34 Amazing Benefits Of Salt For Skin, Hair, And Health August 4, 2016

Salt, also known as table salt or rock salt, is a natural mineral made up of white cube shaped crystals composed of sodium and chlorine. It is basically a chemical compound – sodium chloride having the chemical formula NaCl, consisting 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chlorine. It is naturally found in sea water and accounts for about 3.5 percent of the world’s oceans.

When an area of sea water is enclosed, the water evaporates leaving behind large crystals of salt. Originally, it is translucent, odorless and colorless, having a distinct and characteristic taste. But the presence of impurities and minerals imparts different colors to it such as white, pink, gray, red, brown, and black.

Properties of Pure Sodium Chloride
Molecular weight – NaCl58.4428
Atomic weight – Na22.989768 (39.337%)
Atomic weight – Cl35.4527 (60.663%)
Eutectic composition23.31% NaCl
Freezing point of eutectic mixture-21.12° C (-6.016°F)
Crystal formIsometric, Cubic
ColorClear to White
Index of refraction1.5442
Density or specific gravity2.165 (135 lb/ft3)
Bulk density, approximate (dry, ASTM D 632 gradation)1.154 (72 lb/ft3)
Angle of repose (dry, ASTM D 632 gradation)32°
Melting point800.8° C (1,473.4° F)
Boiling point1,465°C (2,669° F)
Hardness (Moh’s Scale)2.5
Critical humidity at 20 °C, (68° F)75.3%
pH of aqueous solutionneutral

Salt is obtained by two main methods, evaporation from sea water and mining salt from the earth. Table salt and salts used for industrial purposes are obtained through mining whereas gourmet salts are obtained by evaporation of sea water. The salt that we use for home consumption is generally table salt (refined salt), sea salt (unrefined salt) and iodized salt. It is one of the oldest food seasonings as well as an important method of food preservation. It is also used for other culinary purposes such as tanning, dyeing, bleaching, pottery glazing, soap making and the early manufacture of chlorine. Today it is commonly used in the chemical industry for water softening.

Types Of Salt

There are many varieties of salt, each having different types of crystals and uses. The size of their crystals and color varies depending upon the presence of different minerals. Some of the common varieties of salt are as follows.

  • Iodized Salt

This is basically table salt having additives like iodine and is considered beneficial for thyroid patients. Since it is a table salt, it has fine granules and is mostly used for home consumption. It is also used as an anti-caking agent to prevent lumping.

  • Kosher Salt

This is an additive free coarse grained salt made by compacting granular salt. It is often preferred for cooking as it has a softer flavor than table salt. It is often applied on butchered meat as the large irregularly shaped flakes can draw blood easily. Due to its large surface area, it dissolves easily without over salting and is used as a water softener.

  • Black Salt

Known as ‘kala namak’ or ‘sanchal’, it is a tanned salt having a strong sulfuric flavor due to the addition of purified lava. In India, it is available in ground form as well as lumps and is largely used as pickling salt.

  • Sel Gris

This is a gray salt native to France. A by-product called fleur de sel is formed when sel gris is allowed to bloom into flowerlike crystals in evaporation basins.

  • Maldon Sea Salt

It is a British finishing salt which is similar to fleur de sel and is obtained by boiling sea water. It comprises of delicate pyramidal crystals and has a light, delicate flavor.

  • Rock Salt

This salt has discrete crystals and is used for deicing. It is often used in ice creams as it brings down the freezing point.

Salt Benefits

The benefits of salt are many. To make this an easier read, they are categorized into health, skin and hair benefits.

Salt Health Benefits

Salt is needed by the human body as it controls the fluid balance and the working of muscles and nerves. The body automatically regulates the presence of salt and sodium. Feeling excessively thirsty indicates high levels of salt which is eliminated through the kidneys. Sea salt is generally considered more beneficial than its processed counterpart, the table salt. Some of the health benefits of salt are given below.

1. Proper Digestion

Sea salt aids in the digestive process by stimulating the salivary glands and helping the body create digestive juices. This facilitates quick digestion. Salt also prevents build up in the digestive tract, thus preventing constipation. It facilitates absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.

2. Beneficial In Respiratory Problems

Salt can be of great help in case of respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and hay fever. It is effective in reducing inflammation in the respiratory system, thus slowing down the production of phlegm to enable you to breathe easier. Taking half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water can help in clearing up sinus and bronchial congestion.

3. Beneficial In Diabetes

Sea salt is beneficial for those who are diabetic or prone to diabetes as it can lower the need for insulin by helping to maintain proper blood sugar levels in the body.

4. Facilitates Proper Sleep And Cures Depression

Some people have this problem of saliva flowing out of the mouth during sleep which indicates a salt shortage in the body. Deficiency of salt can lead to shortage of water and the saliva glands sensing this shortage are obliged to produce more saliva. Drinking sea salt at bedtime prevents the production of excess saliva. Moreover, sea salt cures depression by producing the two hormones serotonin and melatonin that enable you to deal with stress, thus making you relax and sleep better at night.

5. Strong Immune System

Sea salt is the world’s oldest antibiotic having anti-viral properties. Thus, it can be a great substitute for antibiotic drugs minus the side effects. It strengthens your immune system, enabling you to fight off the cold virus, fever, flu and autoimmune diseases as well as keep allergies at bay.

6. Aids Weight Loss

Though table salt is not much beneficial in this respect, sea salt can actually help you lose weight by preventing water retention as well as aiding in digestion. As already stated, sea salt facilitates quick digestion by the creation of digestive juices, thus preventing build-up in the digestive tract that can lead to constipation and weight gain.

7. Prevents Osteoporosis

Salt is needed to keep the bones healthy, and nearly ¼ of the salt in your body is stored in the bones. Deficiency of salt and water causes the body to draw sodium from the bones, leading to osteoporosis. Thus, drinking plenty of water and consuming salt in moderation helps to prevent osteoporosis.

8. Alkalizes The Body

Since sea salt has not been exposed to high heat or stripped of its natural minerals and is devoid of harmful manmade ingredients, it helps in alkalizing your body. Thus, it eliminates the risk of serious life-threatening diseases by preventing and reversing high levels of acid in the body. The minerals maintain proper electrolyte balance in the body, thus aiding in proper nerve system and cellular functions.

9. Prevents Muscle Spasms

Potassium is a mineral that is vital for proper functioning of the muscles. Sea salt contains small amounts of potassium and enables proper absorption of potassium by the body from other foods as well. Thus, it helps in preventing muscle pains, spasms, and cramps.

10. Good For Heart

Though salt, in general, is considered harmful in this regard, sea salt mixed with water can reduce high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and regulate an irregular heartbeat, thus providing protection against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

11. Dental Health

Salt plays an important role in dental health and is often used as an ingredient in toothpastes. You can create home-made toothpaste by mixing crushed sea salt and baking soda in the ratio of 1:2 and brush your teeth with this mixture. A mouthwash can also be prepared by adding ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda to a 4-ounce glass of water and rinsing with it.

[ Read: Benefits of Barley ]

12. Improves Mental Health

Salt water baths, apart from enhancing physical health, also help improve mental health. After taking a bath in salt water, you will be more calm, happy, and relaxed. Bath salts act as wonderful stress busters. They can also improve your peace of mind.

13. Treats Acidity

Acidity is one major problem most people face today. Instead of going for all those costly medicines that come with side effects, you can take a salt water bath instead. Due to their alkaline nature, bath salts help reduce acidity. The toxins inside our body are released into the salt bath through osmosis. And the minerals are absorbed into the body by the soles. This reduces the body’s acidic levels and maintains the pH levels of the skin.

14. Provides Hydration

The human body contains 70% water, and it is essential for our existence. NaCl or common salt helps sustain the level of water, shoring up extracellular fluid and promoting optimal blood flow. These properties of salt help us fight infection. If you have ever sucked on a bleeding finger, you know that blood tastes salty. Thus, we need water and salt. Salt boosts basic function, growth, and development, though not necessarily all at once.

15. Eradicates Weakness

If you are someone who suffers from persistent weakness, you can consider having a daily dose of salt water to reduce exhaustion and in some cases even get rid it. Medical professionals note that a healthy individual loses a good amount of salt through urine. Having a little bit of salt water can help balance your salt levels.

16. Maintains Blood Pressure

As mentioned above, urination causes a loss of not just water, but also salt. As the body tries to hold on to salt and water, your blood pressure rises. Thus, a dash of salt with water can help overturn the effects of urination and in turn helps you maintain a steady blood pressure. It is important that you don’t add too much salt.

17. Decreases Appetite

Drinking salt water can help you get into shape. How? Well for starters, when we don’t get the needed amount of salt in our food, we tend to binge on junk food, snacks and promote all sorts of unhealthy indulgences. Drinking a bit of salt water can stabilize the salt levels, helps you avoid cholesterol-high junk food and keeps you in shape.

18. Combats Insomnia

Insomnia is the bane of technology. Most of us don’t enjoy a good night’s sleep anymore. Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter seem to gang up on us making it difficult to go to bed. However, a little dash of salt and water can help. Salt reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and helps us relax. This benefit of salt water helps you get a good night’s sleep.

19. Improves Bone Health

Sole, pronounced Solay, is a concentrated mixture of salt and water. Apart from being intensely unpalatable, it is also quite healthy. Osteoporosis is said to be the result of a lack of calcium. A glass of Sole can help you increase the amount of calcium and other minerals in your blood and in turn promotes healthy bones.

20. Cures Toothache

I admit that you don’t need to drink salt water to help alleviate toothache. However, to cure this throbbing pain, all you need to do is mix a tablespoon full of salt with a cup of hot water and gargle the mixture. You can drink the mixture if needed, although it’s better you gargle and spit.

Salt Benefits For Skin

Salt has several skin benefits as well. Sea salt in bath water has a soothing and relaxing effect on the skin by removing dirt and toxins from the body. Bath salts are becoming increasingly popular these days. In addition, salt is also used in several beauty products. Some of its benefits for skin are as follows.

21. Healing Properties

Sea salt has great healing properties, and a bath in sea salt water helps to relieve dry and itchy skin as well as cure serious conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It facilitates quick healing by opening up the pores, improving circulation and hydrating the tissues. Besides, it makes your skin softer, supple and reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and cellulite. It acts as a moisturizer for dry, chapped skin and balances oily skin.

22. Treatment Of Acne

Sea salt is often used in soaps, masks, toners and cleansers to treat acne. The sulfur helps to synthesize oxygen whereas potassium maintains the water balance for cell metabolism, thus enabling the absorption of nourishment to get rid of impurities. Calcium cleans your pores, making your cell membranes stronger and magnesium removes dirt and toxins from the skin.

23. Face Exfoliator

Massaging your skin and face with a mixture of 1 teaspoon fine grained salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil for exfoliating your skin.

24. Acts As A Skin Toner

Salt can be used to reduce facial oiliness. For this purpose, fill a small spray bottle with tepid water mixed with 1 teaspoon salt and mist on your face. Be careful to avoid your eyes. This acts as a skin toner.

25. Treatment Of Puffed Eyes

For treatment of puffiness of eyes, lie on your back and apply pads soaked in a solution of one teaspoon salt and hot water.

26. Salt Scrub

Salt scrub can be used for scrubbing your arms and legs to exfoliate dead cells and improve circulation. After taking a shower or bath when your skin is still wet, sprinkle some salt on your hands and rub it gently on arms and legs.

27. Salt As Facial Steamer

Steaming your skin with salt water before exfoliating it opens up your pores. Boil 1/3 cup of sea salt in a small pan of water and pour the solution in a bowl. Now cover your face with a towel, hold it over the steam for about 10 minutes.

[ Read: Sea Salt Benefits ]

28. Aids In Detoxification

Bath salts help detoxify the skin. The warm water opens up skin pores. This allows the minerals to sink deep and enable deep cleansing. Bath salts draw out the harmful toxins and bacteria absorbed by the skin throughout the day, keeping your skin looking young.

29. Can Make You Look Younger

If I am not wrong, this should be your favorite reason to take salt water baths! Who doesn’t want to look and feel younger! Regular use of bath salts decreases the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. They leave the skin soft and supple. Bath salts achieve this by plumping the skin and balancing the skin moisture.

30. Can Treat A Number Of Problems

Bath salts go beyond benefitting just the skin. They also play a vital role in treating some serious conditions like osteoarthritis and tendinitis. Osteoarthritis is the deterioration of cartilages and the bones lying underneath. Tendinitis is the swelling of a tendon. Bath salts can also cure itchiness and insomnia.

Salt Benefits For Hair

Salt is generally considered harmful for hair as it contains sodium which has its own side effects. However, sea salt contains 26 minerals which are beneficial for hair. Salt sprays are becoming popular for hair styling as well as adding luster to your tresses. Some of the benefits of salt for hair are as follows.

31. Softens Your Hair

Sea salt adds softness, bounce and body to your hair. Due to the presence of essential minerals, it makes your hair shiny and moisturizes it as well as repairs and protects it. It has great healing qualities due to which it can heal damaged hair.

32. Treatment Of Dandruff

To get rid of dandruff, apply crushed sea salt on the scalp before wetting hair. This will loosen the flakes as well as enable better penetration of scalp treatment.

[ Read: Dandruff Solution with Salt]

33. Stops Sweating Of Scalp

To get rid of excess sweat, apply salt spray on dampened roots and allow it to dry. This will soak up any sweat or oil throughout the day as salt can absorb moisture.

34. Adds Volume

Mix equal amounts of Epsom salts and conditioner and apply it only on the roots of your hair. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse off. This will add volume to your tresses as well as remove excess build up oils and hair products. However, this should be done seasonally to prevent your hair from becoming dry and dull.

[ Read: Rock Salt Benefits ]

Tips On Usage

For Skin

1. Making Dead Sea Salt At Home

Dead Sea salt boasts of many skin benefits that help replenish and rejuvenate your skin. It helps lock moisture in your skin, reduces wrinkles and kills acne-causing bacteria. Dead sea salt is used as an ingredient in many organically prepared face masks and facial creams.

  • 45 gm or 1 lb glycerin bar
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • ½ tsp common salt
  • 3-4 drops lavender essential oil
  • ½ tbsp beeswax
  • Measuring cup (microwave-safe)
  • Rubbing alcohol (small spray bottle)
  • Wood spoon
  • Rectangular, triangular or circular soap molds
  • Soap cutter
  • Colorant
  1. Begin by cutting the glycerin bar into 1-inch squares. Cutting the glycerin up into pieces ensures that your glycerin melts evenly and does not dry out.
  1. Once the glycerin melts, pour it out into a measuring cup and keep it aside. (You can use the double boil method to melt the glycerin, or you can simply microwave it).
  1. Make sure that all the glycerin is melted, and no air bubbles show up on the glycerin’s surface. Spray some alcohol on the air bubbles so that they subside.
  1. Take the glycerin and set it over a low flame.
  1. Using a wooden spoon or a wooden stick, stir the glycerin.
  1. Now add the sea salt, table salt, beeswax and the lavender essential oil in stages. Don’t add them all together, add them in stages, stirring them in continuously.
  1. The colorant part comes now. If you want your soap to look pretty, add a few colorant drops here.
  1. Once you have done so, pour the mixtures into the soap mold and set aside for it to harden.
  1. If the soap forms any air bubbles, spray some alcohol on it again.
  1. Usually, the soap will take at least 24 hours to harden.
  1. Once the soap hardens, use a soap cutter or a long knife to cut the soap into pieces.
  1. Wrap the soap up in a plastic cling film to keep the glycerin from drying out.
  1. Your soap is ready!
An Important Note

Once you have used these containers to make the soap, don’t store food or water in them; use them only for making soap, or get rid of them.

Fill your microwave-safe measuring cup with the chunks of glycerin and melt it according to the package directions. You can use a double boiler to melt your glycerin, but it’s much easier in a microwave. Make sure all of the glycerin is melted completely before you add any of the other ingredients.

2. How To Make Bath Salts With Essential Oil

  1. Take a glass bottle or container.
  1. Now, pour about 2 cups of Epsom salt and sea salt in the bowl. Shake the jar so that both salts get mixed well.
  1. Then add 10 drops of the chosen essential oil atop the salt. Shake the bottle well so that the oil gets soaked by the salt well.
  1. Add 2 spoons of baking soda.
  1. Once again, stir to blend all the ingredients.
  1. Store the mixture in an airtight glass container.
  1. Pour this salt into a bathtub filled with warm water when required.

For Cooking

1. Homemade Seasoning Salt (Sea Salt)

You can use Sea Salt as a base to prepare this seasoning. Sea Salt is healthier and tastier (according to some people) than regular table Salt. The mix also contains granulated sugar, which gives it a sweet and tangy taste. The recipe helps you make ⅔rd cup of seasoning salt.

You Will Need
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 4 tsps paprika (smoked)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 4 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
How To Make
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small jar.
  1. Close the lid of the jar and shake it well.

2. Homemade Seasoning Salt (Kosher Salt)

You can prepare this seasoning at home by using Kosher Salt as a base. It has larger grains than common Salt. The recipe uses red pepper and paprika, to up the spice quotient. You can make ½ a cup of seasoning Salt with this recipe.

You Will Need
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground red pepper
  • 4 tsps black pepper powder
  • ¼ cup of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
How To Make
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small jar.
  1. Close the lid of the jar and shake it well.

3. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (Table Salt)

You can make ½ a cup of seasoning Salt with this recipe.

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt is one of the most popular prepackaged varieties of seasoning Salt. You can simply follow these tips and make a seasoned Salt at home without adding colors or preservatives.

You Will Need
  • ¼ tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsps salt
  • 2 tbsps sugar
How To Make
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small jar.
  1. Close the lid of the jar and shake it well.

4. Homemade Seasoning Salt (Himalayan Salt)

The recipe makes ½ a cup of seasoning Salt. You can use pink crystal Himalayan Salt for this recipe. The dried parsley leaf gives this seasoning a unique flavor.

You Will Need
  • ¼ cup of fresh black pepper powder
  • ¼ cup of garlic powder
  • ¼ cup of onion powder
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 3 tbsps paprika
  • 2 tbsps dried parsley leaf
  • ½ cup of Himalayan salt
How To Make
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small jar.
  1. Close the lid of the jar and shake it well.

5. Seasoning Salt For Fried Potatoes And French Fries

The recipe helps you make ¼ cup of seasoning Salt. You can use Table Salt to prepare this popular seasoning for fries. The celery seeds add a delicious flavor to the seasoning Salt.

You Will Need
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • ½ cup of garlic powder
  • ½ cup of onion powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 2 tsps chili powder
How To Make
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small jar.
  1. Close the lid of the jar and shake it well.

Nutritional Value Of Salt

The table salt that we use for home consumption comprises of 97.5 percent sodium chloride and 2.5 percent chemicals such as moisture absorbents and iodine. Excessive heating at a temperature of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit alters the chemical structure of this salt. Sea salt is a natural unrefined form of salt having more minerals such as magnesium and iodine and is devoid of additives. Thus, sea salt offers more benefits than its refined counterpart. The nutritional value of salt is given below.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: (100 grams)
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 0
% Daily Value*            
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 32767mg1365%
Total Carboydrates 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g~
Sugars 0g~
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin A0%Vitamin C0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs

Nutrient Information

Vitamin A0 IU0%
Retinol0 mcg
Retional Activity Equivalent0 mcg
Alpha Carotene0 mcg
Beta Carotene0 mcg
Beta Cryptoxanthin0 mcg
Lycopene0 mcg
Lutein + Zeaxanthin0 mcg
Vitamin C0 mg0%
Vitamin E0 mg0%
Vitamin K0 mcg0%
Thiamin0 mg0%
Riboflavin0 mg0%
Niacin0 mg0%
Vitamin B60 mg0%
Vitamin B120 mcg0%
Folate0 mcg0%
Food Folate0 5.6 mcg~
Folic Acid0 mcg~
Dietary Folate Equivalents0 mcg~
Pantothenic Acid0 mcg0%
Calcium24 mg2%
Iron0.33 mg1%
Magnesium1 mg0%
Phosphorus0 mg0%
Potassium8 mg0%
Sodium32767 mg1365%
Zinc0.1 mg0%
Copper0.03 mg1%
Manganese0.1 mg5%
Selenium0.1 mcg0%
Total Fat0 mg0%
Saturated Fat0 mg0%
Monounsaturated Fat0 mg~
Polyunsaturated Fat0 mg~

After considering the various benefits of salt, it is evident that some salt is needed by the body to control fluid balance. However, excess of salt can adversely affect the body by increasing the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and other heart ailments. Since sea salt is more nutritious, it can be used instead of table salt for home consumption.

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  • glory stargirl

    wow.. intresting fcts