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Blue Lagoon Skincare literally sprang from the bowels of the earth, bubbling up in geothermal springs heated to 560 degrees Fahrenheit from a depth of 7,000 feet below the surface.
The brand is named after a lagoon in Iceland filled with a combination of fresh and sea water loaded with minerals and microorganisms in a whitish silica soup naturally heated to between 103 and 107 degrees. The lagoon, which has become the site of a spa, is adjacent to a geothermal power plant, located between the airport and Reykjavik, the capital.
The health benefits started to become known in the late Seventies when a night watchman at the power plant began bathing in the waters to ease his psoriasis, and it became a popular nightspot with his friends, according to Sigurdur Thorsteinsson, managing director of Blue Lagoon Skincare. A clinic was founded in 1994 and a line of treatment products was introduced the following year. A spa line was launched between 1998 and 1999. The lagoon complex now draws 400,000 visitors a year.
According to Thorsteinsson, 200 different microorganisms live in the water, 160 of them not identified as existing anywhere else. The skin care products were formulated with silica, thought to strengthen the skin's natural barrier against the elements, plus two species of algae, each of which are said to contribute to the health of the skin's collagen layer, and minerals.
One species of algae is suspected of slowing down the degradation of collagen and the other of blunting the consequences of UV radiation, Thorsteinsson said, adding that the other species of algae is thought to spur collagen regeneration. Meanwhile, the minerals have been added for skin rejuvenation.
Exactly how the thermal water works is under study. Thorsteinsson noted that professor Jean Krutmann at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf is researching the bioactive molecules from the Blue Lagoon. The results are expected to be published within the next few months.
The 10-item facial skin care line includes a 5.1-oz. cleanser, priced at $65; a 6.8-oz. silica mud mask for $125; a 0.5-oz. antiaging eye cream for $125; a 1.7-oz. night cream for $170, and a 1-oz. night serum for $185.