The marine mud, believed to have formed over 10,000 years since the last ice age, is composed of uniformly small minerals and hosts various indigenous microorganisms.
The team successfully developed a refining process to extract this marine mud and refined it into a high-quality raw material for cosmetic use.
The processed marine mud was then tested at a Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) designated institution.
According to the researchers, the processed marine mud met stringent standards for metal impurities and microbial limits.
Notably, the tests also revealed the marine mud's cosmetic potential. It demonstrated multiple benefits including moisturisation, wrinkle reduction, antioxidant properties, and anti-inflammatory effects.
The researchers said that the East Sea marine mud can help people achieve “glowing skin”.
A new high-value resource
KIGAM is a South Korean government-funded research institute dedicated to geological and mineral resource studies.
Building on this success, KIGAM aims to bolster collaboration with cosmetic industry partners through joint research and technology transfer.
This strategic move aims to support the development of a diverse array of cosmetic products, capitalising on the newly found values of marine mud.
According to the institute, it uncovered over 3 billion tons of marine mud cosmetic raw materials in the Hupo Basin.
This discovery is expected to boost the local economy by building the necessary facilities for turning marine mud into products, leading to the creation of new industrial opportunities.
Dr. Lee Pyeong-gu, director of KIGAM, emphasised the importance of exploring the vast resources beneath the sea.
"This research opens a new chapter in discovering the limitless value of pristine marine mud hidden in the East Sea."
He pledged continued support for this research to ensure the utilisation of geological resources in various industries.
The institute successfully formulated the East Sea Cleanser to prove the commercialisation value of the marine mud.
Using this mud, it developed a product, the East Sea Cleanser, as a commercialisation effort.
KIGAM announced an event where people can experience the product for free. The initiative, promoted on social media channels like Naver, aims to engage the public on the benefits of the marine mud.
It also noted the potential to use the marine mud to develop a variety of products, including masks.