The Dead Sea, located on the border of Jordan and Israel, has an unusually high concentration of salt, as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium chloride. The location has a long and storied history. Even ancient Egyptians were aware of the sea's unique qualities: They extracted bitumen (a component of asphalt) from the salt water to embalm mummies. Over the ages, people have visited the Dead Sea due to its reputed curative properties. Today, health spas and resorts line its shores, and Dead Sea Salt is used in a variety of bath and beauty products. Below are some interesting facts about the site and how to use its restorative products:
- Why the Name. The reason that the Dead Sea is called "dead" is that nothing is capable of living in the water; it is far too saline to support life. Any fish that might swim into the Dead Sea by mistake (from the freshwater streams that feed it) die immediately.
- For Psoriasis, Eczema and Acne Sufferers. For years, sufferers of psoriasis have visited the Dead Sea seeking relief from their condition. Psoriasis causes thick patches of red, flaky skin that itch and sometimes even crack and bleed. In severe cases, psoriasis is quite painful and can even inflame the joints. Although the process whereby the salts relieve psoriasis is not understood, anecdotal evidence is strong that regular soaking brings about at least temporary relief. Dead Sea Salts are also reputed to help sufferers of eczema and acne.
- Buoyancy. Because of the high concentration of dissolved salts in the water, the density of the Dead Sea is far greater than that of other bodies of water you may be used to floating in (which makes you much more buoyant). If you were to visit the Dead Sea, you would feel as if you were bobbing atop the water; don't be surprised if you experience a similar sensation when you use products from the sea in your tub.
- Dead Sea Salts. There are many applications for sea salts--especially salts from the Dead Sea. They are used in bath salts, salt scrubs, soaps and cosmetics. The salts are frequently infused with fragrant oils such as lavender, rose or eucalyptus. This way, when you take your Dead Sea salt bath, the aroma will add to the relaxation. Salts are available in different grades, from fine (0-2mm) to coarse (2-4mm). If making your own salt scrub (by mixing the salt with fragrant oils), be sure to use salt grains that are not too large--fine grains help to better exfoliate your skin. The larger size grains are best to use as bath salts.
- Benefits. Some of the benefits of using Dead Sea Salt products include:
- Exfoliates dead skin cells. The salt acts as a strong skin treatment as it rubs away the layer of dead skin cells that sits atop your skin.
- Cleans your pores. As the salt gently abrades your skin, it picks up oils and dirt from your pores.
- Stimulates blood circulation. The gentle abrasion of Dead Sea products stimulates blood flow to the area.
- Removes toxins. Those toxins released through your skin are removed when you wash off the salt.
- Dead Sea Mud. When the water from the sea evaporates, the mud from the bottom is removed, purified and packaged and sold as special skin products. People often use the mud masks for facials. When heated, Dead Sea Mud also provides relief from arthritis and joint and muscle aches.
Keep in mind that Dead Sea minerals and salt products will irritate any cuts or scratches on your skin due to its high salt content. So best not to play with kitty just before your bath time.