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How to make your own seaweed and clay face mask

Foraged seaweed works a skin-loving treat in this homemade face mask
Seaweed and clay face mask
Photograph by Polly Wreford

From art prints and food recipes to this nutrient-dense seaweed and clay face mask, Lyme Regis’ Molesworth & Bird know how to get the best from foraged seaweed

Artists and stylists Julia Bird and Melanie Molesworth give us the how-to for making a seaweed and clay face mask using foraged seaweed, as featured in their book Seaweed: Foraging, collecting, pressing.

The benefits?

Deeply cleansing and purifying, the antibacterial properties of seaweed detox and balance the skin, acting as a gentle exfoliant. The addition of kaolin clay naturally draws out toxins and extracts impurities – toning, tightening and leaving skin refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Molesworth and Bird
Photograph by Polly Wreford

How to collect and prepare the seaweed

Search for a patch of bladder wrack seaweed with plentiful growth. Cut a handful of seaweed and give it a firm shake or two to release any wildlife lurking within. For this recipe you’ll need a mixing bowl’s worth of seaweed.

Rinse the seaweed with fresh water. You can air-dry seaweed on a tray outside which will take two to three days in the sunshine, depending on the amount of breeze in the air. Make sure to bring your dry seaweed inside during the late afternoon, before the evening damp and morning dew set in. Alternatively, dry the seaweed on an Aga or in an oven on a low heat.

Once dry, cut the seaweed into small pieces before grinding it in a high-speed blender. Store the dried and ground seaweed in an airtight container. It should last for up to a year.

How to make and apply the seaweed and clay face mask

Makes a 100g jar 

You will need

  • Bladder wrack seaweed 30g
  • Kaolin clay 70g
  • Light organic oil (Molesworth & Bird recommend jojoba) a few drops


  1. In a bowl, mix together the prepared seaweed with kaolin clay. 
  2. For an individual application: in a separate small bowl, mix together 2 teaspoons of the seaweed and clay mixture with 2 teaspoons of warm water. 
  3. Apply the mask to the skin in an even layer and leave on for 10 minutes before removing with warm water and a face cloth. 
  4. Apply a few drops of jojoba oil onto clean skin. 

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