As frequent readers of PD may know, I love discovering (and talking about) natural ingredients with awesome skincare and beauty benefits. I’ve come across several interesting beauty wonders, but I was especially surprised when I noticed that pink Himalayan sea salt (HPS) was trending as a beauty ingredient! No longer merely touted as the best salt for your kitchen, HPS is now being featured in beauty products and DIY recipes. I know that HPS is associated with impressive nutritional content (more on that below), but I was skeptical about its use on skin. I figured that salt would dry out skin (isn’t salt drying?!), but it’s more complicated than that, and the science on the matter is pretty sketchy. Here’s what I learned.
Are There Nutritional Perks of HPS?
Short answer: Maybe.
Long answer: When ancient sea beds in the Himalayan Mountains were covered by lava and crystallized over 250 million years ago, the salt contained therein was protected from modern pollutants, which is why HPS is believed to be the purest salt on the planet. Whether or not this claim about the salt being “pure” is true, HPS is certainly mineral-dense.
More specifically, HPS contains at least 84 mineral and trace elements; the salt is composed of 85.62% sodium chloride and 14.38% other trace minerals, including sulfate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride. On the flip side of this, some of these minerals are radioactive (radium, uranium, and polonium). Although the amount of these radioactive minerals is likely too minuscule to have an impact on health, it’s something to consider. Of course, the same may be said of the other, healthy trace minerals.
While there have been no peer-reviewed studies that show HPS having greater nutritional benefits than the more refined variety of salt (i.e. table salt), the concept of using an ancient, natural salt is certainly appealing (to me, at least). And as you can imagine, the internet is full of articles about HPS’s detoxifying abilities when used both internally and externally—so of course I wanted to find out of HPS can actually pull toxins from the body.
HPS Beauty Benefits (?) and Uses
Like Epsom salt, HPS can be used in a “detox bath.” While I had trouble finding peer-reviewed publications backing up the claim that salt baths detoxify, many sources suggest that the when dissolved in water, HPS creates an ionic solution that draws toxins out of the skin and adipose tissues. I still regard this as a questionable claim. I mean—I hope it’s true, but I can’t be sure at this point. Proponents of salts baths also explain that the sulfate in salt helps strengthen the digestive tract, which is responsible, in part, for cleansing the body of unwanted substances. It is also possible that the skin can absorb the minerals in HPS, but this may be a iffy claim since skin is pretty good at keep most things out—not all, however.
HPS beauty advocates explain that when used in a toner or skin spray, HPS serves as an hygroscopic, attracting water from deep in the skin to the epidermis, making the outer layer of skin more hydrated. From what I can tell, however, this very process of drawing water closer to the surface of the skin may make it evaporate and dry out more quickly. It may be possible that applying oil over a salt spray could help seal in moisture, but it’s hard to say.
At this point, I think it’s best to proceed with healthy skepticism until we know more about the beauty benefits of HPS. Until then? Add it to a hair spray and make a sea-salt spray—now that’s guaranteed to add some texture to your hair.
Let us know, have you tried Himalayan Pink Sea Salt in beauty products? Did you like it?
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Photo: Wikipedia Commons