The Dead Sea salt scrub is a skin exfoliant made of salt crystals from the Dead Sea, a body of water renowned for its healing, mineral infused waters. The Dead Sea contains so much salt, no living creature can survive within it. This sea is unique, as its water contains 27 percent salt compared to the 3 percent found in other seas. The sea's salt is also different from other sea salt. Only about 10 to 15 percent is made up of sodium chloride, while normal sea salt contains about 80 percent sodium chloride. The components of salt from the Dead Sea include magnesium, calcium, potassium, bromines and chloride.
The Benefits of Dead Sea Salt for Skin
Although the sea itself may be unwelcoming, its salts have been harvested and used for thousands of years. Over 2,000 years ago, the Roman Historian Flavius wrote that Dead Sea salt “heals the human body and is therefore used in many medicines.” Often referred to as a “salt glow,” a salt scrub stimulates the skin, muscles and nerves, cleanses the pores and improves the texture of dull, bumpy and tired skin. Extensive scientific research has been performed to prove the efficacy of Dead Sea salt for treating skin problems such as dry skin and psoriasis.
A study published in the International Journal of Dermatology in 2005 found that bathing in the water from the Dead Sea improved the function of the skin barrier, reduced roughness and redness of the skin, and enhanced skin hydration. Participants in the study suffered from atopic dry skin and after bathing in a solution made of 5 percent dead sea salt for 15 minutes a day for six weeks, experienced significant improvement. Researchers believe the healing benefits of Dead Sea salt for the skin are directly related to its high magnesium content.
Another study, published in a 2008 edition of the International Journal of Dermatology, examined 50 patients between the ages of 14 and 77, all of whom suffered from psoriasis. The patients were given 3 to 4 baths made with Dead Sea Salts per week for four weeks. After this period, 70 percent of the patients were completely cleared. Gender, skin type, psychological state nor family history affected the rate of success. Numerous other studies confirm these results. Even The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends the use of Dead Sea salt for the treatment of psoriasis.
In addition to treating dry skin and psoriasis, natural health practitioners recommend the use of Dead Sea salt for a variety of other skin ailments. Although scientific research is lacking, there exists strong anecdotal evidence that suggests the salt is effective in treating acne, wrinkles and even sun damage. A dead sea salt scrub will benefit just about every skin type and skin disorder, even if its just indirectly. By cleansing the pores, reducing inflammation and increasing circulation, its almost impossible not to experience improved skin with regular use.
Tips for Using a Dead Sea Salt Scrub
Because of its abrasive nature, a salt scrub is best used for exfoliation, cleansing and stimulation, but not too often.
If you have dry skin, using a body scrub two or three times per week is best, but you probably only need a treatment once per week for normal or oily skin. Use a facial scrub up to once per day if you like.
Salt can be drying on the skin, and is best used with an emollient such as glycerin or coconut oil. Never use on broken or irritated skin, or you may experience a burning sensation (like pouring salt on a wound).
Avoid using just after shaving. For the best results, use on a day you don't plan to shave, or shave afterward.
The Benefits of Scrubbing with Dead Sea Salt
In the video below, Dr. Stephen H. Mandy, M.D explains the benefits of using Dead Sea Salt scrubs to treat skin problems such as psoriasis.