How to Differentiate Real Vs. Fake Sea Moss? A Complete Guide

How to Differentiate Real Vs. Fake Sea Moss? A Complete Guide

When the sun rises in the shiny Caribbean sea, a fisherman casts his net over the deep blue ocean. Moments later, he pulls it up, filled with the great treasure of the ocean-the sea moss.


As he reaches the shore, the aroma of the sea and the Irish Moss fills the space. He lovingly washes and dries the sea vegetable, which is then ready for consumption. This is the story of real sea moss, consumed for centuries for its nutritional value and health benefits. 

However, every story has an evil character- the fake sea moss is ours in this story. 

The growing concerns about fake sea moss being sold are causing havoc among health enthusiasts. It is because a fake one has no nutritional value and may cause more harm than good.

So, what are the main differences between fake and real sea moss? And how can you get 100% authentic and organic sea moss? All this and more are coming right up!


What is the Difference Between Real and Fake Seamoss? 

sea moss near the sea coast

Seaweeds are a good source of bioactive compounds. 1 

If you know a bit about seaweeds and how they feel, differentiating real and fake sea moss will be easy. The process is pretty similar to identifying homegrown vs. commercially grown veggies.

The changes in texture, taste, and smell usually give away reality. However, if you are a beginner, here are some tips to get you going.

Some of the top differences between real vs. fake sea moss are:

  • Physical Appearance

Real sea moss has a mess or sponge-like appearance. Additionally, it doesn't have a perfectly uniform appearance. Sea moss feels dry and has a chunky, stringy appearance.

On the other hand, fake sea moss has a noodle-like appearance with a relatively uniform texture. It also contains thicker stems and feels slippery/ rubbery. 

  • Texture When Soaked in Water

Real sea moss doesn’t thicken after soaking. Also, it retains its texture and may feel slightly slippery.

Fake sea moss easily breaks apart when you soak it in water. Additionally, the stems may thicken and start breaking off.

  • Shelf Life

Real sea moss has a shorter shelf life than fake sea moss as it doesn't contain the harmful chemicals and preservatives that extend the shelf life of products. 

  • Taste

Natural sea moss has a slightly salty and ocean-like taste. Although some people may find the taste unpleasant, it is never overpowering. On the contrary, fake sea moss generally feels very salty, off-putting, and just chemical-like.


Signs of Fake Sea Moss

Sea moss on the mountain with the blurred sea and hills in the background

Fake sea moss is a hazard to health due to toxins and chemicals. So, if you suspect fake sea moss being sold, here are some signs to look out for that will help you clarify:

  • Smell

Fake sea moss may have a very strong chemical-like scent. 

  • Texture

If your sea moss feels too hard or rubbery and doesn’t dissolve/dissolve too quickly, it’s a sign that it’s not real. 

  • Price

If a seller gives you ‘real’ sea moss at a throw-away price, be wary. Any cost too good to be true indicates that the product might be inauthentic.


How Common is Fake Sea Moss?

You will be glad to know that fake sea moss is not as common as you might believe. It is because ocean farming for seaweed is on the rise. The fake sea moss people talk about is usually the low grad one suitable for animal consumption and industrial use.

Yet, some non-reliable sellers may sell this type of sea moss for some quick bucks. Therefore, you must be vigilant in sourcing your Irish Moss from reputable and tested sites. 

Another factor here is the quality of Irish moss. At times, it grows near ports, harbours, or in the ocean dead zones that may not have the nutritional value of one that grows in clean and nutrients rich waters. Hence, knowing more about the quality of water and the currents is vital before buying sea moss.


Where Did the Fake Sea Moss Story Get its Momentum?

The story of sea moss and how some sellers counterfeited it gained momentum after Dr. Sebi talked about the 'real' sea moss in one of his talks. Since then, people have discussed the authenticity and nutritional value of fake vs. natural sea moss.

People raised concerns regarding the authenticity and safety of products being sold as the real deal.

Recently the story kicked up on social media sites where businesses and individuals started selling fake sea moss by claiming it was genuine and authentic. This meant many people invested in below-par products with little to no nutritional value. 


How to Find Real Sea Moss? 

Here are some key points that will help you find real sea moss:

  • Getting it via a reliable seller
Look for sellers who specialise in selling seaweed and other sea vegetables and have a good reputation for quality and authenticity. Also, you can check customer reviews and ratings to understand their credibility better.
  • The colour and texture of sea moss
Real sea moss typically has a yellow or purplish-brown colour and a slightly slippery texture. Avoid buying sea moss that is pale or discoloured or slimy or gritty texture.
  • Wild-harvested sea moss 
Wild-harvested sea moss is generally considered of higher quality than farmed or cultivated sea moss. Check with the seller to see if they offer wild-harvested options.
  • The Source
Sea moss obtained from polluted waters can contain harmful contaminants. So, look for sea moss sourced from clean, toxin-free water.

Are you stuck on finding a trusted sea moss supplier? But are unable to find authentic ones? 

Give Myla’s Moss a try without any second doubts. 

Our sea moss is derived from the premium waters of St Lucia. The high volcanic activity in the region ensures that the sea moss is nutrient-rich and does not contain toxins that may harm you. After sourcing pure sea moss, the sea moss goes through strict quality checks to ensure the final outcome is safe, health, and nutritious.

Is Real Sea Moss Actually Good for You? 

Real sea moss gel is amazing for you due to its healthy nutrient profile. It is exceptionally high in iodine, essential for healthy thyroid function and metabolism. 2 

Sea moss also contains other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, E, and K, and various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. According to studies, Irish moss is also useful for boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and helping the digestive system. 3

Real sea moss is packed with health and skin-friendly ingredients. It is why seaweed is widely known as a ‘superfood.’ 4

However, fake sea moss is of low quality and does not possess goodness. In addition to lacking the beneficial nutrients of natural sea moss, fake sea moss may contain harmful additives, toxins, or preservatives that can harm one's health.

Therefore, you must source your Irish Moss from well-reputed and genuine sources to avoid being scammed. Myla's Moss is one of the trustworthy sellers in the UK; visit today to grab your bottle of goodness.


How can you tell if sea moss is real?

Natural sea moss has an ocean-like scent, a slightly salty taste, a distinct colour, and a gelatinous texture, and it expands when soaked. Fake sea moss may have an artificial smell, unusual colour, or texture and doesn't expand much when soaked.

What is the difference between real and fake sea moss gel?

The difference between real and fake sea moss gel is that natural sea moss gel is made from actual sea moss. In contrast, fake sea moss gel is often made from additives and fillers that mimic the texture and consistency of real sea moss gel. Natural sea moss gel contains more nutrients and minerals than fake.

Which colour sea moss is best?

There are various types of sea moss, each with distinct characteristics and nutritional values. 

Different species of sea moss can have varying colours, ranging from pale yellow to dark brown. What's more important is to ensure that the sea moss is fresh and harvested sustainably and has been adequately cleaned and prepared for consumption. It's also important to consider personal preferences regarding taste and texture.

Is real sea moss slimy?

A defining characteristic of natural sea moss is its slimy or gelatinous texture. This texture comes from the carrageenan compounds in sea moss, which give it its thickening and binding properties.


  1. Brown, E. M., Allsopp, P. J., Magee, P. J., Gill, C. I., Nitecki, S., Strain, C. R., & McSorley, E. M. (2014). Seaweed and human health. Nutrition reviews, 72(3), 205-216.
  2. Triggiani, V., Tafaro, E., Giagulli, V. A., Sabbà, C., Resta, F., Licchelli, B., & Guastamacchia, E. (2009). Role of iodine, selenium and other micronutrients in thyroid function and disorders. Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders), 9(3), 277-294.
  3. Lomartire, S., Marques, J. C., & Gonçalves, A. M. (2021). An overview to the health benefits of seaweeds consumption. Marine Drugs, 19(6), 341. 
  4. Nehal, N. (2014). Seaweed: a potential “superfood” unexplored and untapped. International Journal of Agriculture and Food Science Technology, 5(6), 631-642.