Salt is in pretty much everything. It’s in the earth, in the air, and in our bodies. But what makes this particular mineral so essential to our lives and our everyday health? The benefits of sea salt, in particular, are innumerable—from healing properties, to skin care, to dietary improvement.
Sea salt is now growing in popularity—not just on the dining room table, but in skin products as well. It can be found in a variety of different forms, including bath salts, soaps, and exfoliating scrubs. Sea salt is made by taking water from the oceans or saline lakes and letting the water evaporate to leave the salts behind, whereas table salt is mined from salt deposits in the earth and heavily processed to produce “clean” salt.
Sea salt is also known as bay salt. It comes into being when bodies of salt water go through the evaporation process. It is then “mined” for packaging. The Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the North Sea are the most common areas for harvesting sea salt. The method involved in harvesting sea salt also helps to retain its natural state and therapeutic qualities.
Sea salt is darker in color when compared to refined salts, due to the absorption of essential minerals from the clay lining of the body of water. By the time table salt has been packaged, it has been refined through heavy processing, including mining followed by iodizing, bleaching, and diluting with anti-caking agents. More chemicals are added during the processing of table salt, which often steals all of its beneficial minerals and trace elements, except sodium and chloride.
In comparison, the preparation of sea salt usually includes very little processing, so it retains its moisture and mineral value. These minerals are present in a form that is easily utilized and absorbed by the human body. The quality and combination of minerals in sea salt varies by the climate and the geographical location of the region that it’s mined in.
Keep in mind, regardless of the huge differences in processing, both sea salt and refined table salt contain approximately the same amount of sodium.
Sea salt derives 82 essential trace nutrients from sea water. These natural minerals are essential for healthy functioning of the body. The nutritional wealth of sea salt includes vital minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper, and zinc, among other beneficial elements.
These healing properties in sea salt help in maintaining good cellular functioning of the body and have been appreciated for ages. In ancient times, sea salt was valuable for healing hand injuries and wounds of fishermen.
The mineral content in Dead Sea salt has long been appreciated for its rejuvenating effects on the skin. Bathing in a Dead Sea salt solution helps in keeping the skin moisturized and revitalized. Dead Sea salt baths also help in improving the skin barrier function, and eliminate the roughness and inflammation on the skin’s surface.
Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to the presence of a high magnesium content in the Dead Sea salts. It also helps in the detoxification of the body by flushing out toxins from the pores, while also aiding in improving blood circulation.
Sea salt finds another use in the cosmetic industry in the manufacturing of scrubs and other skin care products, like antiperspirants and deodorants. Exfoliation with sea salts helps to remove dead skin particles, tones up the skin tissues, encourages peripheral blood circulation, and helps in skin renewal.
Unlike table salt, the granular texture of sea salt works very well in providing clean and smooth skin. Sea salt scrub therapy is also advised for patients suffering from low blood pressure, epilepsy, poor blood circulation, and general body fatigue, by promoting healthy blood circulation.
So, what happens when you consume only refined table salt, and not mineral-rich salt?
Without the right kind of salt, our body will encounter many kinds of problems. As you’ve already seen, by taking table salt, our body is deprived of the real salt and minerals. Here’s a small but shocking list of what can happen when we consume too much refined salt that is found in abundance in commercial cooking and processed foods:
- High blood pressure
- Accelerated aging cellular degeneration
- Respiratory and blood sugar problems
- Aggravated inflammatory issues—rheumatism, asthma, arthritis, and gout
- Liver failure, adrenal exhaustion
- Kidney and gallbladder stones
- Heart muscles tiring and lacerating, causing fatal heart attacks
Sea salt, on the other hand, helps to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance in the body, which is necessary for maintaining optimum blood composition and circulation, muscular strength, and overall functioning of the body.
Eliminating all salt from your diet is unhealthy, because minerals contained in it are essential for the proper functioning of nearly all biological processes, states Dr. Michael Alderman, a hypertension specialist. The human body would not exist without these salts, according to Dr. Barbara Hendel, a researcher and author of "Water and Salt, The Essence of Life."
The larger crystals and saltier taste of sea salt enable you to use less salt to season your foods and still achieve the same effect, thus reducing your sodium intake.
Medical studies have shown that Dead Sea Minerals are effective in treating a multitude of conditions, including psoriasis, acne, rheumatism, and eczema. Dead Sea minerals are known to cure skin disorders through strengthening the skin tissues, maintaining the chemical balance of the skin, stimulating blood circulation, and eliminating toxins from the skin.
For example, the concentration of magnesium found in the Dead Sea is reported to be about fifteen times higher than salts in any other sea. As mentioned earlier, magnesium is essential for cell metabolism. A significant deficit of magnesium has been discovered in serum and skin scales of patients with psoriasis. Millions of people have traveled to the Dead Sea to relax and enjoy its beauty, but, more importantly, to experience the healing, beautifying, and rejuvenating powers of its waters.
Due to the high concentration of salt and minerals in the Dead Sea, no plant or animal life can survive. There is no outlet for the water except for evaporation, so the salt and minerals left behind collect on the shores and the bottom of the Dead Sea. These mineral-rich salts and other sediments left behind are extremely beneficial to the body.
When you purchase cosmetics with Dead Sea salt as a main ingredient, you can have the benefits of the most amazing natural spa, the Dead Sea, from the comfort of your own home. Minerals are essential for the metabolism of the skin. With age, the level of minerals in the body is depleted. Researchers have found that the body no longer produces minerals on its own, and must draw from an external source of supply. Minerals provide protection and strengthen cell membranes against dehydration and environmental hazards.
The salt water acne remedy is an intriguing one, and one that is very popular with those who want to avoid pharmaceutical medicines or over the counter facial cleansers.
While there are some variations of the salt water method, the most common use is to simply place salt into a glass of warm water and mix. Most recommend one tablespoon. Then dab a cotton ball or washcloth into the salt water and gently pat it against your face. So, how exactly does this help your skin with acne breakouts?
Drying Oils – Salt has the natural ability to reduce moisture, which dries out the oils in your face. Since facial oil is the leading cause of clogged pores and bacterial buildup, presumably the salt's ability to dry the skin has an acne-reduction effect.
Reducing Bacteria – Salt is an ingredient that is often added to meals in order to prevent food from spoiling. Salt starves bacteria of moisture, which could kill off bacteria.
Closing Pores – Similarly, one popular theory on salt water is that it has the potential to close your pores, which should create less of a space for bacteria and oils.
The therapeutic effects of bathing in mineral-rich waters have been known since time immemorial—or at least since ancient Greeks Herodotus and Hippocrates proclaimed the curative powers of relaxing in natural hot springs. Cleopatra—a female most cited regarding all things ancient of beauty—so greatly valued the youth-bestowing qualities of the Dead Sea's mud and water that it’s rumored she urged her lover Mark Antony to conquer the region so that she might have an unlimited supply at her disposal.
The compound of magnesium sulfate known as Epsom salts—named after the English town where it was first identified in 1695—has been clinically proven to ease muscle pain and speed the healing of wounds. The Japanese have customarily dipped into mineral springs, or onsen, for centuries, to alleviate a host of complaints ranging from acne to wrinkles.
Even now, alternative health blogs are buzzing about so-called transdermal magnesium therapy: Because the mineral can be absorbed through the skin and into the cells, devotees allege that a bath containing a few cups of sea-salt-derived magnesium chloride can deliver health-boosting results more effectively than oral supplements.
Enriched with a blend of organic olive, sweet almond, and jojoba oils, 80 Acres of McEvoy Ranch Verde Olive Oil Salt Scrub is a pure and sensual fine-grain Pacific sea salt scrub that gently exfoliates and moisturizes leaving skin silky smooth and rejuvenated. Verde takes its freshness and green aromatic notes from our own gardens in spring. This is the stuff our ancient ancestors used on their skin and couldn’t stop raving about. If you’re looking for a sea salt product that’s as close to earth as possible, this is the one.