Our bodies contain the same concentration of minerals and nutrients as sea water, so it’s no wonder that sea salt is a natural ally to balance, protect, and restore the body and skin.
One of the major differences between sea salt and ordinary salt is the mineral content: Sea salt is laden with minerals, including magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium, all of which play a key role in our skin’s health, function, and cellular communication. When your skin’s mineral balance is off-kilter, symptoms such as dryness, dullness, irritation, and blotchiness ensue, especially as the colder, dryer weather sets in. Bringing sea salt from the kitchen into your beauty routine can help balance and improve hydration, strengthen the protective barrier of our skin, and kick-start the cell-to-cell communication signals that slow down with age.
1. Balancing Mask
Both salt and honey have anti-inflammatory properties to soothe skin and calm breakouts and irritation. They also help to balance oil production and retain hydration in the layers of skin where it’s needed most.
Try it: Mix two teaspoons sea salt (preferably finely ground) with four teaspoons raw honey to create a spreadable paste. Apply evenly to clean, dry skin, avoiding eye area. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Before rinsing, soak a washcloth in very warm water, and gently wring out. Lay the warm washcloth on your face for 30 seconds. Use your fingers to gently exfoliate in a circular motion while rinsing your skin thoroughly with tepid water. Follow with your usual skin-care routine.
2. Oil-Sapping Facial Toner
Salt helps to cleanse pores deeply, balance oil production and thwart bacteria that can instigate breakouts and acne.
Try it: Mix one teaspoon sea salt with four ounces of warm water in small spray bottle until salt is dissolved. Mist on clean, dry skin, avoiding eyes. Use daily or twice daily.
3. Softening Body Scrub
Salt is a gentle natural exfoliate that sloughs off dead skin. It also has minerals to soften skin and restore hydration.
Try it: Mix a quarter-cup salt and a half-cup olive oil or softened coconut oil into a thick paste. If desired, add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Apply in the shower with a washcloth, loofah, or the palms of your hands, gently scrubbing your skin in a circular motion.
4. Rejuvenating Scrub
Salt is a skin-softening exfoliant that restores skin. Aloe vera hydrates, heals, and aids skin cell turnover, while lavender is a natural antiseptic that increases circulation.
Try it: Mix together a half-cup salt, a quarter-cup pure aloe vera juice or gel, a quarter-cup oil (your choice!), one tablespoon dried lavender flowers, and 10 drops essential oil of lavender. The resulting mixture should form a thick paste; if it’s too dry, add a few extra drops of oil. Apply in the shower with a washcloth, loofah, or the palms of your hands, gently scrubbing your skin in a circular motion.
5. Relaxing Salt Bath
Salt absorbs dirt, grime, and toxins and cleanses your skin’s pores deeply. Salt’s mineral content helps restore the protective barrier in skin and helps it hold hydration. You may notice that your skin won’t wrinkle or prune after a good, long soak in salted water, which is evidence that a salt bath helps your skin retain its moisture. The magnesium in sea salt may also help reduce water retention (i.e., bloating) in the body.
Try it: Add one-third cup salt to a tub filled with warm water, and swish to dissolve the salt. Soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
6. Anti-Dandruff Scalp Treatment
Salt helps loosen and remove existing flakes while stimulating circulation for a healthy scalp. The ingredient also absorbs excess oil and moisture to prevent fungal growth and inhibit the root of dandruff.
Try it: Part your hair a few times, and sprinkle one to two teaspoons of salt on your scalp. Using wet fingers, massage your scalp gently and thoroughly for 10 to 15 minutes (if you can recruit someone to do this for you, it is very relaxing!). Wash and condition your hair with your favorite products. The results will be immediate.
7. Teeth Whitener
Salt and baking soda are both gentle abrasives that will help remove stains and brighten teeth. Salt also contains a natural source of fluoride, which is a bonus for your teeth and gums.
Try it: Mix one teaspoon salt and two teaspoons baking powder. Dip a damp toothbrush in the mixture, and brush teeth normally. If the taste is too intense, try putting a dab of toothpaste on the brush before dipping it in the mixture.
8. Natural Mouth Wash
Salt acts as a disinfectant to kill the bacteria that can cause bad breath and gingivitis.
Try it: Mix together a half-teaspoon salt, a half-teaspoon baking soda, and a quarter-cup water until the salt dissolves. Swish the solution around in your mouth and between teeth. Spit, then rinse.
9. Nail Brightening Treatment
Salt softens cuticles and skin and strengthens nails. Baking soda and lemon work to reduce yellowing and stains for brighter, healthier-looking nails.
Try it: Mix one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon baking soda, one teaspoon lemon juice, and a half-cup warm water in a small bowl. Soak nails in the solution for 10 minutes, then scrub with a soft brush. Rinse hands, and moisturize.