Salt has a pretty bad rep. It has been deemed to cause hypertension, high blood pressure, and heart disease. However, in this post on the skin and beauty benefits of salt, we're going to debunk that. Those claims do not tell the whole story and they fail to point out that there are key differences between refined, heavily processed salt and unrefined, minimally processed salt. Real, unrefined, high-mineral salts have been used for enhancing the flavor of food for thousands of years. Not just that, salt is a very important part of a wholesome diet for optimal health.
Why We Need SaltSea salt, Himalayan salt, and quality rock salt all contain precious minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. These minerals play an important role in keeping the skin healthy on a cellular level. Read our previous post to learn more about the role of minerals in skin health. We all have heard that our body is made up mostly of water. Furthermore, when looking at the biology of our bodies in detail, we discover that the water in us has the same minerals and nutrient balance as ocean water. No wonder why spending time swimming in the ocean does such a wonderful job in restoring, enhancing, and beautifying the body and skin!
The Bad Kind vs The Good KindThe Good Kind: Unrefined Salt Unrefined salt comes in two major forms, rock salt from pristine salt mines and ocean sea salt. Both of these varieties are rich in more than 60 trace minerals. They are 85% sodium chloride and 15% essential trace minerals. Refined Salt: The Bad Kind Refined salt is highly processed, to the point where it's made up of 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemical additives. The major issues with refined salt – aside from toxic contamination – is that it is highly concentrated in one mineral. It is generally never a good idea to take concentrated minerals, due to the fact that every mineral needs an optimal ratio or balance. If the mineral balance in the body is off at all, we can experience skin issues like dryness, dullness, and blemishes.
The Skin and Beauty Benefits of Salt
Reduce Water RetentionLike mentioned, quality salt contains over 60 trace minerals. Amongst the many bioavailable minerals in quality salt is magnesium. Magnesium has many beneficial roles in the body; just one of those is regulating fluid balance – consuming a high mineral salt can help reduce water retention. Improper fluid perspective and water retention can lead to physical puffiness in the face. Obtaining proper fluid balance and minimizing water retention is one way to support a lean facial structure.
Topical CleanserQuality sea salt and unheated rock salt have natural antiseptic properties. They kill pathogens, detoxify the skin, and absorb dirt and grime. Used topically, salt deeply purifies and cleanses your pores without aggravating the microbiome of the skin.
ExfoliationExfoliation is another beauty benefit of salt. Salts make an excellent, non-toxic exfoliating treatment for softening the skin and clearing away dead skin cells. However, make sure the sea salt is of a very fine texture, in order to avoid damaging the epidermis. Even better, use a quality clay mask. Clay is derived from the Earth and contains a variety of minerals just like natural salt. However, it is much finer in texture and more gentle on the skin. Learn about the added benefits of using a clay mask here.
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Hydrated SkinThe abundance of organic minerals in unrefined salt is great for improving the appearance of the skin, strengthening the protective barrier and assisting the skin in holding moisture and hydration. After removing all sources of refined salt and consuming high-mineral salt, you will notice your skin being less prone to wrinkling and dryness. You've maybe noticed same results after a long swim in the ocean.
Stress ReductionSea salt is rich in magnesium, the “relaxation mineral”, which helps activate the parasympathetic (rest and digest) excitable system. This promotes a sense of relaxation and supports deep sleep. In case you did not know, chronic anxiety can age the skin due to oxidative damage. This is why we've included stress reduction as one of the key. To prevent oxidative stress, we want to promote a calm nervous system. To learn more, we have an entire post dedicated to the relationship between stress and skin health.
Improves DigestionThe three layers of our skin consist mainly of cells called keratinocytes, which are derived from the protein keratin. If our bodies cannot properly break down protein, we will lack the primary building blocks of strong, youthful skin. Interestingly enough, not getting enough real salt in your diet can lead to poor protein digestion. In order to produce enough stomach acid (HCL), we need salt, which contains chloride. Chloride is a key building block of stomach acid. Healthy skin is dependent upon nutrient-rich blood, a goal accomplished by an efficient digestive system. As we cover in previous blog posts, there is a very intimate relationship between gut health and skin health. If our digestive system is not working properly, we cannot extract the necessary nutrients we need to nourish, regenerate and heal the skin.
Overall Healthier SkinHealthy skin is the last of the salt beauty benefits. Overall healthy skin is built upon a strong digestive system, healthy immune system, balanced microbiome, strong organs, proper detoxification, hydration and the right nutrients. The key goal is to make sure all of your organs, glands, and physiological functions are working properly. This ensures that our skin is both cleansed and nourished. One way salt helps is by acting as a “nutrient enhancement”. By improving the strength of our stomach acid, it also increases the assimilation and absorption of key vitamins and minerals that are responsible for healthy skin.
Our ConclusionWith all the beauty benefits of salt listed, we advise ditching refined, impure salt, which throws off mineral balance and is generally toxic. Instead, stock your pantry with high-quality, mineral salts such as Himalayan, Celtic or Redmon’s Real Salt. Incorporating and enriching your food and beverages with these quality mineral salts can improve hydration, and strengthen the protective barrier of the skin. They also help to improve cellular communication in the body, which will promote longevity. Were you aware of salt's skin and beauty benefits? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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