by Molly Watman
Oh, how we love salt, in its many forms, from flakey Maldon on the table to a warm dip in the ocean. One of its finest non-edible forms is as a scrub. And we aren’t the first humans to have discovered this glorious purpose. The ancients were salting their skin on a regular basis. Salt was considered a form of medicine for all kinds of ailments until the late Middle Ages and research from the last 50 years has actually validated its healing powers, in particular in regards to use on the skin. Here’s the science.
In simplest terms, salt scrubs exfoliate the skin. The gentle abrasive action of the salt scrubs away dead skin cells, revealing the softer skin underneath. Exfoliation helps prevent ingrown hairs, allows moisturizer to penetrate more easily, and gives skin a rosy glow.
Sea salt, derived from evaporated seawater, is chock full of minerals beneficial to the skin. When mixed with jojoba, coconut, and avocado oils (amongst others), salt can breathe new life and nutrients into dull skin. Dead skin cells, also known as cornified cells, harden with age. The longer they lie on the surface of the skin, the harder they get. The cornified layer of skin will become thicker and thicker until it is finally removed. Layers of dead skin cells can make the skin look dry and flaky; exfoliation with a salt scrub reveals the moist shiny layer hidden underneath.
Scrubbing with a gentle circular motion gives the skin a natural glow along with improved circulation. It also removes bacteria and unclogs the pores. According to well-established research studies, salt has antiseptic qualities. When applied to the skin, salt can kill bacteria and reduces inflammation along with any itching and pain associated with bacterial-related skin disease. The salt scrub process tightens the skin, giving it a firmer and younger-looking appearance. Skin regeneration also reduces skin discoloration, evening out skin tone and improving texture. Even serious skin disorders can benefit from salt. Chronically inflamed skin is often treated with medical bath salt from the Dead Sea. Salt-baths are frequently used to treat psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, chronic eczema as well as arthritis.*
Summary of Benefits:
- Thoroughly cleans skin pores
- Allows your skin to breathe easier
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Removes toxins from your skin
- Helps to regenerate new skin
- Keeps your skin looking younger
- Strengthens and firms skin tissue
- Can assist in treating serious skin ailments
We love salt so much that we made our own sea salt scrub:
A gentle herbal scrub which combines turmeric, mustard seed, jojoba, and grapefruit seed. Wonderful for body blemishes, dry skin and rough spots, and ingrown hairs. We love it for daily use, and especially as part of a pre-and post-wax treatment. We add a few lovely secret ingredients:
Turmeric has long been used in Ayurvedic skin care. It has naturally occurring anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-microbial properties and has been used both internally and topically in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. In India it is used on cuts, bruises and burns. Some Indian women use turmeric to keep them free of superfluous hair and to give a glow to the skin. Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant from the ginger family and it is native to tropical South Asia. The Government of Thailand is currently funding a project to isolate tetrahydrocurcuminoids from turmeric, a colorless compound found in turmeric which is believed to have high antioxidant, skin lightening properties and to treat skin inflammations.
Mustard has been used for many years by cultures around the world because of its reputation to increase circulation and open pores. It is thought to stimulate sweating which in turn helps the body rid itself of toxins. Neem is widely used in India as an antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-parasitic agent in skin care for centuries.
Jojoba oil contains a waxy substance that is similar to skin sebum. One of the most common problems with oily skin is that the tendency is to try to dry out the skin to compensate for the oiliness. However, instead the skin produces extra oil trying to protect itself. The wonderful thing about using jojoba oil is that it can mimic the skin’s sebum allowing oily skin to balance out and stop over producing oil. Jojoba oil has excellent moisturizing and protective effects.
Grapefruit essential oil is known to be an antiseptic, disinfectant, lymphatic stimulant and tonic essential oil. It has a lymphatic stimulant action and is also very effective in controlling liquid processes in the skin, making it effective in cases of water retention and in detoxification. At the same time it tones the skin and eases congestion in oily skins, which makes it helpful in treating acne.