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Sea salt used externally can be a successful and natural treatment for various ailments. Sea salt scrubs have many benefits ranging from body detoxification to improvement of acne and scarring. Continue reading for more information on salt scrubs and my list of 10 Favorite Herbal Salt Scrubs. Also, keep in mind that sea salt and sugar scrubs make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions!
Salt Scrubs Explained
Course salt scrubs are more abrasive than sugar scrubs because salt granules are harder and have sharper edges than round sugar granules. This abrasive nature makes salt scrubs great for super dry, rough, and calloused skin areas, such as elbows, knees, and the soles of your feet, but it also means salt scrub use should be limited to once per week at most. Salt scrubs are great to balance oily skin, but those of us with drier skin should limit salt scrub use because salt may dry our skin even more.
Since my skin tends to be dry, especially in colder months, I only use salt scrubs on the super dry and rough skin on my elbows and feet and prefer to use sugar scrubs on the rest of my body. This added dryness can be counteracted by applying a rich, natural body butter or cream. Never use a salt scrub on your face because it is far too abrasive for such delicate, thin skin. I also don’t use salt scrubs on my lips for this reason, and I’m careful not to use salt on irritated (think razor burn) or broken skin because it will sting.
Despite salt’s tendency to dry skin, salt scrubs are still great to use for all skin types if they contain sea salts, which are natural purifiers that remove toxins that block pores. Sea salts also contain minerals that help nourish the skin.
Sugar Scrubs Explained
Sugar scrubs are much gentler to your skin, so they are more suitable for all skin types and can be used up to 2-3 times per week. Sugar scrubs are great for dry and sensitive skin. These scrubs can also be used on your face, but be careful about using any scrub on your face if you have sensitive skin. Sugar scrubs that use natural sugars like Turbinado sugar and brown sugar benefit your skin because sugar cane has nutritive properties for skin, including glycolic acid, which moisturizes and conditions skin and protects skin from toxins. If your skin is too sensitive or dry for salt scrubs, check out my post, Basic Sugar Scrub Recipes + Customization Tips, to get you started on making your own sugar scrubs.
Rich in Trace Minerals
Sea salt has about 60 trace minerals, and Himalayan Sea Salt has 84 trace minerals. Trace minerals are necessary for optimal health. Trace minerals are micro-nutrients, which means we only need them in small amounts. However, due to nutrient depletion in our soils, we have a difficult time getting enough trace minerals from our diet, and multi-vitamins and multi-mineral supplements on the market are not a good source of all these minerals.
Using sea salt with trace minerals can help you recover from minor trace mineral deficiencies.
DO THESE MINERALS BENEFIT SKIN?
Yes! These minerals do benefit your skin when applied topically. Our skin needs certain minerals for optimal function. Here are some examples of the benefits of minerals for skin:
- Copper helps protect skin and firms and tightens, giving your skin a vibrant appearance.
- Magnesium helps maintain moisture levels.
- Selenium is a powerful antioxidant, and may help to control oily skin.
- Silica is important for firming, tightening, and keeping your skin looking smooth.
- Sulfur is found in the greatest concentration in the hair, skin, and nails. Sulfur is known to help with oily and sensitive skin and may also help with exfoliation.
- Zinc protects against environmental stressors and helps revive the look of skin.
Types of Sea Salt
Sea Salt Types
My favorite salts for consumption are Himalayan Sea Salt and Redmond Real Salt. My favorite salts for therapeutic benefits are Dead Sea Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt, and Redmond Real Salt. Note: Sea salt can be refined or unrefined. Unrefined sea salt is best for optimal health.
All salts do a great job of exfoliating skin and improve circulation in the body. Below are three of the most commonly used salts in beauty care.
Epsom salts are often used in bath water and foot soaks because it loosens dead skin and relaxes your body. These salts also flush out toxins and relieve stress and muscle pain.
DEAD SEA SALTS
Sea Salts contain at least 60 trace minerals absorbed into the body when applied to the skin. Salts from the Dead Sea have been widely known and used for many, many years for their therapeutic benefits. Dead Sea Salts contain calcium, potassium, and sodium, which enter and nourish the skin when applied topically.
HIMALAYAN SEA SALTS
Himalayan Sea Salts are thought to contain as many as 84 trace minerals that absorb into your body when applied to the skin. This salt type also reduces blood pressure and balances your body’s pH levels.
Real Salt is mined from an ancient sea bed in Redmond, Utah. This salt is great for oral and dental health and kills bad breath germs, heals receding and swollen gums, deep cleans gums and teeth, and re-mineralizes teeth. This salt can also be used in detox baths.
If you prefer to use all natural sea salt, Redmond Real Salt is an excellent choice. Redmond Salt is harvested in Redmond, Utah and is not processed or altered in any way. This salt contains trace minerals, including iodine – not as much as iodized table salt, but Redmond Sea Salt claims it is more readily absorbed than the iodine we find in table salt – and can be found in many grocery stores.
Depending on which essential oils you use, you can increase the therapeutic benefits of your sea salt body scrub. Lavender Essential Oil is a great option for its calming, stress-reducing properties. Peppermint Essential Oil can aid pain and inflammation. Grapefruit Essential Oil is bright and uplifting and may help with cellulite reduction. Frankincense Essential Oil helps fight aging.
A NOTE ABOUT CITRUS ESSENTIAL OILS: Citrus oils are typically photosensitive, which means if you apply these oils to your skin via these scrubs or another method – even if you rinse or wash it off – your skin may be more sensitive to the sun! However, Steam Distilled Citrus Oils like this Lemon Essential Oil are NOT photosensitive, so if you will be out in the sun, make sure to use steam distilled citrus oils, instead of cold pressed.
Additional Add Ins
For additional benefits, add the following ingredients to your sea salt scrub:
- 1 tablespoon of honey for additional moisturizing benefits.
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender, rose petals, or other herbs (I buy my herbs here).
- 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E Oil to repair skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon or orange peel zest for an invigorating scrub.
- 1/8 cup of dried orange peel for extra scrubbing power
DIY Herbal Salt Scrubs
Salt scrubs detoxify pores and remove dead skin cells, revealing soft, smooth skin, while nourishing oils hydrate and protect skin.
BASIC SEA SALT SCRUB
Sea salt scrub is super easy to make. Basically, you just need to combine sea salt with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil. I really like to use unrefined coconut oil because it has a light coconut aroma and absorbs well into skin, so your skin won’t be super oily after you apply it. If you don’t like the feeling of oil on your skin, you can wash it off, but I just rinse and lightly towel dry to allow as much oil as possible to soak into my skin and combat dryness.
This recipe uses coconut oil, but feel free to use any good quality light oil.
Basic Sea Salt Scrub Recipe:
1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
5-15 drops essential oil (optional)
Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Store scrub in a mason jar or similar container with a good seal for freshness. To use, rub over rough skin areas, and rinse with warm water.
HERBAL SALT GLOW FOR VIBRANT SKIN
This salt scrub contains lavender and chamomile flowers, which are both anti-inflammatory, soothing to the skin, and cooling and relaxing to the nervous system. For ultimate relaxation, try this scrub recipe.
From Urban Moonshine
ROSEMARY LEMON SCRUB
Fresh rosemary and rosemary oil help relieve aches and pains. Lemon has a fresh, energizing aroma and clears and brightens skin.
From The Everyday Home
ROSEMARY ORANGE SCRUB
Love the rosemary in the previous recipe, but would prefer to use a different citrus fruit? This orange rosemary scrub utilizes sweet and less acidic orange zest in place of lemon. Plus, oranges are traditionally popular at Christmastime, which makes this scrub a wonderful gift idea for the holiday season!
From Oleander + Palm
LAVENDER MINT HIMALAYAN SCRUB
This scrub not only invigorates your skin and your senses, it also makes a beautiful, rosy-hued gift any lady in your life will adore!
From The Free Spirited
SALT + HONEY SCRUB WITH GRAPEFRUIT + ROSEMARY
Enjoy the fresh summery scent of grapefruit any time of year with this invigorating salt scrub made with grapefruit and rosemary essential oils, conditioning olive oil, and antioxidant rich honey.
From Rise and Shine
SALT + OATMEAL SCRUB
This tutorial will teach you how to make make your own scrub using Dead Sea salt, herbs, oils, and oatmeal. Recipes include a Basic Oatmeal Salt Scrub and ways to personalize this basic recipe with essential oil and herb blends, including Heavenly Jasmine, Citrus + Spice, and Sweet Rose.
From Frugally Sustainable
ROSEMARY MINT SUGAR + SALT SCRUB
This scrub is the best of both worlds with a mixture of sugar and salt! Both sugar and salt contain their own unique properties that benefit skin when added to body scrubs (see Salt Scrubs + Sugar Scrubs Explained above for more information).
From Tip Junkie
ROSEMARY, LEMON EUCALYPTUS + COCONUT OIL SCRUB
This scrub will make your skin feel amazing and smells fantastic with therapeutic sea salt, silky coconut oil, and the fresh and bright scent of rosemary and lemon eucalyptus oils.
From Nutritious Eats
COCONUT LAVENDER SCRUB
I have a lavender plant right outside my front door, and it’s one of my favorite scents to use in a variety of ways. If you love the smell of lavender like I do, try this super simple and effective salt scrub!
From Kim Power Style
CHAMOMILE CALMING SCRUB
Chamomile tea is the go-to tea to drink to relax before bed. This salt scrub takes the calming effects of your favorite tea to help you to relax and unwind.
From Building Our Story
These relaxing herbal salt scrubs make great use of the herbs in your garden. Don’t forget, these scrub recipes make easy, affordable, and highly appreciated DIY gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. Treat your friends and family to these pampering gifts, and don’t forget to take time to pamper yourself!
I would love to hear from you!
What do you think of this list of fresh + relaxing herbal salt scrubs? Do you think you’ll give them a try? Let me know in the comments below!