Our first Ayla product has so many fascinating stories attached to it — and we’re so incredibly excited about it — that it’s hard to know exactly where to begin.
So we’ll start with what it is: the Ayla Sea Soak is a full-body, deeply detoxifying, rejuvenating, and anti-inflammatory treatment that just happens to be delivered in the bath.
Technically, yes — it’s a bath. But here’s the thing: calling it just a bath seems wrong, somehow. Its effect is akin to that of a deep-tissue massage, a detox body wrap at a spa, or, as one of our team members put it, “How I feel after the hardest workout I have ever done, in a really great way.” It’s a foundational product, one that sets the stage for vibrant health and beauty like nothing else we’ve tried. You may not be much of a bath person — but if you appreciate a good detox and love the effect of a good massage or a tension-relieving yoga class, the Sea Soak might just turn you into one.
How it came to be
The Irish seaweed bath has been a therapeutic ritual for generations: a panacea for ailments as varied as rheumatism, water weight, sluggish circulation, and cellulite. Dara became devoted to seaweed baths during the last couple of wildfire seasons in California, when she craved something to give her body a reset after days of breathing in the smoke-filled air — and found that seaweed baths provided the single most purifying experience she could get, a detoxifying treatment that felt much more multi-dimensional and deeply restorative than the Epsom salt baths she’d tried for the same purpose.
And when you think about it, this ritual makes a lot of sense: seaweed’s natural function is to filter out pollutants in the ocean, sweeping out excess acidity and CO2 in the water while supplying nutrients to sea life. Similarly, in a hot bath, salt water helps seaweed coax out what your body needs to let go of and replace it with essential minerals.
But while sitting in a tub filled with seaweed may just feel odd at first, dealing with the post-bath cleanup is, simply put, no fun. So we decided to make a similar treatment that was luxurious, simple to clean up, and extra potent — with extra care for the environment, and with extra love for our home state of California, which provides its two (yes, two) powerful ingredients.
The Sea Soak has become a regular part of our team’s beauty and wellness routines. As our founder describes it, “It makes me sweat like crazy and wonder what’s happening to my body, and when I get out of the bath, I often have to lie down for a few minutes. Then I feel amazing, almost like I’m ten years younger.”
What makes ours so potent
There is absolutely nothing — nothing — like the Sea Soak’s Santa Cruz seaweed and Big Sur salt, which are so special that you’ll have to read more about them here; we just can’t do them justice in one paragraph. We are also committed to ensuring the health of the environment that they came from: we donate 5% of all Sea Soak sales to Reef Check, a foundation we’re proud to partner with to help ensure the ongoing health of California's kelp forests and coastal ecosystems.
Why we made a bath, of all things
Truth be told, we didn’t take baths, either, until these ingredients came our way — and now we can’t stop. Because here’s the thing. We firmly believe there is no better way to get the most benefits out of the very best seaweed and the very best salt (aside from eating them…and we know you know that’s a lot of sodium) than by sitting in a hot bath with them.
This is why: the hot saltwater will kick off your natural sweating process on its own. But as your bag of seaweed steeps, that saltwater will also extract specific nutrients from the kelp that are known to kick the body’s detoxification processes into gear — nutrients like chlorophyll, magnesium, sodium alginate, fucoidan, and iodine. In some individuals (for example, those with a sluggish thyroid, or the many of us whose bodies are a bit low in iodine), the high iodine content of the bath can be a particularly important part of this process.
And the anti-inflammatory gel you’ll squeeze out of your organic cotton gauze bag is like a freshly made, incredibly potent hydrating serum that’s not only a boon for skin conditions like eczema and acne, but also positively marvelous for dry hair and scalps.
Why we love it
We love our Sea Soak because it’s something that we think so many people can use: more than ever, our team talks to customers dealing with skin, hair, and health challenges that are directly related to stress, whether that’s caused by the pace of our lives, the environment, or both. This treatment is designed to encourage a body that is healthier and more resilient, which will set the stage for more vibrant skin (and it’ll probably help your other products work better, too).
And the process of soaking in these two ingredients — thinking about the fact that they’re doing for your body what they do for our ocean, and feeling more connected to those ingredients than you would if you were simply applying them to your skin for a second — is meant to be not only the gift of a much-needed pause button in your busy life, but also an experience that brings you closer to nature in a way that most beauty products can’t.
So yes: taking a bath may feel like a commitment. But if you’re like us, it might just become your new favorite me-time.