Salt for Your Skin Versus Salt for Your Health: What’s the Deal?
It’s funny, isn’t it, how we’ll be told something is true and we just sort of go along with it. Take salt, for example. We all know that eating salty foods isn’t good for us, but, on the flipside, bathing in Epsom salts is something health conscious people do a lot. So, what gives? Why should we be regulating our intake yet sloughing our skin with salt scrubs and wallowing in baths of it?
We put this question to the team at Origins, since the beauty brand uses salt in some of its skincare products. It also enlisted wellness guru Madeleine Shaw as its Glow Girl for 2016, so they can reveal the ins and outs on this subject.
Keep scrolling to find out what the deal with salt is, once and for all.
“Sea salt absorbs dirt, impurities and toxins from the skin and can be used for a deeper cleanse,” explains Greg Vaughan, education executive, Origins UK. “It has a rich mineral content—magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium—and this helps to restore the protective barrier in skin, in turn helping the body to retain moisture and maintain hydration levels.”
Bathing in salt can also help with stress, as low levels of magnesium have been linked with anxiety. While a salt bath is thought to help draw lactic acid out of muscles after a big workout like a long run or a weightlifting session. Our wellness columnist Millie Mackintosh uses a magnesium body spray when she's flying or stressed, as the magnesium can travel through the skin into the body to help you relax.
When it comes to salt names, they tend to change depending on where they come from. Epsom salt (from Surrey) is actually magnesium sulfate and has a slightly different molecular structure to salt. Dead Sea salt is around 12–20 percent sodium chloride and contains minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium. While Himalayan salt is a rock salt, and the pink hue is thanks to its iron oxide content.
“I'm not anti-salt," says Madeleine Shaw, Origins Glow Girl and health and wellness ambassador. "For me it's about the quality of the salt.
“I stick to natural sea salt or pink Himalayan salt—a little bit is good for you as it contains electrolytes, which are essential for optimal cell function. I always avoid table salt which is bleached, refined and heated and has no nutrition. This sort of salt causes water retention, bloating and a prolonged feeling of thirst.”
A diet too high in salt can cause your blood pressure to rise, which can lead to health problems later in life like stroke or heart disease. The NHS suggests we should consume no more than 6g of salt per day—which is equal to a teaspoon. Sometimes salt is called sodium on packeted foods, interestingly 2.4g of sodium is equal to 6g salt, so watch out for that. Try to avoid adding extra salt to your meals as a condiment; instead flavour foods with chilli flakes, pepper, garlic or ginger.
Keep scrolling for salt-based products worth adding to your beauty routine.