ishga: Organic Scottish Seaweed Skincare

One thing I love about social media is how it can work to spread positive messages, and this is why I take part in weekly ethical Twitter tags.  I really like how specialists and beginners come together to ask the questions that have been building up and to share information, tips, and tricks.  I have learned so much through #EthicalHour, #OrganicHour, #VeganHour, and other discussion events, and have come to really appreciate the sense of community built through such hashtags.  There are so many lovely people I have met, including bloggers, buyers, and businesses -- one of which is Scottish based brand ishga Organic Seaweed.

ishga, meaning "water" in Gaelic, is a luxury skincare brand that is certified Soil Association Organic.  Utilizing the natural anti-oxidants found in seaweed, ishga has created an entire range that has natural anti-ageing properties.  Their products are made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients and are cruelty free, plus the brand values sustainability, ensuring that the seaweed being harvested is hand picked and cut in a way that allows the plant to regrow in 3-4 years. 

After a fab chat on Organic Hour, ishga reached out to me and offered to send me a selection of their range to test out -- I was so excited, as I had recently tried my first seaweed soak and was so pleased with how my skin felt that I could not wait to try a skincare product that utilized this antioxidant rich ocean plant.  When the box arrived, I was amazed by the care that went into packaging the products -- the items came in a white presentation box and there was purple tissue paper protecting the inside.  Everything was tucked snugly together, and there was no unnecessary plastic or excess wrapping.

I am very thankful for the generosity of ishga, as they sent me not just one product, but four to try!  I received the Active Cleansing Lotion, Hebridean Marine Toner, Anti-oxidant Marine Cream, and as an added bonus for my partner to test out, the Men's Marine Cream.

Each product's packaging is plastic, but I have already made plans on how to reuse everything (though the bottles and pots are indeed recyclable).  I love the purple theme running through each product line, and that the men's range is distinguished by the icy grey colour -- this makes it easier for my partner to figure out which one is his!  While the seaweed bath soak had a very strong briny scent, ishga's products are much less in your face and include essential oil blends, making them more suitable for daily use.  While a salty smell is nice in the bath, I imagine it is a bit overpowering on your face, so I was happy to find everything verging on a light citrus smell rather than seaweed.

The face creams have very similar scents, though the men's has a little more of a herbal quality to it, and while the ingredient lists contain many of the same foundations, the Anti-oxidant cream has slightly less alcohol.  When I first opened the pot I was worried the moisturizer would be too heavy for my skin, as it almost looks like a whipped butter.  However, it applied much lighter than I expected and it sinks in fully after a few minutes leaving no slick feeling or heaviness.  I didn't experience any tingling or irritation, and I found the cream gave my skin a great boost.

isgha's Anti-oxidant Marine Cream claims to moisturize, repair, soften, and protect the skin, as well as promote cell renewal and improve blood circulation.  After just one use, I could feel how soft my face felt, and after several weeks using it I have to say I am impressed by the formula.  My skin did not break out or get congested (which is always a risk when introducing a new product into your skincare routine, especially one that contains many essential oils!), and it definitely looks brighter and more radiant.  I found I only had to use a tiny amount as the cream spreads so easily, so I still have more than 3/4 of the 50ml pot left and it has been well over a month of almost daily use!  This makes the price tag a lot easier to rationalize for me, as it will clearly last me a long time -- probably 4 months or so.  At £75, I estimate this works out to about £18 per month of use -- not bad for a luxury moisturizer!

The men's moisturizer costs less than the women's, coming in at £57.50 for 50ml.  My partner had a similar reaction to his jar of the Men's Marine Cream, though he does use slightly more since his skin is so dry.  After seven weeks of use, he has around 3/4 of product left.  His skin is much less sensitive than mine, so he was not worried about any irritation that might occur -- he just scooped some up and applied immediately.  He did say there was a tiny tingling (maybe that extra alcohol included in the formula?) but there was no redness or sensitivity, so he continued to use it.  He said the tingling actually became pretty soothing after the first few uses, and he liked that it felt cooling, especially with the warm weather we have been having.  I have noticed that his forehead especially is looking much more smooth and hydrated, and his face complexion overall is looking really healthy. 

Anti-oxidant Ingredients: Aqua, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil*, Glycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parki Butter*, Cetyl Alcohol, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil*, Citrus Bergamia Peel Oil Expressed*, Benzyl Alcohol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus seed oil*, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract*, Salicylic acid, Cucumsis Sativus Fruit Extract*, Fucus Serratus Extract*, Sorbic acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, D-limonene**, Linalol**.  *organic ingredients, **natural constituent of essential oils listed

Men's Ingredients: Aqua, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil*, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Glycerin, Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parki Butter*, Cetyl Alcohol, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil*, Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Citrus Bergamia Peel Oil*, Pogostemon Cablin Leaf Oil*, Santalum Spicata Wood Oil*, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract*, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract*, Fucus Serratus Extract*,  Salicylic Acid, Calenduala Officinalis Flower Extract*, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract*, D-limonene**, Linalol**.  *organic ingredients, **natural constituent of essential oils listed

The other two products ishga sent me to test were the Active Cleansing Lotion (£31/100ml) and the Hebridean Marine Toner (£26/100ml).  These two items, along with the Marine Cream, are all part of a full skincare routine, and work in tandem to achieve ideal results.  Both are suited for use in the morning and evening, meaning you do not have to worry about finding a separate product for your nighttime routine -- this saves both time and money, so I am all for dual-use items like this!

ishga's Active Cleansing Lotion is a thinner formula than most cleansers I have tried, as it is not a gel or a foaming product, but rather a very gentle wash that does not strip away the natural oils on the skin.  It has a very light citrus scent to it, but is very subtle as this contains fewer essential oils than the creams.  I found the cleanser worked well, and left my face feeling fresh.  There was no residue, nor did my face feel dry -- it just felt clean which is what I want!  I was happy that my skin got on really well with it, as sometimes switching cleansers can cause me to breakout a little bit.  No spots, just very soft, smooth skin ready for the next step in my routine.

I have to say the product I was most looking forward to trying out was the Hebridean Marine Toner -- you all know my odd love of anything that spritzes the face, so when I saw that ishga had kindly sent a bottle of this toner I was over the moon.  If you untwist the lid and smell the contents directly it has a very strong lemon scent, but when sprayed through the nozzle the scent becomes much more subtle and acts to boost the senses instead of just overpowering you.  I love that you can see bits of the aloe and seaweed extracts in the liquid, as the other products you almost forget that they are included.  This one you can see a sediment form at the bottom, and when shaken the fine particles combine with the rest of the formula -- what a great way to fully get the benefits of the powerful antioxidants.  The toner is really refreshing and soothing, and I found myself really looking forward to using it every morning and evening.  While it does contain alcohol, it didn't actually bother my skin at all, and I found my face looking clearer and a bit brighter after several weeks use -- I am not sure I can put all the thanks on the toner, but I will say the range as a whole really impressed me.

Cleansing Ingredients: Aqua, Simmondsia chinensis seed oil*, Ricinus communis seed oil*, Glycerin, Sodium stearoyl lactylate, Comamidopropyl betaine, Glyceryl stearate, Cetearyl alcohol, Citrus bergamia peel oil expressed*, Benzyl alcohol, Theobroma cacao seed butter*, Tocopherol, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder*, Helianthus annuus seed oil*, Salicylic acid, Fucus serratus extract*, Sorbic acid, d-Limonene**, Linalol**.  *organic ingredients **natural constituent of essential oils listed

Toner Ingredients: Aqua, Maris aqua, Glycerin, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract*, Benzyl alcohol, Cucumis sativus fruit extract*, Symphytum officinale leaf extract*, Salicylic acid, Fucus serratus extract*, Citrus reticulata peel oil*, Sorbic acid, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, Citric acid, d-Limonene**.  *organic ingredients **natural constituent of essential oils listed

One more thing to note about ishga that I noticed is that the ingredient lists online and on the boxes do not totally match up -- some items online show phenoxyethonal being in the formula, whereas the products I was sent do not contain this preservative (believe me, my face would have been on fire if it was!).  It is worth sending a quick email to check on any concerns if you are unsure. 

Overall I was really pleased with the results I saw after using ishga's cleanser, toner, and cream over the last seven weeks.  I will definitely continue to use these until they are gone, and then will be looking at rebuying at least a few of them in the future.  I noticed a face oil and facial serum when browsing the website, so maybe those will be what I go for next!  It has been a while since I updated my Face Oil Showdown, so maybe this would be the perfect time to do so!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this Scottish skincare brand, or if you have any experience with their range of organic products!  What do you think about harnessing seaweed for skincare?  Let me know in the comments below!


  1. It isnt a brand I have ever come across but the Marine Toner sounds interesting x

    1. it's a lovely brand and the tone is ace! :)

  2. These sound great and a very reasonable price as well.

  3. They sound amazing, when I saw the price I was like blimey, but they do sound lovely!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan


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