Meet the Whitley Bay Owner of Marine-Based Skincare Brand Sea the Love
Inspired by living by the sea at Whitley Bay, Annabelle Hill founded Sea the Love, a range of marine-based skincare products to make you look and feel your best
What is the concept behind Sea the Love?
The idea was to make a range of high-quality skincare products that utilise sea-based actives for indulgent self-care moments. I wanted to create a range of products using ingredients that are clean, natural, and sourced sustainably to give consumers a healthy choice in skincare. Sea the Love also brings the healing power of positive messaging to a market that so often promotes unrealistic beauty standards. I created our self-care mantra “hear the love, feel the love, sea the love”, with the idea being that your skincare routine should be a moment in your day where you take care of your mind as well as your skin. My products are designed to be applied as part of a self-care ritual so you feel good inside and out.
Where did the inspiration for the brand come from?
I initially came up with the idea in sixth form, when we were tasked with writing a business plan for a business of our choosing. Inspired by my hometown of Whitley Bay and my own experience with how the sea has improved and healed my skin, I came up with the idea to create a range of skincare using marine actives. I’ve always loved swimming in the sea and I always notice how my skin looks so much healthier afterwards. Like many girls going through puberty I suffered with breakouts, but I got them on my back and down my arms. After a week in Greece swimming in the sea I was amazed at how much they’d cleared up. Ever since, I always notice how my skin looks so fresh and glowy after a quick dip in the sea. Although the idea has changed a lot since that original business plan, the core vision to bring that healing power into skincare remains the same.
How did you go from the initial idea to launching the range?
Through a lot of hard work! When I originally came up with the idea I had no intention for it to become a real business – it was just a fictional piece of coursework – but it always stuck in my mind and I would add to the plan now and then, tweaking it to keep up with current skincare trends. In 2021, the week after handing in my final university assignment, I got Covid and was stuck in isolation for the week with not much else to do. I decided to work on my business plan and research how I could bring it to life. I knew I would always think “what if”, so after graduating I decided to bite the bullet and do whatever I could to make the dream a reality. I officially registered the business in November 2021, and from then until now has been a long process of finding suppliers, creating the brand, developing the products, getting everything tested, designing the packaging and more – there’s a lot that goes into starting a skincare brand!
Tell us about your products.
The range currently consists of the Beachy Clean Melting Cleanser, the Sleepy Beach Night Cream, and the Seaweed Super Serum and there’s one more product in the pipeline which is the Radiant Marine Day Cream. All our products are full to bursting with natural ingredients, are vegan, cruelty-free, and in recyclable packaging. It was really important to me to select ingredients that are sustainably sourced as I think we all need to make a conscious effort to be more sustainable and help protect our planet.
Each product contains two main marine-based actives, as well as other popular skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide or avocado oil. It was really important for me to select marine actives that benefit the skin at each stage of your skincare routine. The key ingredient across all the products in my range is an organic and sustainably-sourced seawater extract which is taken from the port of Oriel in Ireland. The extract contains magnesium and other skin-loving minerals, and has been clinically-proven to improve the health of skin from a cellular, molecular, genetic and physiological perspective.
Other marine actives include a green microalgae in the night cream which accelerates skin renewal and repair while you sleep, winged kelp in the cleanser which increases the skin’s natural production of collagen, and a blend of two red seaweeds in the serum to enhance skin volume and firmness.
What makes your brand different?
I think having the self-care mantra at the core of my brand and promoting skincare as a self-care ritual is what really makes us different. I wanted to create a brand that makes people feel good about themselves inside and out. For years the beauty industry has preyed on people’s insecurities to make sales and has promoted unrealistic beauty standards. I found that using my skincare routine as a moment to look after myself really helped boost my confidence, and that by making a conscious effort to stop pointing out my insecurities I learned to love my skin naturally.
Also, with two younger sisters growing up in this social media-dominated world, I think about how I felt at their age seeing airbrushed models and unrealistic beauty standards and it breaks my heart to think they feel the same. So I decided to be a part of the solution and create a brand which promotes self-love and skin positivity. Sea the Love isn’t about creating perfect skin but about loving your skin perfectly so you can take care of it, and yourself, better.
'Sea the Love isn’t about creating perfect skin
but about loving your skin perfectly so you can
take care of it, and yourself, better'
Plans for the future?
I really want to continue growing the brand and my product range. Skincare isn’t one size fits all and everyone’s preferences and needs are different. By expanding and growing the range to include a wider variety of products I can help more people discover the healing power of the sea, and the healing power of positive thinking and self-love.