Agar agar is a mucilaginous substance extracted from agarophytes seaweed. Dried to make strands or powder, it jellies again when in contact with water and will soften and condition if applied to the skin.
Agarophytes, which have a tufted appearance from their fine fronds, are found in most seas of the world. Their colours vary from pinks to deep reds and purples, camouflaging their chlorophyll. To make agar agar, the seaweeds are collected and dried. They are then boiled in water and filtered to extract their gel content called agar agar. The substance is dried again and prepared into bars, strands or fine powder for stocking and transport convenience.
Very famous in cooking, it is thought to have been first discovered and used by the Japanese to thicken meals or create nutritive noodles. It's now renowned worldwide to be a good alternative to animal-derived gelatine.
Agar agar is often used in Lush products in a powder form to thicken or jelly liquid formulas. The strands take more time to dissolve in water and that's the effect we're looking for: floating in the bath and looking like plastic, they are a reminder of the dramatic current situation in oceans and seas of the world. Luckily, agar agar is good for skin and hair, and biodegradable, unlike plastic. It is one of the many incredible things the seas provide and are worth to be preserved.