Who doesn’t enjoy bathing in the ocean? The experience is invigorating, relaxing, and just plain enjoyable. But an ocean dip isn’t always possible, especially if you live far from the beach – or summer is over.
While it may not be able to completely replicate the experience, a home sea bath still allows you to soak up some of the benefits of the real thing.
The mineral-rich contents in seawater offer powerful benefits for beauty and health. Apparently, this isn’t a new discovery: the ancient Greeks practiced soaking in seawater hot tubs. It’s been recorded that the Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, encouraged his followers to use seawater immersion as a healing method for muscular and joint pains, and arthritis. The Greeks were also known to drink and inhale seawater for health purposes, as well as using seaweed green facials and body wraps for beauty preservation.
Among the benefits associated with a sea bath are stress and tension release, skin hydration and radiation, improving blood circulation, healing arthritis, and joint pain, strengthening the immune system, and flushing out harmful toxins. All of these health advantages are due to the negatively charged ions contained in sea mist and the essential minerals found in seawater.
How To Make a Home Sea Bath
Besides the abundance of minerals in a natural sea bath, the main ingredient is salt. We know salt to be a natural preservative in food. The same can be applied to our bodies. But it’s not as simple as just tossing some salt in the tub.
Medical aestheticians recommend mixing together 1/4 cup of sea salt (or salt of choice) to a standard-sized bathtub. Fill the tub with water two degrees warmer than your body temperature, and finally, soak for a minimum of 20 minutes or longer depending on the condition of your skin and personal preference. A few drops of essential oils like lavender or peppermint can also be included.
Types of Salts
While many of the bath recipes include the use of Epsom salt, other types of specialized salts can be added. These specialized salts differ in crystal size, drying style, and origin. The main ingredient in all these salts is sodium chloride, which is also found in authentic seawater and is responsible for maintaining blood pressure, transmitting nerve signals, contracting and relaxing muscles, and maintaining the right balance of fluid in the body. So before listing the salts that can be used, let’s highlight what to avoid: iodized table salt. According to research, iodized salt has added iodine and if it is used as a bath salt, any sensitivity to iodine could cause an itch or other skin reaction. Also, when salt is iodized, its essential minerals, which our body needs, are stripped away.
In addition to Epsom salt, other salts that can be used are cooking salt, sea salt, Celtic salt, Himalayan pink salt, Dead Sea salt, and Hawaiian salt. Dendritic salt is not a naturally harvested salt but can still be used as it consists of purified sodium chloride. Each salt type differs in coarseness and mineral content, so choosing one would be based on your intended outcome.
For example, Himalayan salt, one of the oldest and purest forms of salt, contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron and is known for alleviating tension and stress. Epsom salt, one of the more frequently used bath salts, is high in magnesium and sulfate and is scientifically proven to relieve sore and stiff muscles, relieve stress, treat constipation, and detoxes the body.
A Quick Recap
Bath salts are convenient because they encompass the richness of the sea without getting sand in your toes! There are a variety of colors, sizes, and origins to choose from; the more natural, the better. Remember to avoid salts that are iodized or refined, as the natural minerals are removed and may result in a harmful skin reaction. Get the most out of your bath salt experience by adding in your favorite essential oils for added relaxation.
All in all, when done correctly, bath salts are an age-old practice that still proves effective to this day. It’s a great way to relax, recharge, and reboot your immune system. Even when you can’t get to the “real” ocean.