The Scientific Journey of BL+: A Look Back

Half a century of science, research, and unparalleled skincare

Our story is a tale of the extraordinary convergence of nature and science, resulting in sustainable bioactive skincare.

From the depths of the earth to the depths of your skin, BL+ combines the power of nature and science, creating high-performance formulas designed to optimize skin health over time.

BL+ delivers efficacy while adhering to the highest environmental-protection standards and sustainable practices.

Our exclusive BL+ COMPLEX harnesses the healing and regenerative powers of geothermal seawater and its bioactive components—a unique entity we call the Blue Lagoon bioactive water.

Sustainable. Potent.

Proven. Patented.

Radiant. Healthy.

1976

Curiously, unexpectedly, a lagoon takes shape.

Geothermal seawater—a natural by-product of clean energy production at the Svartsengi Resource Park on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula—is channeled from volcanic aquifers 2,000 meters below the surface into the Svartsengi lava field. Engineers expect the steaming blue liquid to sink back into the earth, but its high mineral content seals the pores in the lava. The Blue Lagoon begins to form.

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Early 1980s

Locals get curious.

The temptation to bathe in this new lagoon is irresistible, and shortly after it takes shape, nearby residents dip in. Almost immediately, people with chronic skin ailments report dramatic improvements. The water profoundly nourishes the skin. Word of the lagoon’s beneficial abilities spreads across Iceland.

1987

Scientists start investigating.

The first scientists come to the Blue Lagoon. Among them is dermatologist Bárður Sigurðsson. Some years later, he joins the Blue Lagoon Scientific Committee, and 30 years later, he becomes the chairman.

Research goes on.

Soon, the scientists begin to take samples of the geothermal seawater. Their analysis reveals water that is exceptionally rich in minerals, particularly silica. Further studies indicate that the water in the lagoon is remarkably effective at treating psoriasis. Scientists and scholars get curious and spend the next decade researching this unique water.

September 1987

The medical press takes an interest.

Vilborg Ingólfsdóttir, an Icelandic science reporter, writes an article about the unprecedented healing abilities of the water in the lagoon. Ingólfsdóttir publishes the story in Læknablaðið, a respected national medical journal. The article is titled, “The effect of bathing in the Blue Lagoon on psoriasis.”

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1990

The water reveals a unique alchemy.

Blue Lagoon bathers begin applying white silica mud to their skin and report beneficial, healing results. But that is not all. They also notice greenish streaks in the lagoon’s iconic white mud—the first signs that there is microalgae in the lagoon’s ecosystem. In the ensuing years, scientists focus their research on these reported beneficial effects on the skin.

1992

A visionary arrives.

A Reykjavík physician named Grímur Sæmundsen has been studying the effects of the water for five years. Sæmundsen envisions a new frontier in medical treatments, wellness, and skincare based on the water and founds a company dedicated to the research on the lagoon’s bioactivity. Blue Lagoon Ltd. is born.

1993

A laboratory is built.

Sæmundsen recruits his first employee, scientist Ása Brynjólfsdóttir. Brynjólfsdóttir will lead studies of the geothermal seawater and spearhead the development of Blue Lagoon skincare. Brynjólfsdóttir assembles a network of experts and creates the Blue Lagoon Research & Development Center near the lagoon. In its infancy, the R&D Center is more of a rough-around-the-edges ad hoc center than the cutting-edge, high-tech facility it would become.

November 1993

Blue Lagoon Skincare develops.

Brynjólfsdóttir and her team turn their attention to how to deliver the beneficial powers of the lagoon’s bioactive water and its components in skincare, and how to do it using green methods.

1994

The world begins to notice this unlikely lagoon.

The scientific community begins to notice what’s happening in this corner of Iceland. Dermatologist Jón Hjaltalín Ólafsson, having researched the water’s therapeutic powers, publishes a trio of landmark, peer-reviewed studies: “The Effect Bathing in a Thermal Lagoon in Iceland has on Psoriasis,” “Psoriasis Treatment: Bathing in a Thermal Lagoon Combined With UVB Versus UVB treatment Only,” and “The Blue Lagoon in Iceland and Psoriasis.”

January 1994

The Icelandic government gets involved.

Iceland’s government formally approves Blue Lagoon’s natural psoriasis treatments. With the endorsement of Iceland’s medical and science communities, these therapies soon become an accepted alternative to conventional psoriasis treatments.

February 1994

A medical clinic opens up.

Blue Lagoon opens a medical clinic offering natural psoriasis treatments based on the healing properties of geothermal seawater. The first treatments combine bathing in the lagoon’s warm, bioactive waters and the application of raw silica mud to psoriasis lesions.

1995

Blue Lagoon skincare is born.

After two years of research, Brynjólfsdóttir and scientists give the world Blue Lagoon skincare, a dermatological line based on the lagoon’s geothermal seawater and its bioactive components. The first product is Silica Mud Mask. In the coming years, Blue Lagoon Skincare will grow to include Mineral Bath Salt, Mineral Moisturizing Cream, Mineral Intensive Cream, Silica Bath Oil, and Silica Purifying Shampoo. The line will become an important element of the natural psoriasis treatments at Blue Lagoon Medical Clinic. 

1996

The lagoon’s ecosystem gets its due.

Scientists Solveig Pétursdóttir and Jakob Kristjánsson from the University of Iceland research the lagoon and find out it’s teeming with silica, minerals, and microalgae. They publish the first article about the lagoon’s unique ecosystem in the peer-reviewed journal FEMS Microbiology Ecology.

1997

Partners come from abroad.

Vive la France! Brynjólfsdóttir establishes a research collaboration with a pioneer in ecological and organic cosmetics, French scientist Fabienne Bresdin. Bresdin’s contributions, such as cosmetic formulations, will be an important part of the evolution of Blue Lagoon skincare.

While Brynjólfsdóttir works on developing Blue Lagoon skincare, she discovers the work of an Icelandic designer named Sigurdur Thorsteinsson. The two begin working together on the project. Some years later, Thorsteinsson will become the chief brand officer of Blue Lagoon Iceland.

1998

Blue Lagoon skincare keeps growing.

The R&D team envisions an entirely new line that lets people experience the rejuvenating and restorative powers of the lagoon anywhere in the world. Blue Lagoon Spa & Wellness is born. Over the next two decades, the line will grow to encompass myriad skincare categories and concerns: cleansing, exfoliation, hydration, moisturization, renewal, radiance, nourishment, strength, and protection.

2004

The lagoon has a new fan in academia.

The Blue Lagoon lands on the radar of a professor in Germany. Professor Jean Krutmann, the director of the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf and the recipient of numerous awards, is a specialist in the area of environmentally induced skin diseases and skin aging and has edited nine textbooks on the subject.

2008

Studies confirm what has long been suspected.

In vitro and in vivo studies confirm the remarkable efficacy of the lagoon’s microalgae and silica in preventing premature skin aging and strengthening the skin barrier. Conducted by Professor Krutmann and published in Experimental Dermatology, this research will become instrumental in helping Blue Lagoon secure patents for using the company’s signature bioactive elements in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

2009

The lagoon is studied under a microscope.

Scientist Solveig Pétursdóttir becomes the first to map the lagoon’s biodiversity. Pétursdóttir’s findings, published in FEMS Microbiology Ecology, point to low biodiversity due to the lagoon’s extreme ecosystem, which is characterized by high silica content and several unique microbial species.

2012

A pioneering sustainability solution is implemented.

Taking sustainability to new heights, the science team at Blue Lagoon develops and implements a groundbreaking carbon-capture solution: geothermal CO₂—natural gas that comes up from 2,000 meters below the surface with the geothermal seawater—is recycled, becoming building materials for the photosynthetic Blue Lagoon Microalgae cultivated at the R&D Center. This pioneering technology enhances Blue Lagoon’s efforts to neutralize its carbon footprint, bringing the company substantially closer to one of its most important goals: a world without waste.

Six years later, Blue Lagoon scientist Halldór G. Svavarsson will document this novel approach in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Technology.

February 2, 2012

The Blue Lagoon becomes a Wonder of the World.

National Geographic selects the Blue Lagoon as one of its 25 Wonders of the World. The lagoon is honored for the nourishing, healing powers of its seawater. The article refers to the water of the lagoon as “a geothermal gift.”

2013

More research continues to pour in.

An Icelandic dermatologist named Jenna Huld Eysteinsdóttir conducts extensive clinical studies on the effects of bathing in the lagoon and its effects on the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis. This study compares two treatment regimens: bathing in the Blue Lagoon combined with UVB treatment and UVB treatment alone. The combination treatment involving bathing induced faster clinical and histological improvement of psoriasis symptoms, led to longer remission time, and permitted lower UVB doses than UVB therapy alone.

Eysteinsdóttir’s peer-reviewed research (published in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, Photomedicine) confirms the efficacy of bathing in the bioactive Blue Lagoon water for treating psoriasis. Meanwhile, word continues to spread: People suffering from psoriasis and skin ailments from all over the world come to Iceland for natural psoriasis treatment at Blue Lagoon Medical Clinic. The tranquility of the destination compounds psoriasis relief.

August 2014

The United States officially recognizes Blue Lagoon’s microalgae.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office awards Blue Lagoon a patent for the lagoon’s unique microalgae. Based on Krutmann’s studies from 2008, this patent highlights the originality of his findings and governs the use of Blue Lagoon Microalgae in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

July 2015

The European Union follows suit.

The European Patent Office (EPO) awards Blue Lagoon a second patent for its microalgae.
Three years later, the EPO awards Blue Lagoon a patent for silica.

2020

After three decades of research, BL+ COMPLEX is born.

The unique and profoundly potent ingredient combines the collagen-stimulating and collagen-preserving powers of Blue Lagoon Microalgae with the skin-barrier-strengthening abilities of Blue Lagoon Silica—a bioactive powerhouse encapsulated in a delivery system that uses biomimicry to penetrate deep into the skin. It becomes the star ingredient of BL+ skincare.

November 2020

Blue Lagoon is recognized by ECOCERT.

Blue Lagoon bioactive ingredients—the foundation of Blue Lagoon skincare—are COSMOS approved. With a serum formula of 100% natural origin and recyclable packaging, BL+ The Serum is COSMOS NATURAL certified by Ecocert Greenlife according to the COSMOS Standard.

Ecocert Greenlife is a certification organization that authenticates the purity and environmental standards in food products, cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, textiles, and packaging. One of Ecocert’s primary certifications is COSMOS (“COSMetic Organic and natural Standard”), which guarantees that a product is composed of organic and natural sources and packaged in recyclable materials.

February 2021

BL+ gives the world The Serum.

BL+ is a premium skincare brand based on decades of cutting-edge technology and the unparalleled efficacy of the BL+ COMPLEX. Launching in Iceland and internationally, BL+ The Serum promises a clean, efficient formula to prevent premature skin aging, protect the skin against environmental aggressors, and promote a radiant, healthy complexion.

February 2021

Algae Mask, composed of unique Blue Lagoon algae, nourishes your skin appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and providing an immediate lift and youthful glow. Algae Mask, composed of unique Blue Lagoon algae. Algae Mask, composed of unique Blue Lagoon algae, nourishes your skin appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.