How to use salt for skin?

Some time ago I wrote about sugar as a raw material for cosmetics. Now it’s the time to talk about salt. Salt is a natural substance and It is essential for the life of cells. Sugar and salt are often used for the same purpose in home-made cosmetics. However, they differ considerably in their properties. Now we will find out how to use salt for skin.


What is Salt?

Salt is a crystalline mineral consisting mainly of natrium (Na) and chlorine (Cl). The most famous salt is the table salt.

There are two basic grades of salt; sea ​​salt and rock salt. These two salts are also used in the kitchen. Ordinary table salt is made from rock salt.

There are many different types of both rock salt and sea salt, depending on their place of origin and manufacturing technique. Below please find some of the most common salts. All of them can be used when preparing cosmetics.

Sea salt is the best known and perhaps the most natural salt

Sea salt is a compound that contains many different minerals. In seawater, the minerals are almost always in the same proportion. However, the mineral content of different types of sea salt sold in stores can vary greatly. Different sea salt products contain varying amounts of sodium. Sodium is the main mineral in seawater. On average, sea salt contains about 40% -90% sodium, depending on the method of production. The quality and taste of sea salt vary greatly. Therefore, it is not the same what kind of sea salt you choose.

Minerals contained in sea salt

  • Chloride
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Sulphate
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Bicarbonate
  • Strontium
  • bromide
  • Borate
  • Fluoride
  • Silicate
  • Iodine

Get unrefined sea salt

Most available sea salt is processed. This affects the mineral content of the salt. That is why it is better to prefer unrefined sea salt. It has a clear grey colour. Very white sea salt is always refined.

Unrefined sea salt contains all the seawater minerals. Therefore, it is much better for the skin. Sea salt minerals play very important role when evaluating the quality of the salt.

How to make sea salt?

Making sea salt in Vietnam

The traditional method of making sea salt is thousands of years old. The salt water is drained into the reservoir where the sun evaporates the water. What is left is a salt layer on the bottom. After grounding the salt is ready for use. The famous salt island is the Sal in Cape Verde. Slaves and prisoners were sentenced to work in salt production.

Nowadays, sea salt is rarely produced in this traditional way. It is too slow and requires too much expensive labour.

All salt sold as sea salt is not coming from the sea

Sea salt is common trading name of any salt produced by evaporation of a saline solution. Sea salt is therefore not necessarily coming from the sea. The saline solution may also come from salt lakes and/or salt deserts.

In fact, all the salt has at some point been sea salt. Salt deserts and rock salt have also at some point been in the ocean. However, the composition of rock salt and salt extracted from the desert is different from salt evaporated from seawater.

Kosher salt

Kosher salt is a sea salt with a flaky structure. The Kosher property comes from the fact that such salt is used in traditional Jewish foods.

Kosher salt can be used in cosmetics like regular sea salt. The flaky structure of Kosher salt can be utilized in cosmetics. In foot baths and bath salt, the structure of the salt comes out nicely.

Celtic salt

Celtic Salt comes from France. It is unrefined, crude sea salt that also contains a small amount of water. The salt is greyish in colour. Its texture is slightly sticky and moist.

Black lava salt from Hawaii

Black lava salt comes from Hawaii. It is sea salt filtered through Hawaiian volcanic soil. The black lava salt of Hawaii gets its black colour from volcanic activated carbon. Lava’s activated carbon has a powerful detoxifying effect. Its good salt for skin.

Volcanic lava salt can be used for cleansing masks and peeling products. This kind of salt could also be suitable for your facial soap.

Hawaiian Red Alaea Salt

Alaea salt comes also from Hawaii. It has a strong, red colour. The secret of the alaea salt is in the red clay. The sea salt is mixed with volcanic red clay called alaea. It gives the salt a brick-red colour. In Hawaii, alaea salt has been used not only for cooking but also for religious rites. Temples, homes, and tools have been blessed with alaea salt. The alaea salt contains about 80 different minerals and is rich in iron oxide.

Alaea salt can be used for masks and cleansing products

Alaea salt has also powerful detox effect. It removes impurities and toxins from the skin. The alaea salt is very rich in minerals. It nourishes the skin effectively.

Dead Sea salt


The Dead Sea salt is highly appreciated in cosmetics.  Top international brands are using it in their products. Dead Sea salt is particularly mineral-rich. The Dead Sea is not a sea at all, but an extremely salty lake. The salt content is so high that there is hardly any life in it. That’s why it is called the Dead Sea.

Healing effects of the Dead Sea water

For thousands of years, people have known about the healing effects of the Dead Sea water. Dead Sea salt contains sulphur, which is known to have a disinfectant effect. So, for acne skin it is worth trying this salt. As a mineral-dense salt, Dead Sea salt is also suitable as a bath salt and for facial products. Read mor about Dead Sea salt here.

Sea salt and microplastics

Unrefined sea salt produced by solar evaporation in France

We face the micro-plastics problem more and more frequently. There is an enormous amount of micro-plastic in world’s ocean waters today that can never be collected. The researchers analysed 39 different sea salts from 21 different countries. They were looking for microplastics in different sea salts. Only 3 grades of salt passed the research without any plastic found. These were Taiwanese sea salt (refined), Chinese rock salt (refined) and French sea salt (unrefined). French unrefined sea salt is the only sea salt currently available that does not contain microplastics. It is made by the traditional method of sun-drying the Atlantic seawater on a clay reservoir.

So you should carefully choose the salt you will use both for cooking and for cosmetics. Micro-plastics are slowly accumulating in our body through nutrition and cosmetics. No one knows how it will affect the human body.

Rock salt is enriched by minerals

All rock salt has once been sea salt. However, over long period of time, other minerals have been attached to rock salt. Different types of rock salt can be recognized by colour. If the rock salt is reddish it contains iron oxides. This type of rock salt is called rose salt.

The best-known rock salt product is common table salt.

Table salt is almost pure sodium chloride (97%). Table salt often contains anti-caking agents and other chemicals. Iodine is also added to it for health reasons. Table salt is a highly purified and processed salt. It does not contain impurities. If you do not mind about additional chemicals, you can use table salt in cosmetics too.

Rose salt is a very popular salt.

Rose salt

The colour of red crystalline salt is beautiful peach. The colour of the rose salt comes from minerals extracted into it, such as iron oxide. Rose salt is obtained from the Himalayas. It is mined at Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt mine in the world, in Pakistan.

Rose salt does not contain as much sodium as table salt

It also contains small amounts of iron, calcium magnesium and potassium.

The advantage of rose salt is its beautiful colour. In home cosmetics, the beautiful colour of rose salt can be utilized. You can easily make a nice, pink bath salt from dry herbs and Himalayan salt.

Crystal salt aka Indian salt

Indian Salt is a rock salt mined from Andes Mountains in South America. It comes from the border areas of Chile and Bolivia. Andean Indian Salt is a product used by Indians and it differs slightly from the Himalayan Rose Salt. The Indian salt has a beautiful reddish tint that comes from manganese and iron. Native American salt is also beautiful as bath salt, in scrubs, and in soaps.

Kalak Namak, Asian burnt salt

Kalak namak is a traditional burnt salt. It is also called the black salt of the Himalayas. The salt is mined from the slopes of the Himalayas and burned using the traditional method. Kalak namak contains mainly sodium. However, it is also rich in other minerals.

Kalak namak contains a rare mineral called greigite.  Greigite gives the salt a particularly dark shade.  Color of the salt is dark lilac with pink and brown. The salt is sold in large crystals. When grinding the crystals, the salt becomes either pink or lilac.

Kalak namak is a traditional ayurvedic product with many medicinal effects

Making Kalak Namak is a great art and a centuries-old tradition. The salt, mined from the Himalayas, is carefully selected. The salt has a clear aroma of sulfur. The salt is cooked together with some herbs for 24 hours. This results in a chemical reaction which makes the salt very dark. The salt is cooled and stored for long periods, since the salt must first age.

Kalak namak has a very pungent scent. It is very sulfur-rich. The smell of sulphur is equal to rotten eggs. Kalak namak’s characteristic scent slightly limits its use.

Kalak namak can be used in cosmetics in small amounts. It is a very expensive salt. Sulphur compounds are a great help in the treatment of acne. Kalak namak is a sulfur-containing salt with a purifying and bactericidal effect. Kalak namak is also a good addition to facial cleansing products. It has a very good cleansing ability.

Watch out for cheap imitations

Kalak namak is still made by the traditional method. There are also plenty of cheap imitations for sale.  The false product is usually a mix of table salt and minerals to give the salt Kalak Namak appearance. However, such salt does not have the same medical effect as genuine Kalak namak salt.

How to use salt for skin?


Salt is a really old and traditional skin care product. Already countless number of generations and currently many people are familiar with the good effects of seawater. Sea water is especially good for acne skin. Even normal skin clearly benefits from seawater baths.

Sugar is a good product for dry skin but it is not suitable for acne skin. But salt is really good for acne. Dry skin can also benefit from salt products with certain reservations.

1.Salt is a natural peeling agent

Salt works very well in peeling agents. It is water soluble and does not scratch the skin. Salt minerals soften the skin. This makes the mechanical peeling more gentle.

2. Salt contains minerals that nourish the skin.

Salt minerals have been found to be effectively absorbed through the skin.

3.The salt is moisturizing

The salt keeps the skin moist. When the salt is absorbed into the skin’s surface layers, it absorbs moisture. This keeps the skin naturally moisturized. As a moisturizing ingredient, salt reduces wrinkles and reduces swelling.

4. The salt is antibacterial

Unlike sugar, salt relieves inflammation. It is especially suitable for people suffering acne. Salt also soothes irritated skin. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, salt can be used for many products and purposes.

  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Scalp care;  you can get rid of dandruff  with salt treatment -just an example

Caution when using salt


Salt suits best for rinsing products. The salt should not be left on the skin for long periods of time. It may cause skin irritation. If you go to the salt bath remember to lightly rinse the salt off from your skin after the bath.

Salt is a unusual material that reacts differently on different people’s skin. How to use salt for skin? The effect of salt on the skin depends on the acidity and how oily the skin is. In general, salt products are ideal for people with oily, acidic skin. Dry skin is more alkaline. Salt treatments can further dry the skin. Just try it out to see if salt is good for your skin.

There is so much more to tell about salt. I hope you got a good introduction to salt and its properties this time. I recommend you to get familiar with the different types of salt. There is incredible number of them. I’ll be making salt recipes on the Recipes tab soon. So salt cosmetics is incredibly versatile and effective.

It was really wonderful to write about salt and thank you for taking your time and reading my story. I hope you got some new ideas for your products here.

I would be interested in knowing about your experience with salt in cosmetics. Have you used salt in your products and how? Please share your experience!

4 answers

  1. Thanks for your response! I do agree that at times acne can be caused by other internal cases, but a lot of the time, the major component is genetics, which determine whether or not your skin is more prone to acne or not. Some people produce more acne-causing bacteria on their skin and others do not. Some people’s genetics cause a continued over production of sebum, especially during moments of heightened hormone production, which combines with dead skin, clogs the pores and causes an influx in acne. Other people are fortunate to have more balanced skin which produces less sebum most of the time. That is why some people suffer with acne their entire life and others do not have that issue, whether or not they are stressed, consistently take vitamins or not, and eat nutritious meals regularly or not. In this case, the most that a person can do is find a way to address the overproduction of sebum on their skin due to the genetics they were given and sea salt helps to regulate this overproduction and tends to restore the healthy ph balance of the skin.

  2. Thank you so much for this beautifully-detailed and well-researched article on different variations of sea salt. I saw online that a woman healed her acne by applying a regular home made sea salt toner, made with just water and sea salt, and a sea salt mask made with only aloe vera gel and sea salt.

    I tried my own variation using Pink Himalayan sea salt, thinking I would have even better results. It has now been over a week and absolutely no results in my skin (none which can be easily detected by the eyes anyway). She said her own results came pretty soon.

    I was hoping for so much more sooner, because when I visit the beach, I need only spend a few hours in and out of the water to start seeing drastic results in my skin. I was wondering based on your research, could sea salt be more beneficial than rock salt when attempting to treat skin conditions like acne?

    If so, why do you think that is the case?



  3. Hi,
    And many thanks for your positive feedback and interest. It is great to hear that you find relief for your acne from seawater. My understanding is that both the sunlight and the seawater are together causing the positive effect. Sun is drying out additional moisture and that is why more minerals are present.
    The salt is very soluble in seawater and therefore minerals are able to penetrate to the deeper layers of skin. Seawater is the most natural source of salt for us humans.
    Salt soothes the acne. However, It cannot heal the skin. Usually there is an internal reason that causes the acne – wrong nutrition, stress, lack of vitamins, allergies.. etc. Try to think what could be the reason.
    I hope you find my answer useful.
    Best Wishes,

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