If your nightly baths are in need of a makeover, you may want to add a touch of salt to change things up.
Sea salt baths are known for their therapeutic and healing properties, as well as their ability to ease stress and boost your overall health.
But before you turn on the faucet and jump in, take note of these expert tips on:
- types of sea salt
- steps to taking a sea salt bath
Sea salt is a type of salt that comes from the evaporation of seawater. The taste, texture, and processing are what makes sea salt different from table salt.
Sea salt is typically not processed or minimally processed since it comes directly through the evaporation of seawater, according to the American Heart Association.
Because of minimal processing, sea salt has various trace minerals such as:
Since table salt is used in recipes and on food, it undergoes processing to give it a fine texture. When this happens, you lose the minerals that are present in sea salt.
There are many types of sea salts available on the market.
Dead Sea salt, which is sourced directly from the Dead Sea, comes in a variety of grains including:
- extra coarse
Some products also contain scents like:
Westlab, another popular brand for sea salts, sells:
The company’s website says it only sources the highest quality of genuine Dead Sea salt that’s naturally rich in:
According to Westlab, a sea salt’s place of origin can make a difference in terms of the benefits it provides.
For example, Dead Sea salt is said to be of the highest quality and is best for therapeutic use such as:
- easing sore muscles
- providing relief for certain skin conditions
Regular sea salt from ocean water is most commonly used in culinary settings.
If you’re looking for a way to relieve stress, ease achy muscles, and treat irritated skin, you may want to consider taking a sea salt bath.
While soaking in a tub, in general, is a nice way to pamper yourself after a hard day, adding sea salts is said to also extend the benefits to your skin, muscles, and joints.
Beneficial for rheumatic diseases
According to a systematic review published in the journal Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, sea salt baths have been found to be beneficial in treating rheumatic diseases, including:
Good for your skin
Your skin, which is your body’s largest organ, will also thank you for indulging in a sea salt bath.
“Board-certified dermatologists are recommending sea salt baths for patients with psoriasis, eczema, and other dry skin conditions,” explains Dr. Sapna Palep, a board-certified dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology.
This comes as no surprise, especially when you consider that sea salt baths can help calm the symptoms of certain skin conditions.
Relieves achy muscles and stimulates circulation
Other benefits of taking a sea salt bath are said to include:
- stimulating circulation
- easing muscle cramps
- helping to relieve stiffness in joints
- soothing achy, overworked legs and feet
When taking a sea salt bath for relaxation, medical esthetician Holly Cutler recommends the following steps:
- Add 1/4 cup of sea salt to a standard size bathtub filled to your comfort.
- Aim for a water temperature of two degrees warmer than your body temperature to experience the healing benefits of the sea salt bath.
- Soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes or your desired time.
- When you finish your bath, dry off and apply a moisturizer to your skin.
If 1/4 cup is not enough, Frieling says that depending on a person’s body size and skin condition, a healthy adult can add up to 2 cups of sea salt to warm water in a standard size tub.
While recipes vary based on people’s needs, Frieling says a salt scrub can include:
“The exfoliation offered by a skin scrub with finely granulated minerals can help clear out dead skin and prompt cell turnover, it can help detoxify the body and clean the pores, while also leaving the skin smooth to the touch,” she adds.
According to Cutler, a sea salt scrub exfoliates dead skin cells, which allows new cells to regenerate. They also increase the natural flow of circulation.
DIY salt scrub recipe
Here’s an easy to follow sea salt exfoliation scrub recipe from Cutler:
Warm water and sea salt are generally safe for most people. However, there are some precautions and things to consider before you take a soak in the tub.
If you use a sea salt bath and have an allergic reaction like a rash or hives, or you have a skin infection, Palep says to avoid using sea salts in your bath. You should also avoid taking a sea salt bath if you have an open wound.
It’s especially important if the condition is severe or chronic. Your healthcare provider can help you decide which scrub is best for your skin condition.
Sea salt contamination
One concern that may come up when researching different sea salts is the potential for them to be contaminated by plastic.
A study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that sea salts from all over the world, including the UK, France, Spain, China, and the United States, were contaminated with microplastics.
Microplastics are the microscopic remains of plastic waste.
While the health effects are still unclear, being aware of potential contamination is important when choosing a product.
Taking a sea salt bath not only helps you relax, but it can also:
- ease achy muscles and joints
- stimulate circulation
- calm irritated skin
Soaking in a sea salt bath before bed can also promote better sleep.
There are a variety of sea salt products available, with some including other ingredients and fragrances to enhance your experience.