Salt is a staple in the kitchen for seasoning foods, but you might consider adding a shaker to your bathroom to sprinkle some into your beauty routine for major skin, hair, and nails benefits, too.
Natural salts are packed with minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium that can help to reduce inflammation, brighten, and even strengthen the skin,” says New York City dermatologist Dr Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Sea salt is also a good exfoliator and has antimicrobial properties. Here are 10 derm-approved ways to use sea salt in your beauty routine.
1. Balancing mask
Both salt and honey have anti-inflammatory properties to soothe skin and calm breakouts and irritation. They also help to 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. Softening body scrub
Salt is a natural exfoliant 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 favourite essential oil. (Note that some oils, like lavender, can be irritating to certain skin types, so stick to a scent you’ve tried before.) Apply in the shower with a washcloth, loofah, or the palms of your hands, scrubbing your skin in a circular motion. Salt granules can be abrasive, so start with gentle scrubbing to see how your skin responds.
3. 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.
Try it: Add one-third cup of epsom salt to a tub filled with warm water, and swish to dissolve the salt. Soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
4. 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 favourite products. The results will be immediate.
READ MORE: 12 Ways Honey Can Up Your Beauty Game
5. 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.
6. Natural mouth wash
Salt may act 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.
7. 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 thoroughly as any lemon left could cause irritation in the sun, and moisturize.
8. Hair texturiser
Recreate the tousled hair texture that a dip in the ocean brings using your own sea salt spray.
Try it: Mix one cup of warm water with one tablespoon of sea salt until the salt has dissolved. Combine one tablespoon of melted unrefined coconut oil with one tablespoon of leave-in hair conditioner then add the two mixtures together and shake well before spraying onto towel-dried hair.
9. Eye de-puffer
Soothe puffy eyes and absorb excess fluid with the anti-inflammatory benefits of salt.
Try it: Mix one teaspoon of salt into two cups of warm water until the salt has dissolved. Split a cotton round in half then soak it in the solution and lay it around your eyes—wherever it’s feeling puffy.
10. Facial toner
Nix excess oil and prevent acne with salt’s antimicrobial benefits.
Try it: Mix one cup of warm water with one tablespoon of sea salt and a pinch of epsom salt until both have dissolved. Use a spray bottle to mist onto skin or swipe it on using a cotton pad.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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