The story of Algae Náttúra
“My family owned this land for many generations.” Kirstin told me while we are standing in the renovated building that was once a barn. We had just spend the night on the camping site of Sjávarsmidjan. A nice field of grass next to the algae baths area.
In front of us hanged a map of the surroundings of Reykhólar. Kirstin waved at what seems to be the whole area under the village of Reykhólar next to the coast. “They came up with the idea to create an area where people can bath in the riches of Breiðafjörður as the people of Reykhólar have been doing for many generations.” “For now we are operating here, in the old farm.” Kirstin continued while pointing around her in the building in which we were standing. “This building once burned to the ground, but my family has built it back up.”
Next to the map of Reykhólar, some framed pictures were hanging on the wall, showing some family pictures, as well as the burnt down farm. “We have big plans in scaling up.” Kirstin continued the story with an enthusiastic smile. “This august we will start building a bigger version of our algae baths. It will be so beautiful when it’s finished!” “Oh, I look forward in returning here then!” I answered; and I meant it.
“We get our ground product, the seaweed, directly from the factory here by the coast.” Kirstin explained. “I have created our own products with it. Here, this is the strong seaweed powder that we use in our seaweed baths at Sjvársmidjan.” She said while showing me the container with the green powder. “You can also use it as a facial mask.” Kirstin glowed while she showed me her brand new product line. “And this, is our very first batch of hand soap, made with the same kelp powder.”
During our whole conversation, I could barely contain my excitement, for so many passions of mine seem to have merged in this very place. Marine biology, Iceland, warm water baths, health and sustainability. Algae Náttúra and the Sjávarsmidjan baths are certainly two things to keep an eye on in the future.
“The multicomponent seaweed is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, proteins, iron, iodine and other health enhancing substances that are positive for skin and health.”
The kelp used both in the Sjávarsmidjan baths and the Algae Náttúra products is from the species laminaria digitata, harvested in Breiðafjörður. The fjord itself is a very special place, for it has an uniquely rich ecosystem. Not only does it have one of the largest clusters of birds in all of Iceland, it also has one of the largest seaweed forests. The lands around Breiðafjörður, Reykhólar and surroundings, are considered to be one of the largest geothermal areas of the Westfjords. This energy is then used to dry the seaweed, after which its is ground into a strong powder.
There lies a lot of history and tradition in their way of working, merging the old ways with a sustainable future.
The algae powder is extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, iodine and other magic. Bathing in it and applying it to your skin, has a whole list of health benefits. It improves the elasticity, helps with dryness and even with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It balances hormone levels and blood pressure, reduces the signs of aging and it helps protect the skin against bacteria and other harmful substances.
I have found the soap to be very helpful for my dry hands. Applying the skin mask got rid of some impurities and dry spots on my face as well. As an eczema sufferer, these products are such a very valuable aspect of my skincare routine! Oh and lets not forget the wellness factor of it, for taking care of yourself is an important factor in reducing stress.