Have you ever wondered sea salt could benefit your skin? And did you ever think was it possible a dietary no-no could actually heal dry and sensitive skin? Let’s dive into the Dead Sea to find out!
Did you know swimming in the Dead Sea is the closest experience anyone can have to spacewalking without leaving Earth?
The Dead Sea: A Blissful Soak
The Dead Sea’s water is 8.6 times saltier than any ocean water and is astoundingly crystal clear. So clean that you can see the rugged white topography of the sea bed beneath. As you float, you’ll feel weightless, as if any buoyant force were applied on you, while drift out and over deeper water. The sensation you’ll experience is extremely rejuvenating like a rubber duck bobbing in warm water in bath tub. There is no risk of drowning or becoming a shark’s lunch involved.
One of my friends is lucky enough to have swam in this water and what impressed her the most was when came out of long, blissful soak, her skin was softer and ultra-moisturized than ever. Even when she spent hours without taking a shower in normal water, her skin was still soft and tender like glass. She had gone on vacation to Israel’s Ein Gedi and had taken a swim on the sea’s western shore near to her hotel.
The magical ingredients of sea salt
The best part about this sea is that since both the water and air are rich with minerals—including bromine. They enable you with a relaxing effect on your muscles and nerves. (Bromine is a chemical element with the symbol Br, and atomic number of 35. This sedative element was isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Jerome Balard.)
The therapeutic effects of bathing in mineral-rich water is a known fact time immemorial, dating back to the ancient Greeks who proclaimed the medicinal elements of natural hot springs. Relaxing in such hot water became the basis for balneotherapy, which is still practiced in regions from Calistoga, California, to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Balneotherapy is usually referred to everything relating to spa treatment, including hot baths and natural vapor baths to drinking of waters and also the use of various kinds of mud and sand used for hot applications.
Even history reveals that Cleopatra, whose beauty is still admired, was so much aware of the youth-bestowing qualities of the Dead Sea’s mud and water that she had urged her lover Mark Antony to conquer the region so that she could get an unlimited supply of these beauty secrets.
Such waters are also comprised of a compound of magnesium sulfate known as Epsom, invented in 1695, has been clinically proven to ease muscle pain and speed the healing of wounds.
The Japanese have always explored the mineral springs time and again only to find solutions to a host of beauty ailments ranging from acne to wrinkles. Today, if you browse through health blogs, even they are now seen buzzing about the much-hyped trans-dermal magnesium therapy.
Since the mineral can be easily absorbed into the cells through the skin, health experts suggest to take a bath containing a few cups of sea-salt-derived magnesium chloride. This bath enables delivers health-boosting results.
Overruling the myth
While most of us tend to get adverse effects of salt, from the dehydrating discomfort of thirst to bloating whenever we had too much of it. Even many us of are suffering from the long-term health problems due to sodium-clad diet. How could we forget the sticky feeling that we get at the beaches in countries like India?
So, it’s natural not to quickly accept the fact that sea salts can also prove to be a valuable ingredient in moisturizer formulation.
There are numerous sea salt ingredients that are used in cosmetics now. For instance, sodium hyaluron, a form of hyaluronic acid is actually a sea salt being used in many face. As per New York dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD,
“Sodium hyaluron is a very viscous substance that increases the water-holding capacity of skin, so it has an almost immediate plumping effect.“
Fusco further explains,
“Ordinary salt is largely sodium chloride, which is very dehydrating, but mineral salt, such as Dead Sea salt, is rich in magnesium and calcium, which improve hydration by strengthening the barrier function of the skin. Indeed, those minerals—in addition to zinc and potassium, other components of unrefined salt—are classified by scientists as “natural moisturization factors” for the way they support the skin’s water balance. An example I give my patients is that when you sit in a non-salt bath, your skin wrinkles and prunes. But that doesn’t happen in salt water because salt reproduces an environment in balance with your skin in which your skin doesn’t leak out moisture.”
Most of the high end moisturizers comprise of ingredients that are elusive i.e. they prevent water evaporation from the skin. They contain humectants, which offers softening and smoothing effect on the epidermis. Adding mineral salt can be a great advantage for the aging skin. The mineral salt has the ability to retain water and even slows down cellular metabolism.
As per research and development manager Isabelle Afriat at Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories in Israel,
“Magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium are critical for proper cell-to-cell communication, so replenishing the skin with minerals can help restart the signaling processes that slow down with age. Moisturizers containing salts are better than plain old occlusives because they allow moisture to be absorbed and to bind to skin more efficiently.“
Some more benefits of sea salt
There’s another proven reason why salt is so much helpful in quenching the skin – Not just any exfoliating element, but salt works like a little goldfish on your feet. Sea salt has magnificent ability of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin in a very gentle manner, thereby leaving the skin smoother absorbing moisture and nutrients.
Salt, if you knew is more effective when combined with warm water. This killer combination increases blood circulation, thereby becoming key player in rendering youthful, energized, and healthy skin.
While it’s a common notion that sea salt causes harm to skin, the above findings clearly indicate how sea salt can become a key player in beauty regimen, rendering you with radiant, supple skin like glass.
Either go on a vacation to get a blissful soak in Dead Sea or pick some reliable cosmetics enriched with sea salt ingredients!
Stay beautiful outside and within!