Salt, originally used to ensure that food was preserved so that people could have a reliable food source beyond the growing season, is now considered a welcome addition to health and beauty routines and used to preserve your natural beauty.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and absorbs whatever you bathe in or put on it. A study by the American Journal of Public Health confirmed that the skin does not act as a barrier against chemical nasties that are prevalent in many makeup beauty products and ones that we use when we bath– parabens, phthalates, triclosan and sodium lauryl sulphate to name but a few; but this also means that you can use the skin’s absorption to introduce depleted nutrients that your body needs to thrive.
If you haven’t yet used salt in your health and beauty regime, you are missing out on a natural ingredient that not only maintains your skin’s condition but replenishes your body’s lost minerals too.
Here are 3 salts that offer a natural solution to the stresses and strains of a busy and active life – rejuvenating, healing and invigorating.
Dead Sea Salts
The Dead Sea is a salt lake that lies at 400m below sea level and is located between Israel and Palestine to the east, and Jordan to the west. The high temperatures and dry air cause the lake to have a high evaporation rate. This means that the salt concentration averages around 32% - average seawater has a concentration of 3%.
What makes Dead Seas salts so special?
Dead Sea salts have a relatively high concentration of minerals (some of which have, to date, never been found in any other sea or ocean) which all benefit the skin and promote healing. This gave rise to the Dead Sea being the world’s first health resort from as far back as 37 BC - King Herod (yes, he of baby Jesus hunting fame) was a regular attendee!
These minerals are essential for good health but combined together they are even more effective and powerful. The salts have been found to nourish and hydrate the skin and facilitate cell renewal. They are also high in anti-inflammatory properties and natural antibiotics to offer ongoing relief of symptoms, and have been seen to:
Reduce the effects of ageing
Alleviate symptoms of skin disorders such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and dandruff
Reduce cellulite and water retention
Improve circulation and help sufferers of arthritis, back pain, and bursitis
Eases hormone fluctuations
Known as the ‘salt of life’, Himalayan salt has a mind-blowing history. It’s from the crystalized seabed of the now landlocked Himalayan mountain range. That means that it is over 4 billion years old and dates to the Earth’s creation.
In comparison with processed salts which are between 97.5 percent to 99.9 percent pure – made up to a 100% with chemicals such as aluminium derivatives from the bleaching process. Himalayan salt, on the other hand, is typically 87% pure – the remaining percentages are nutrients and minerals that give it its pink or reddish colour. Not only does it have therapeutic and healing qualities, but it can transform your culinary efforts too!
What makes Himalayan salt so special?
The geography of the Himalayan salt mines, which are up to 1,500m below ground, means that they have been protected against modern pollutants by a rich layer cooled lava and that the nutrients were essentially squashed. This means that they are colloidal and so they are easily absorbed by the body. There are 84 minerals in Himalayan salt, far too many to list here, but they include:
The benefits of this ancient salt are far-reaching, whether you choose to cook with it or use it as a health and beauty product:
Use to exfoliate dead skin cells
pH balance – both for body and skin
Epsom salts are another name for magnesium sulphate and have been used as a home remedy since the seventeenth century. Formed in saline springs, they are a natural remedy for aches and pains as well as an essential beauty product. Today’s Epsom salts come from further afield than Surrey. They are predominantly mined from dolomite which is found in the Alps.
What makes Epsom salts so special?
The basis for their success as a restorative and healing treatment is their active magnesium content. Although magnesium is required by every cell in the body, most of the modern population is deficient. Epsom salts provide a quick way to replenish this vital nutrient. So how can Epsom salts be of benefit to your beauty regime?
Exfoliate the skin
Draw out blackheads
Detox body (if ingested)
Treats conjunctivitis and sties
Relieves symptoms of stress
If ever you needed to justify why you need timeout and have a soak, you are now fully equipped with an arsenal of reasons – your sense of wellbeing and beauty depend on it! Your beauty is more than how you apply makeup, groom and present yourself, it's about how you nurture your body so that it performs and functions at its best - and that includes looking its best.
Have you found any bathing products that really make you look and feel your best? What do you recommend as ways to boost how you look and feel about yourself?