The Dead Sea, the deepest and most saline lake on earth, has long been a place of pilgrimage for people with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. The beneficial effect of the Dead Sea Climatotherapy is attributed in part to sunbathing and in part to the Dead Sea water, which has a high content of minerals.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain more than 20 minerals, some of them at high concentrations such as magnesium salts and some at trace elements levels such as manganese and lithium.
What does the science say?
The water with added Dead Sea salts has moisturising properties, especially because of the high concentration of magnesium, which helps the skin retain water. Furthermore, the magnesium salts are thought to exhibit favourable effects on inflammatory skin diseases (1).
A number of studies have shown that the combination of Dead Sea salt balneotherapy (bathing) and phototherapy (exposure to UV light) have a great benefit on psoriatic lesions (2,3). Most studies clearly point to the phototherapy aspect of this combination as the most important factor, but a specific contribution of Dead Sea water balneotherapy was also found (4).
Using Dead Sea salt
You can add Dead Sea salts to your bath water and soak for about 15 minutes, 3 – 4 times per week. Using shower gel or shampoo with Dead Sea salt as well as using moisturising creams with Dead Sea salt are other ways in which you can introduce the mineral-rich sea salts in your skincare routine.
1 Int J Dermatol. 2005 Feb;44(2):151-7.
2 Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Oct;42(2):186-200
3 Journal of Dermatological Treatment Volume 16, 2005 – Issue 5-6
4 Journal of Dermatological Treatment Volume 7, 1996 – Issue 2
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