Our bodies naturally contain large amounts of salt, which help with keeping our cells healthy, our organs running smoothly and our skin clear. The benefits extend to our teeth and nails, too!
Getting the right amount of salt in our diet is important, especially sea salt, which is the same as ordinary table salt except that it contains many more minerals that help our bodies function well.
Sea salt contains magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium, which are all important for our health. If your mineral balance becomes shifted, you will notice a difference in your skin, including dryness, dullness or irritation. You might notice blotches, particularly when the weather is cold and dry.
You don’t have to even consume the sea salt to reap many of the benefits, read on to learn how to use salt to make your skin, teeth and nails healthier.
1. Create a Balancing Mask
Salt and honey are two regular ingredients in foods that can be used on your skin to create protective, hydrating masks. Salt and honey help to balance the oils within your skin, and help improve hydration, giving you a healthy glow. Mix two teaspoons of finely ground sea salt with four teaspoons of raw honey. Apply to clean, dry skin. Leave the mixture on your face for about 10-15 minutes. Gently rinse off with warm water and a soft washcloth, using a circular motion to help with exfoliation. After patting your skin dry, continue with your regular skin care regimen.
2. Create a Softening Body Scrub
Adding salt to your body scrub can help with moisturizing and exfoliation. Mix ¼ cup sea salt with a ½ cup olive oil or coconut oil to create a thick paste. Adding essential oils to this mixture can make it extra special. Use in the shower all over your body. Apply with a loofah, washcloth or your bare hands, and scrub with a circular motion to exfoliate.
3. Oil-Balancing Facial Toner
Using sea salt as a facial toner can help balance the oil in your skin. It can also drive away bacteria that lead to blemishes and breakouts. Use one teaspoon sea salt with 4 ounces of warm water. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Store the mixture in a spray bottle. Mist onto your face twice daily, careful to avoid contact with the eyes.
4. Create a Salt Bath
Because salt absorbs dirt and toxins, and can deep clean your pores. Using sea salt can also prevent pruning during a long bath, and help keep the moisture in your skin. Because sea salt has magnesium, you may notice less bloating in your skin, too. Add 1/3 cup sea salt to a warm bath, and soak for 15-30 minutes for best results.
5. Whiten Your Teeth
Using a mixture of sea salt and baking soda can bring bright results when you notice your teeth are yellowing a bit. To remove stains and lighten your teeth by a shade or two, try mixing one teaspoon sea salt with two teaspoons of baking soda. Dip your toothbrush in and brush your teeth just how you normally do. If you hate the salty taste, add a little toothpaste for a minty touch. There is an added fluoride boost when you use the sea salt, too!
6. Invigorating Body Scrub
Sea salt is a natural softener for your skin. So is aloe vera (as well as being a natural healing compound). Imagine the combination! To take advantage of the great benefits, mix ½ cup sea salt with ¼ cup pure aloe vera gel, and ¼ cup oil of your choice. Add 1 tablespoon of dried lavender and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. This will combine to make a thick paste, add more oil as necessary until you have a thick paste to use on a washcloth or loofah. Use a circular motion to exfoliate.
7. Treat Your Dandruff
Sea salt can help to scrub your scalp and stimulate circulation. Sea salt helps to absorb oils and can help to prevent the growth of fungus that creates dandruff. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt onto your scalp and massage in for 10-15 minutes. After the salt massage, wash and condition your hair as you normally do.
8. Create a Refreshing Mouthwash
For a refreshing mouthwash that can also kill bacteria that lead to bad breath or gingivitis, mix ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ¼ cup water together. Use as regular mouthwash, then rinse with plain water.
9. Brighten Your Nails
To strengthen your cuticles and your nails, as well as reduce the yellow stains, try mixing one teaspoon salt with one teaspoon lemon juice, and ½ cup warm water in a small bowl. Soak your nails for 10 minutes, then scrub with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly, then moisturize.
SOURCES: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/salt-beauty-uses; Image courtesy of voraorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net