or you could always concoct your own wakame-rich cosmetic using a seaweed extract blend.
  • January 31, 2018

    by Sally

    Hello I just bought the extend Night cream and day cream, and the collagen supplements. They gave me some hand cream as a bonus! I thought that was very nice of them. But their products are not exactly cheap .But not over the top either. I guess you get what you pay for? I will let you know how it goes. I am always searching for the perfect skin care regimen. I like that everything is suppose to be natural. I will see.

  • July 12, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Laurie
    This is the Corrective Skincare product with wakame: For further information you will need to contact the company.

  • July 11, 2016

    by Lorie

    I read your article and when I went to the corrective skincare website I entered phytessence wakame into searchand it came back no match, so I entered just wakame with the same results. Could you please advise me how you got the information that corrective skincare uses this product and how I can go about finding that information for myself I would appreciate it very much thank you for your time

  • November 30, 2012

    by P. Freyer

    I would worry about the nuclear explosion that happened in Japan. They are contaminated in many areas. They dont even tell there own the whole truth.Just a thought!

  • September 20, 2011

    by tracy

    if you check their website is states list of ingredients not to be put on skin and the second one down says alcohols - and at the end of the description in brackets its states( note we do use stearly and cetearyl alcohol, which are waxes and nothing in common with the alcohols listed above

  • July 25, 2011

    by Kelly

    Sorry R Evans Wrongo - it is the 3rd ingredient in the Age Defense Day cream CETARYL ALCOHOL !!! Do your HOMEWORK and stop accusing people without researching your data, something I do ! I deserve an apology ~

  • July 24, 2011

    by R evans

    In response to K Leigh about Xtend life products having ALCOHOL, just go the website if you want to know what is in each product! you will not find one product that has ALCOHOL! Do your research before you make baseless claims!!!

  • May 16, 2011

    by K Leigh

    I 'm sorry to burst the bubble - but Xtendlife products contain ALCOHOL - no matter what great ingredients they put in them, there will always be alcohol to cause your wrinkles and dry skin ~ what is up with this ??????

  • February 3, 2011

    by Suzanne

    Trying to see if anyone has used the Xtend-Life line of skin care, I noticed one person just tried it, I would like to know if anyone had more experience with the product?

  • January 16, 2011

    by Dannyengland

    Hey . Hope you are all well . I do like eating seaweeds as they really are a powerhouse of nutrients . Now I've tried this face mask using wakame and it did make my face feel amazing but I looked like an alien whilst it was on my face . I got the dried stuff and gently heated it in some green tea that I had made earlier . I let it simmer just for a bit to get all the goodness out . The wakame broke down nicely . I let it cool and put it in the fridge then when it was cold I applied it to my face .it had turned into a gel and felt really good . It did smell like a pond tho :( I could have added essential oils I guess .

    The minerals did make my skin glow and I did try some as a scalp mask. It can be kept in the fridge and the gel it makes can be added to serums I think .

    Do hold your nose tho . It pongs like the bottom of a pond . :)

  • January 14, 2011

    by Kin

    I too wanna know where I can get it. Please!

  • October 14, 2010

    by Ellena

    Hi there,
    anyone tried the Xtend-Life line of skin care? If you can, please post comments and if you noticed any difference after using it. I want to change my skin regimen as I have moved to Arizona and nothing seems to work for my very sensitive skin (imagine, Nutralift eye cream gives me a rush :(

  • December 12, 2009

    by Krystal

    Antony did you ever get the answer to ths question?

  • August 31, 2009

    by antony

    How do you incorparate it into a lotion or how to extract it from the plant to add to a lotion. does anyone know?/

  • August 25, 2009

    by Jenny has two packaging for Phytessence wakame seaweed. I love these seaweed and eat them in salad or seaweed soup.

  • August 23, 2009

    by Kavita

    Hi Aida,

    I too have researched Xtend life and am quite impressed with their line.

    How did their products work out for you? I would be very interested in knowing. I am too interested is using their line.

    Thank you

  • August 23, 2009

    by Kavita

    Hi Aida,

    I too have researched Xtend life and am quite impressed with their line.

    How did their products work out for you? I would be very interested in knowing. I am too interested is using their line.

    Thank you

  • August 9, 2009

    by Binth

    I am trying to buy phytessence wakame, does anyone know where it is available in Malaysia?

  • March 2, 2009

    by Aida

    Lisa, I last week ordered a few items from Xtend-Life. After extensive research, I'm switching my supplements from GNC and my skincare from Riviva Labs.

    I was so impressed with Xtend-Life's business practices and products that I ordered Total Balance Woman's Multi-Vitamin, Omega-3 Esters, the Day Cream and Eye Gel. I can post a review after two weeks of use.

    Google Xtend-Life and try to find a negative posting. Its beyond difficult, however some positive and objective feedback is available.

  • March 1, 2009

    by lisa

    has anyone tried extend-life skincare products,are there natural?

  • January 26, 2009

    by Caite

    Wakame is available from most health food stores. One brand is Clearspring, but there are others that are really good, too. Additionally, if you have an Asian food store in your town, you can usually get wakame there. It's sort of flat and curly around the edges, a little like lasagne except a very deep green colour. One way to use it in cooking is to cut about an inch from the dried length, rinse it, and soak it in a little water. When it's soft and spongy, cut it into smaller pieces and add to your pot of beans. If you use Adzuki or Mung beans, they're good ones to start with. Beyond what is said above, wakame has the property of reducing the production of gas associated with beans.

    Wakame can be added to stir fry dishes, but it really does taste like seaweed, so if you're not used to that, use small amounts at first. Well, you'll probably experiment with what you like!

  • January 24, 2009

    by Luzelena

    I would love to incorporate phytessence wakame in my diet. Would anyone know where I can buy this wakame?

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More