It all starts with the name, derived from the Gaelic word for water, which is poignant as the Scottish seaweed based brand uses sustainably, hand harvested seaweed from the supremely clean waters of the Hebrides, to produce a 100% organic ingredient for the skincare range.
They believe that the seaweed content in the products is higher than any other seaweed brands on the market. Why seaweed? Well, tests show that Hebridean seaweed contains natural antioxidants that have anti-ageing properties which help protect the skin, and Ishga products harness those powers and bring them together in beautifully packaged, beautifully scented products for skincare and treatments.
The upshot is that they believe in the total efficacy of the ingredients they use to make a positive difference to the health and appearance of your skin.
A natural resource that grows in abundance in the pure unpolluted coastal waters of the Hebridean Islands of Scotland, seaweed is not the most glamorous of ingredients, but it certainly is a powerful one, and has historic significance when it comes to skincare.
Having been used for centuries for its natural healing and therapeutic properties, it is known to contain a balanced combination of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, and antioxidants that are considered essential for maintaining healthy and youthful skin.
In addition to that it’s known to help tighten and tone the skin, stimulate blood and lymph circulation, deep clean, and increase the skin’s moisture levels and elasticity. It is also reputed to help with skin conditions such as Eczema and Psoriasis.
Ishga is not just about the seaweed however, other active ingredients play an important role in the skincare line. Thistle oil is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, particularly omega 6, which helps to reduce the size of skin pores and is therefore excellent for people who want to rebalance their skin type from large-pored to normal skin.
Jojoba oil is also present, and offers lubrication in a full body massage. It is ideal for acne treatment products as it works as an emulsifier to unclog the pores, and is a moisturiser that helps to protect skin from water, wind, dirt, cold and all kinds of weather conditions.
Apricot kernel oil improves elasticity in sensitive, inflamed, dry or mature skin, and vitamin E is a classic anti-oxidant, protecting against the destruction of the connective tissue caused by free radicals.
Aloe vera concentrate is one of their popular ingredients for its anti-inflammatory, soothing benefits, while macadamia nut oil is a classic oil for mature or dry skin. Finally, comfrey glycerol is good for rough, damaged skin and can alleviate wrinkles with time, and cucumber extract naturally contains ascorbic acid which helps to soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling, most commonly helping to reduce dark circles under the eyes.
The final touch of magic at Ishga is the harvesting of the seaweed it uses, working with Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA to ensure the seaweed harvesting is sustainable and environmentally friendly, a fact that’s extremely important to consider in the future of skincare production.
The harvesting is a fascinating process in itself, carried out either manually using a sickle or mechanically using a seaweed harvesting boat in designated areas. The seaweed is cut about 12 inches from the base and the stump that is left will then regenerate in three to four years, so it’s carefully monitored for the health and safety of the plants. Even the mechanical harvesting is environmentally friendly and sustainable, ensuring only the tops of the stalks are cut.
The raw seaweed is then gently dried and milled to retain its original goodness, forming the basis of the ingredients we value so much when they reach us in the spa, all making for an inherently Hebridean experience and really adding to the beautiful experience at Crerar Isle of Mull.
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