Sea salt is not just for adding flavor to your food. This is one condiment that can be as good for your outsides as it is for your insides. In fact, it is a common ingredient in everything from bath salts to soaps to exfoliating scrubs. Even as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, sea salt baths were used to help soothe and relax the mind and body, and were found everywhere.
So what exactly is sea salt and how does it differ from table salt? Unlike table salt, which is mined from large deposits found in the earth, sea salt is produced when quantities of sea water are allowed to evaporate, leaving behind the natural salt that differentiates sea water from fresh water. Because it is a naturally occurring substance, it can be used in its organic state without the processing required for table salt.
How exactly does sea salt work on the skin?
The grainy yet smooth texture of sea salt makes it the perfect natural exfoliant, allowing it to gently slough away dead skin cells and leaving the underlying skin feeling smooth, soft and refreshed.
Keep in mind that in order to get the best results as an exfoliant you should pay careful attention to the grade of the sea salt you use. You want sea salt that is smooth to the touch, with no rough edges that could tear delicate skin. Generally speaking, the finer the grade, the more effective the exfoliant.
One of the most beneficial varieties is harvested from the Dead Sea in Israel, as it contains a rich source of various minerals such as magnesium, calcium chloride, potassium and bromides. In fact there was a study conducted on the benefits of Dead Sea Salt for inflammatory skin conditions.
The results were very favorable, showing that bathing in these salts reduced roughness and improved skin barrier function. It was likely due to the magnesium content, but its other components likely offered benefits as well.
Aside from its skin smoothing abilities, sea salt also has detoxifying properties. As the salt absorbs toxins in the skin, it draws them out, improving the overall health of your skin and, in turn, you whole body. Applying a paste of sea salt and water to your skin for one minute before you shower can be a wonderful way to detox and exfoliate your skin at the same time.
What does sea salt treat?
Aside from the general benefits of repairing dry, damaged and aging skin with its natural exfoliant properties, sea salt can also be used specifically to help treat acne. In fact many experts have agreed that a sea salt rub containing essential oils can help to reduce scarring and pitting caused by acne and even improve circulation to help reduce the likelihood of breakouts.
Sea salt has antimicrobial properties that make it ideal for fighting the effects of acne and adding in essential oils such as chamomile, rose and lavender can further enhance these properties. Its soothing effect can also help to ease the itching and irritation of conditions such as psoriasis.
How does it compare to other treatments?
While it may not be as powerful as over the counter treatments for acne, psoriasis or other skin conditions, sea salt has proven healing qualities and many people prefer it to harsher medications which can have serious side effects.
Because it is 100% natural, there is no worry about introducing chemicals into your body. You do need to be careful about using it on skin with open sores or infections, as it could irritate them more, but otherwise it is generally perfectly safe.
If you’re looking for a way to soften, brighten and smooth your skin or if you need to treat skin scarred by acne, soothing, natural sea salt scrubs might just be the answer for you.