Why Salt Is the Natural Beauty Ingredient You Should Be Looking Out For

When you think of buzzworthy beauty ingredients, salt probably isn't high up on the list. Seaweed? Sure. Coffee? Yep. Vitamin C? Absolutely. But salt? It sounds a bit boring, doesn't it? However, even though it's not the most glamorous of ingredients (and despite its seemingly bad rep in the food and health industry), salt actually has many surprising benefits for our skin, hair and body.

It makes sense when you think about it. Epsom salts have been sprinkled into baths for generations to reduce pain and swelling, aid with digestion, promote sleep and ease stress. Sea salt is also a common ingredient in body scrubs, mud masks and bath soaks. Plus, people have been bathing in the Dead Sea for centuries thanks to its high percentage of salt, magnesium, calcium, potassium and other minerals (all of which are thought to help with everything from psoriasis to allergies).

It's a common misconception that all salt can really do for our skin is dry it out and leave us feeling sticky like after a long day at the beach. But salt has the unique ability to detoxify, heal, cleanse, exfoliate and even hold in moisture all in one.

"Natural sea salts contain a number of electrolytes that are essential for healthy cell activity," explains Philip Tanswell, MD, and managing director at The Cornish Sea Salt Company. "These salts are easily absorbed through the cell wall of our skin and stimulate anti-inflammatory reactions and replenish lost minerals lost during our normal daily routines. Cosmetically, this reduces swelling and reduces wrinkles and other signs of ageing."

When it comes to buying beauty products that really utilise the benefits of sea salt, where do you start? Of course, there are the obvious ones like body scrubs and salt soaks that are perfect for gently but effectively sloughing off dead skin cells and drawing out impurities. But it turns out sea salt is found in the most unlikely beauty products too. From hair sprays to toothpaste, here are 10 salty buys to add to your beauty cabinet.