VOYA has grown out of a very successful family-run seaweed baths business in Strandhill, Co. Sligo, on the wild Atlantic coast of Ireland, set up by Neil Walton. As the popularity of the Walton’s Seaweed Baths grew and spread, more and more patrons wondered if there was some way they could replicate the experience in their own homes.
The challenge was significant, and was to be the germ for VOYA. We knew that conventional cosmetics use chemicals that could destroy the beneficial properties of our seaweed and also damage the environment. As a family we agreed that this was an unacceptable compromise and would go against all our instincts. Neil’s brother, Mark, tried to source genuinely organic seaweed products but found none. It soon became apparent that if we weren’t willing to compromise, we would have to go through with the long and demanding voyage towards creating a new type of cosmetic: the first genuinely organic seaweed-based cosmetic products in the world.
Over the course of six years of research and development and countless tests, we developed and perfected our complex method of preserving seaweed naturally: a method that replicates how seaweed is actually exposed and dries out during the ebbing of spring tides. By reducing the water content slowly, we found the seaweed merely entered a kind of stasis and its cell structures could be kept intact. Reintroducing water, by adding the dried seaweed to a bath, “reawakened” the cells and replicated the effects of our fresh seaweed baths. Eureka, you could say … and we did! This was our first product, and it remains the one we are most proud of to this day - for its purity and simplicity.
However, this was to be only the start. Mark then set about creating a full range of seaweed-based organic products. By combining our knowledge of the therapeutic properties of wild seaweed with the expertise of highly skilled natural cosmetic scientists, marine biologists and dermatologists from around the world, we have been able to carry some of the unique qualities and effects of seaweed into our new beauty and skincare products.