Body and hair care made with nutrient-rich sea kelp – sustainably harvested by hand 34 from the cool, fertile waters off the coast of South Africa. 35

Interview with Dr Nigel Christie

It was after completing his PhD in marine biology at the University of Cape Town that British scientist Dr Nigel Christie discovered the power of Ecklonia maxima for cultivating rich, healthy plants. He developed Kelp Products for agricultural use, and following its success turned his attention to exploring the potential of this sea kelp to nourish skin.

After researching all available seaplant products from around the world, Dr Christie saw an opportunity to develop a product that truly supported skin health. So he did just that. Using the same species of kelp from the clean waters off the west coast of South Africa, research and development began into the Dermikelp® range of body and hair care products. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Dr Nigel Christie


Years ago we discovered that under the clean, cool waters of South Africa’s west coast lies a world of unspoiled natural beauty. Where the kelp forests grow, an entire ecosystem thrives – providing a safe and fertile sanctuary for sea life far away from major shipping lanes.

Anchored to the rocky seabed, the plants absorb nutrients from the ocean floor. With their tall tops basking in the sunlight on the surface of the sea, they then turn this into food through photosynthesis.

Sea creatures feed on the floating fronds, and the constant motion of wind and waves break micro-particles up for fish and filter-feeders, like mussels. At the same time, the giant swaying plant feeds on nutrients in the water – making it a sheltered and pristine habitat for life to flourish.


Thanks to nature’s delicately balanced underwater ecosystem, we’ve been provided with a precious resource. And with an unwavering commitment to sustainability 36, we don’t treat this gift lightly. That’s why we only take what can be replenished and employ responsible harvesting methods to ensure this splendid sea plant thrives for many years to come.

Ecklonia maxima is extremely sensitive to its natural environment.

It takes a specific combination of cool sea temperatures, unpolluted water, nutrients, and sunlight to grow. That’s why we take special measures to preserve this delicate balance, only harvesting mature stems to allow the younger fronds to flourish and the forest to continue supporting its diverse ecosystem. 37

Our divers gather the kelp by hand to protect younger plants.

Our team of certified divers hand-pick mature kelp stems only, cutting them away carefully to ensure smaller plants aren’t damaged in the process. 38 With the newly forest canopy thinned out, these young fledgling plants are then left for another two years to thrive before re-harvesting. 39

Underwater Kelp forests are as vibrant and full of life as tropical rainforests.

To conserve them, we use rotational harvesting 40 to ensure a plentiful supply of kelp remains in the sea and the forest is never depleted. 41 What’s more, by leaving the kelp forest untouched for two years after harvesting, the seaplants have time to grow back, providing a constant habitat for marine life.

Almost 400 different species of kelp grow in oceans around the world. 42 But for these reasons and more, Ecklonia maxima is the sea kelp of choice for Dermikelp®.

The west coast of South Africa is where healthy Ecklonia kelp forests thrive.48

Learn more about the benefits >

It’s in abundance

Kelp forests in parts of Europe are diminishing due to changing climates, while Ecklonia maxima is thriving 43 off the coast of South Africa. 44

It grows in clean water

Away from major shipping lanes, this part of South Africa’s west coast provides a clean and cool haven for healthy Ecklonia maxima to grow. 45

It’s nutrient-rich

This sea kelp is naturally high in a blend of health-giving minerals and nutrients. 46

Company ethos

At Dermikelp®, our mission is to produce a range of nature-based products, but not at the expense of nature itself. That’s why all of our Ecklonia kelp supplies are sustainably harvested by hand, 48 promoting healthy forest regeneration to preserve this precious resource and its delicate ecosystem for the future.

Through our patented cell-burst process, we use every part of every Ecklonia kelp stem to make CEM-K – the active ingredient in Dermikelp® body and hair products. And rather than discarding the leaves, they’re processed for agricultural use – returned to nature as nutrient-rich plant food.

What’s more, all of our bottles are 100% recyclable and our products are proudly packaged by locals right here in the UK, helping to support British jobs and infrastructure.