The practice of soaking in warm mineral waters, otherwise known as balneotherapy, has been long used to relax, rejuvenate, detoxify and heal skin. But it really gained a foothold in popular culture in Europe in the 1800s and soon became popular in North America. 1930s actress and sex symbol Mae West said, “When in doubt, take a bath...” and we couldn’t agree more. But we would boost that bath and make it a little more luxurious by adding a few choice ingredients, namely Dead Sea salt, Epsom salt, sea salt and Himalayan pink salt (all of which, coincidentally, are found in Duckish Bath Salts!).
What’s the magic?
When you soak in water infused with bath salts, you come into contact with a variety of minerals, especially magnesium. Salt baths leave your skin glowing and hydrated, help flush toxins out of your body, make your skin a pretty inhospitable place for unpleasant bacteria and yeast to grow, and can provide relief from skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and contact dermatitis.
The presence of minerals in your bath water starts a process called reverse osmosis. We’ll spare you the science lesson, but this means that if your cells are deficient in these minerals, and they recognize that mineral levels are higher in the bath water than within the cells, they will absorb the needed minerals until optimum mineral levels are reached. At the same time as these minerals are being pumped in, harmful toxins and heavy metals get pushed out of the skin through the pores.
Aside from leaving you with glowing skin, the absorption of minerals from bath water also contributes to how you feel. When you get stressed out, for example, you get a surge of adrenaline that can cause a drop in your magnesium levels. This is a literal downer as magnesium contributes to the production of serotonin, the feel-good chemical in your body. An influx of magnesium gives your cells the kick in the pants they need to start producing more energy. Aside from eating magnesium-rich foods, taking a bath with magnesium-rich salts is another, very pleasant way, to feel calm and relaxed while getting a little boost of energy and feel-good serotonin. And if that’s not enough, magnesium also contributes to the regulatory activity of over 300 enzymes, reduces inflammation, helps muscle and nerve function, and improves blood flow which impacts how well oxygen is delivered throughout the body.
What kinds of salts should you add to your bath?
People have been soaking in the Dead Sea as a treatment for a variety of skin inflammation diseases, including eczema and psoriasis, for hundreds of years. With its uniquely high magnesium content, and high levels of calcium, potassium, and bromine, Dead Sea salt is a clear winner. And while it may seem counter intuitive, scientific research has also shown that bathing in a Dead Sea salt solution significantly improves the skin’s ability to lock in moisture.
Epsom Salts, while technically not salts, but a naturally occurring mineral compound called magnesium sulphate, are an amazing source of, you guessed it, magnesium.
Loaded with sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, bromine, boron, zinc, iron, manganese, copper and silicon, sea salt is also a great addition to any bath. The minerals from sea salt help balance the moisture content of your skin, reduce muscle pain and stiffness and improve lymphatic fluid circulation.
Last, but definitely not least, there’s gorgeous Himalayan Pink Salt. Its pink/red colour comes from its uniquely high iron content. It also has a variety of other useful minerals including phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, chloride, potassium, sulphate, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium and fluoride, proving that it’s so much more than just pretty crystals.
Not a bath person?
Not a problem! At the end of a long day, or in preparation for sandal season, you can also sprinkle these salts in a footbath and give your feet some much-needed TLC. The skin on your feet will absorb these minerals just like the rest of your body. If you’re looking for soft, silky feet, try our DIY All-Natural Pedicure Kit.
Adding salts to your next bath is an easy way to feel better. Our bath salts include all of the salts mentioned above, plus a touch or organic coconut oil and sweet almond oil to leave skin extra soft. You have your choice of lavender, mint, or citrus (derived from essential oils) to make that bath smell extra delicious. And take your time! As Mae West said: “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.”