On the label it is otherwise known as: Fucus Vesiculosus

What is it? A type of  brown seaweed found in the North Atlantic sea, used in beauty and natural health products all over the world; eaten heavily in areas of Asia.

What does this ingredient claim to do/what is it known for?- Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed rich in iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, silicon and iron and high in some B-complex vitamins. It contains moderate amounts of phosphorus, selenium, manganese and zinc and small amounts of vitamins A, C, E G, and carotene. Bladderwrack has been used to treat skin issues such as eczema and aging, hypothyroidism, hemorrhoids, fatigue, and cellulite.  Due to its water binding properties, it is included in many anti aging treatments to help keep dry or mature skin hydrated and firm.  There is also evidence from a Japanese study that indicates bladderwrack applied to the skin can help prevent skin thickening associated with age, which helps maintain elasticity and firmness.

According to Anne Williams, a licensed massage therapist/esthetician and certified reflexologist, in Spa Bodywork (a textbook for spa pros) the topical application of seaweed “appears to promote local vasodilatation and increased circulation of blood and lymph flow. This may be the basis for the widespread use of seaweeds to treat cellulite.”
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Bladderwrack floating


What natural and/or cruelty free products have I tried that contain this ingredient? – All Seaweed Bath Company products contain this ingredient.  I highly recommend their shampoos and conditioners  for those suffering from persistent dry, itchy scalp due to dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis; Evan Healy Sea Algae Serum. La Mer’s luxury products are popular, but owned by Estée Lauder and  NOT cruelty free.

Conclusion: Bunk or Buy?  Safe or Avoid? – Effective topically for anti aging. However, avoid products containing this ingredient if you are allergic to iodine.  The National Institutes of Health warn that, due to possible contamination with heavy metals, internal consumption of bladderwrack “should always be considered potentially unsafe.” Furthermore, overconsumption of iodine may disrupt thyroid health, as well as lead to lowered blood sugar, stomach irritation, and/or increased risk of bleeding.  Please consult your doctor before consuming as a dietary supplement.


  Treatment of human skin with an extract of Fucus vesiculosus changes its thickness and mechanical properties. 2002 Jan-Feb;53(1):1-9. Biological Science Laboratories, Kao Corporation, 2606 Akabane, Ichikai-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi 321-3497, Japan. Fujimura TTsukahara K,Moriwaki SKitahara TSano TTakema Y.