3 surprising benefits of salt that taste good for the skin
It’s May 5th which means it’s Cinco de Mayo, an annual Mexican celebration enjoyed equally by Mexicans and Americans. Since you’re probably sheltered in place because COVID-19 is still a thing, try your hand at mixing a margarita before reading this. I’m sure you need it. If you’re like me, you love a salted rim so instead of using table salt, try sea salt for a healthier alternative. Are you ready? Cheers.
I shouldn’t have to say this but just in case: I am not a doctor, dietitian, nutritionist, or any sort of healthcare professional who is qualified to speak on proper diets. While I fall into the category of healthy, I have good genes, an active, stress-free lifestyle, and a detached relationship with food to thank for that. With that said, I want to further disclaim a couple of verifiable facts about a high-salt diet. Over time, excess consumption of salty feeds can lead to issues with hypertension or high blood pressure and bloating which isn’t as bad as hypertension but who likes being bloated anyway? These facts are (read: should be) widely known.
Life is all about moderation. Too much of anything isn’t good and can lead to corruption, irritation, or some other negative, unexpected effect. That said, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and finding something to occupy our boredom, let’s learn about the skincare benefits of salt. After all, this is a skincare blog, isn’t it?
The truth about sea salt's nutritional value might shock you
Because the crystals in sea salt are larger than the crystals for table salt, it is a common misconception that sea salt has less sodium content than table salt. However, it turns out that this is not true. According to the American Heart Association, both sea salt and table salt contain 40% sodium by weight. If you have a taste (pun intended) for well-marketed, finer things in life, you may be shocked to know that sea salt doesn’t offer any real health advantages compared to table salt. The difference between the two salts is how they are processed. One is obtained directly through the process of seawater - I’ll let you guess which one that is - and the other is mined from salt deposits then processed to give it a fine texture.
Unlike sea salt, table salt is stripped of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other nutrients. While this sounds terrible, it must be noted that the concentration of these minerals in sea salt is so minute that you’re better off getting them from healthier food options.
Sorry (not sorry) to ruin sea salt for you. Let’s move onto benefits that may excite you.
1. Salt can be useful in fighting off acne-causing bacteria
To be clear, I don’t follow skincare tips from men because they can wash their face with body wash and still have clear, glowing skin. However, there is one tip that I received over a decade ago that works! A friend of mine struggled with ingrown hairs and was at his wit’s end of how to treat them so he was willing to try anything. He let his girlfriend mix salt and extra virgin olive oil paste for him. The ingredients were split 70/30 - 70% salt; 30% olive oil. He smoothed that paste onto his face and left it there for 15 minutes then rinsed with mild soap (think Cetaphil) and water. According to him, the ingrown hairs dried out immediately, and when he woke up the next day they were all gone! I wasn’t there for the entire process but I am a witness to his clear, smooth skin.
It turns out that salt is an anti-inflammatory that helps with combating bacteria that cause ingrown hairs and outbreaks related to acne. So is it worth a try? I think so!
2. An easy way to unclog your pores
The best way to deal with a skin problem like acne is to get to the root of the issue and add Masktini’s Twilight Zone Tahitian Detox Mask to your skincare routine. Because getting deep into your clogged pores is always a good idea. Sometimes your acne issue is the result of a poor diet that consists of excess deep-fried, processed foods, and other times its genetics or simply an imbalance in oil production. Thankfully, salt - adding it or cutting it all together - can help to mitigate all of these problems. If you’re a DIY-er like me, follow the instructions below to create a facial toner.
How to make a salt facial toner spray
Mix four (4) teaspoons of salt with four (4) ounces of warm purified or distilled water in a spray bottle
Shake vigorously until the salt dissolves
Wash your face with mild soap and water before using; pat try
Mist this over your clean, dry face every day
If you’re not quite ready to try a DIY salt toner, Masktini’s Woke Bae Whenever Moisture Spritz will always be a better alternative anyway.
3. A natural exfoliant that is safe for your skin
By now we know that we should be careful what kinds of exfoliants we use on our skin. A lot of the drug store brands contain traces of nutshells that cause microscopic tears in the skin. The reason why table salt is a good alternative is that it's fine enough to get into your pores without tearing your skin. Salt is a natural exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin softens your skin, and restores hydration. Did I mention that salt helps your body to retain moisture? Remember that hydration is key for a proper skincare routine!
Once again, anything in excess can be problematic. So if you consume too much salt, you can expect to suffer from bloating, puffy eyes, premature aging, and oily skin (once you’ve reached the point of dehydration). In other words, take it easy and relax a bit! Your skin and body will thank you for it.
If you have tried any DIY salt-based skincare routines lately drop a comment below and let us know how it turned out for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, learn more about the naturally derived ingredients that we use in our skincare products!