Benefits and Uses of Sea Salt (including Dead Sea Salt) – Evidence Based

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Benefits and Uses of Sea Salt (including Dead Sea Salt)

Sea salt is produced by the evaporation of seawater and contains minerals and antibacterial properties. Sea salt has many uses in cosmetics, and you can use sea salt in home remedies to improve your skin’s appearance. Natural preparations containing sea salt can help treat acne, cleanse your skin from impurities, and exfoliate your skin.

Dead Sea salt is another type of sea salt that you can use on your skin. Mineral-rich Dead Sea salt can help treat skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin problems. The anti-inflammatory effect of dead sea salt can also alleviate pain from joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.


In this article, you will learn about the benefits of using sea salt for your skin. I will also examine what scientific research reveals as to the skin-rejuvenating benefits of Dead Sea salt. You will also find out how to make body scrubs, face masks, and skin-detoxifying sea salt cleansers.

What is Sea Salt?

Sea salt is a natural product that is produced when sea water evaporates. Seawater naturally contains many minerals like calcium, magnesium, bromine, potassium, and traces of iodine. (1, 2)

Dietitian Katherine Zeratsky says that when seawater evaporates, a coarse salt is left behind that contains many beneficial minerals. Because sea salt requires little processing, it retains many of the minerals that are usually lost in table salt. (3)

The unrefined sea salt is harvested and used in cooking, cosmetics, and as bath salts to help soften skin. Sea salt can come in varying degrees of coarseness which makes it great for use in cosmetics.

Is Saltwater Good for Your Skin?

The reason that saltwater is good for your skin is that it is a natural detoxifier. Minerals in saltwater from the sea help to absorb toxins from the skin, soothe the skin, and retain moisture.

One of the benefits of using salt water on your skin is that is a natural antimicrobial agent. Studies have shown that salt, in general, can kill off various strains of yeast and bacteria. (4)

Other studies have shown that salt water can help to heal damaged skin. For example, researchers have found that a saline solution can help wounds heal quicker. The effect of salt on the skin helps prevent bacterial infections from getting worse. Also, salt helps to draw impurities from the skin which speeds up wound healing. (5)

Some evidence exists that bathing in salty water that has sea salt added or Dead Sea salt can also help alleviate inflammatory skin conditions. (7)

Sea Salt Benefits

Let’s look in more detail at the many benefits and uses of sea salt. You will also find helpful home remedies on how to use sea salt for your skin.

Sea Salt for Acne

The antibacterial properties of sea salt along with its trace minerals mean that sea salt can be used as a topical acne treatment.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic report that salt water compresses can help to relieve skin inflammation and discomfort caused by infected pores. (6) So, sea salt can also help reduce the appearance of acne pimples on your skin.

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Sea salt on your acne-prone skin can also help improve the efficiency of traditional acne treatments. For example, scientific studies have found that applying a low-salt solution to skin affected by acne can help to improve the effectiveness of topical retinoids (a popular pharmaceutical acne treatment). (7)

To help boost the effectiveness of sea salt for acne, you can add some essential oils to the remedy. One randomized double-blind clinical trial showed that tea tree oil in an acne cream can help to treat acne vulgaris. The effect of tea tree oil resulted in fewer pimples and was well tolerated. (8)

Other essential oils that have shown to have anti-acne properties include lavender essential oil, lemon oil, chamomile oil, and cinnamon oil. (9)

How to use sea salt scrub for getting rid of acne:

  1. Take 1 cup of fine sea salt and add 1/2 cup of almond oil or grapeseed oil. (The texture of the sea salt should be fine and gentle to the touch, as you don’t want it to scratch your skin but gently exfoliate the dead skin cells).
  2. Add 10 – 12 drops of tea tree essential oil to boost the anti-acne effect of this sea salt scrub.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Dampen your face or another area of skin where you have acne.
  5. Take some of the sea salt acne scrub and gently massage into your skin.
  6. Leave for 5 minutes to let the salt and tea tree oil kill off acne-causing bacteria.
  7. Rinse with cool water and pat your skin dry.

There are many more natural face masks for acne that you can use to get rid of unsightly pimples.

Sea Salt for Oily Skin

The hydrating effect of sea salt along with other natural ingredients can help fight against oily skin.

One way to get the benefits of sea salt for oily skin is to add lemon juice to a facial scrub. Lemon has an astringent effect on the skin and can help to reduce the amount of sebum on the skin. Sebum is the oily substance that protects the skin’s outer layer.

Research into the benefits of lemon on your skin has found that lemon juice helps to remove excess oil from the skin. The citrus acid in lemons also helps to exfoliate the skin and is rich in vitamin C – an essential vitamin for healthy-looking skin. The same study also reported that lemon juice helps kill off bacteria that cause acne. (10)

How to use sea salt for oily skin:

  1. Mix equal amounts of fine sea salt and lemon juice to create a smooth paste.
  2. Lightly dampen your face.
  3. Take some of the sea salt and lemon scrub on your fingers and gently massage into cheeks, forehead, and chin to help remove excess oil.
  4. Leave for 5 minutes to help remove toxins from your skin.
  5. Rinse with cool water and pat your face dry.
  6. Apply your favorite natural moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying out.
  7. Use once or twice a week to help keep your skin looking great.

Learn about more uses for lemons and how they can revolutionize your health.

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Sea Salt Exfoliates Skin to Remove Dead Skin Cells

The coarse texture of sea salt can help to remove dead skin cells and prevent them from clogging pores on your skin. Adding carrier oil to the sea salt also prevents skin from drying out because it helps retain moisture in your skin.

Sea salt exfoliation is possible if you mix the coarse grains with a carrier oil of your choice. For example, coconut oil is a great natural oil to help moisturize your skin and keep it looking healthy. The antibacterial effect of sea salt also helps to prevent infections in your skin.

Scientists have found that coconut oil contains antimicrobial components with wound-healing properties. Coconut oil also contains antioxidants that can help to accelerate wound healing time. (11)

How to make an exfoliating sea salt scrub for your skin:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of fine sea salt with 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1/4 cup of sweet almond oil to form a paste. (You may have to slightly warm the coconut oil so it becomes liquid).
  2. Add a few drops of lavender oil to add a pleasant aroma and help kill off bacteria from your skin.
  3. Apply some of the sea salt scrub to your skin and using circular motions, gently exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells.
  4. Use the sea salt exfoliator once or twice a week for best results.

Find out about other great uses of coconut oil to get glowing, healthy-looking skin.

Sea Salt Can Help Cleanse Skin

The cleansing effect of sea salt on your skin can help to detoxify your skin and prevent skin infections affecting your appearance.

You can easily make a skin toner using a simple combination of finely ground sea salt and water. As this article has already shown, sea salt solutions have antibacterial properties that can benefit your skin.

How to make your own sea salt skin toner:

  1. Put one teaspoon of fine sea salt in a small spray bottle and add 4 fl. oz. (120 ml) water. (The best way is to boil water and let it cool to remove any impurities).
  2. Shake the spray bottle well so the sea salt dissolves.
  3. Spray a fine sea salt mist on to your skin, making sure to avoid your eyes.
  4. Use once or twice a day to help keep your skin free of bacteria and grime.

Learn how you can make other skin toners using apple cider vinegar (ACV).

Sea Salt Helps Reduce Skin Inflammation

The healing properties of sea salt can help to reduce redness and discomfort associated with skin inflammation.

One way to use sea salt to soothe skin inflammation is to use honey in the sea salt mask recipe. Researchers have found that honey is full of goodness and has a beneficial effect on the skin. Honey has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Honey can also help treat inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. (12)

How to make a sea salt and honey anti-inflammatory skin mask:

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  1. Mix 3 teaspoons finely-ground sea salt with 5 teaspoons raw honey to make a smooth paste. (Adjust the quantities as needed).
  2. Apply the sea salt mask to your skin, taking care to avoid your eyes.
  3. Leave for 15 minutes to help soothe irritated skin.
  4. Soak a clean washcloth in warm water and place over the sea salt/honey paste and leave for 30 seconds.
  5. Gently use the dampened washcloth to remove the sea salt mask.
  6. Rinse with cold or warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

You can find out other ways to use honey in face masks to help you get glowing, youthful-looking skin.

Sea Salt Bathing Helps Treat Eczema

Adding sea salt to your bath can help treat symptoms of eczema and larger areas of inflamed skin on your body.

Scientific research has found that bathing in seawater or water with sea salt added can help treat the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. It was found that seawater helps reduce itching and skin irritations. (13)

Other studies have found that seawater rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron can help to reduce occurrences of atopic dermatitis or eczema. (14)

The National Eczema Foundation also recommends bathing in salt water to reduce eczema flare-ups and combat dry skin. (15)

How to use sea salt for eczema:

  1. Fill your bathtub with warm (not hot) water.
  2. Add one cup of sea salt to your bath water and swish it around to dissolve the salt.
  3. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes to soothe your skin irritation, reduce itching, and help treat dry skin.
  4. Pat yourself dry with a soft, clean towel.

Of course, you can also benefit from a sea salt soak if you don’t have eczema. Bathing in sea salt is very relaxing and a great way of releasing stress from the day.

If you suffer from dermatitis, learn about other natural home remedies to treat the symptoms of eczema like itching and dry skin.

Sea Salt Can Improve Scalp Health and Help Get Rid of Dandruff

You can also use sea salt for your scalp to help keep your scalp healthy and free of dandruff flakes.

The antimicrobial properties of sea salt are excellent for killing off pathogens living on your scalp. Also, the coarse texture of sea salt helps to exfoliate your scalp to get rid of dead skin cells.

You can also add other ingredients to the sea salt scalp treatment to boost its effectiveness. For example, you can add aloe vera to coarse sea salt to help treat dandruff.

Scientific research has found that aloe vera has antifungal properties that can help prevent dandruff. Aloe vera also contains beneficial enzymes that help reduce inflammation and pain when applied topically. (16)

How to use the benefits of sea salt to treat dandruff:

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  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of medium-coarse sea salt with enough aloe vera gel to make a fairly thick paste.
  2. Take some of the sea salt/aloe vera dandruff remedy in your fingers and start to work it into your scalp.
  3. Continue until you cover all your scalp.
  4. Leave for 10-15 minutes to help kill off dandruff causing fungi and soothe your itchy scalp.
  5. Rinse with warm water to remove the dead skin cells.
  6. Wash your hair as normal.
  7. Repeat 3 or 4 times a week to help clear your scalp of dandruff.

Learn about the difference between dandruff and a dry scalp and what you can do to remedy both conditions.

Sea Salt for Beautiful Nails

You can even use sea salt to strengthen your nails and remove dead skin from the cuticles. The antimicrobial properties of sea salt can also help to remove germs and bacteria that can cause infections.

To use the benefits of sea salt on your nails, you can combine it with other ingredients that cleanse and protect your skin. For example, studies have shown that baking soda has antifungal properties that can help protect against fungal strains that can infect skin and nails. (17)

How to use sea salt to get beautiful nails:

  1. Mix one teaspoon sea salt and one teaspoon baking soda with a little lemon juice.
  2. Add 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil and mix well.
  3. Pour into the mixture 4 fl. oz. (120 ml) warm water and mix to combine the ingredients.
  4. Soak your nails in the sea salt mixture for 10 minutes to get rid of germs and soften the skin.
  5. Brush with a soft nail brush.
  6. Rinse with warm water and apply your favorite natural hand cream to protect your skin and nails.

Find out what you can do to get rid of nail fungus naturally and quickly.

Dead Sea Salt Benefits and Uses

Dead Sea salt comes from the Dead Sea and contains a wealth of minerals that can benefit your skin. A systematic review of the medicinal properties of Dead Sea salt found that water in the Dead Sea is rich in minerals that have healing properties with anti-inflammatory action. (18)

How can using Dead Sea salt benefit your skin?

Dead Sea Salt Helps Treat Dry Skin

Dead Sea salt benefits your skin because it helps to prevent dry skin and symptoms like itchiness and cracked skin.

Research has found that the magnesium-rich content that is found in Dead Sea salt can help treat dry skin issues. For example, in one trial, regularly bathing in a 5% Dead Sea salt solution helped to increase skin hydration, reduce skin roughness, and soothe inflammation. The Dead Sea salt solution was more effective than just bathing in water. (19)

Dead Sea Salt Helps to Smooth Your Skin

Regularly applying lotions containing Dead Sea salt can help smooth your skin and give it a more youthful appearance.

One study found that applying a Dead Sea salt liquid gel daily helped to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over a 4-week period. The researchers noted a 40% reduction in skin roughness. This was more effective than just applying a liquid gel without Dead Sea salt added. (20)

Dead Sea Salt Bath Can Help Treat Eczema and Psoriasis

The mineral content of Dead Sea salt makes it an excellent natural treatment for eczema and psoriasis.

Specific scientific studies have shown the effectiveness of bathing in Dead Sea salt solutions to treat inflammatory skin conditions.

The journal Dermatology Research and Practice reported that Dead Sea salt solutions help to improve the skin’s barrier function. Bathing in the magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt water can reduce skin inflammation in atopic dermatitis. (21)

Other studies have found that bathing in Dead Sea salt water is more effective for treating psoriasis than just sea salt. For example, bathing daily for 20 minutes in bath water where Dead Sea salt was added helped to reduce psoriasis symptoms by just over 40%. The study concluded that Dead Sea salt in bath water alone could effectively treat psoriasis. (22)

If you suffer from psoriasis, you can find other ways to relieve psoriasis naturally.

Dead Sea Salt Bathing Can Alleviate Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

The anti-inflammatory effect of Dead Sea salt bathing can also reduce painful inflammation in joints.

One study showed that Dead Sea salt is effective for treating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Bathing for 20 minutes a day in Dead Sea salt bath water helped to reduce joint inflammation. Participants found that morning stiffness was reduced, joint pain was better, and hand-grip strength improved. (23)

Even if you don’t have rheumatoid arthritis, you will still benefit from adding a cup of Dead Sea salt to your bath. Studies have shown that regular bathing in Dead Sea salt can help to reduce general pain, fatigue, and stiffness. (24)

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, a regular bath in Dead Sea salts can also give you needed pain relief and reduce anxiety. (24)

Dead Sea Salt Bath Recipes

Dead Sea salt and Epsom salt bath

Mix 1/2 cup each of Dead Sea salt and Epsom salt and add to your bath water.

Soak for 20-30 minutes.

Epsom salt bath is fantastic for relaxing and detoxing your body and getting the health benefits of magnesium.

Other benefits of Epsom salt baths include relief from stiff joints and tight muscles, arthritis pain and swelling.

Read more about it in my article about Epsom salt bath and foot soak – benefits and recipes.

Dead Sea salt and clay bath

Mix 1/2 cup each of Dead Sea salt and your favorite clay (such as bentonite clay, green clay or white clay) and add to your bath water.

Soak for 20-30 minutes.

Clay baths help to detox the body, as well as soften and rejuvenate your skin. You can find more information in my article on how to use clay for body detox and great skin.

Dead Sea salt and baking soda bath

Mix 1/2 cup each of Dead Sea salt and baking soda and add to your bath water.

Soak for 20-30 minutes.

Baking soda has fantastic cleansing ability and its alkalinity in warm bath helps to soothe skin irritations.

Baking soda water has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and helps to reduce inflammation.

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