Salt and Balm - The Simplest Skin Solution

If you're sworn to absolute skincare minimalism but not willing to sacrifice function, then these two items might be the perfect duo for you. A basic, pure balm and 'a bit of salt' are enough to keep skin happy, balanced, and moisturized year round.

Today we're taking a look at real less-is-more skincare routine.

Salt and Science

Salt has a long history of use in helping alleviate some skincare conditions. One of the more commonly known treatments is employing salt water for conditions such as psoriasis.

It is unclear whether it is the salt or the combination of saltwater and sun that has shown beneficial effects for psoriasis patients, but salt treatment seems to receive more yays than nays from sufferers.

And even though science isn't completely on board with salt for skincare health yet, they are working on it and publishing some interesting findings.

In 2005, The International Journal of Dermatology published a paper entitled Bathing in a magnesium-rich dead sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances hydration and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. (link below)

Meantime, while science continues to investigate and examine what salt has to offer in the way of skincare, the rest of us are just going to have to try it for ourselves and make our own judgements.

How To Use Salt for Skincare

Salt is commonly used in connection with bathing or showering. It is not generally used on the face. Here are a couple of easy ways to try salt for skincare.
  • Add a handful of salts (himalayan crystal salt, epsom salts, dead sea salts) to bath water. The salts soften the water and help relieve itching, dryness and irritation
  • Wet and rub a salt bar between palms to dissolve the salt. Apply the solution to arms, legs etc. 
Tip: do not rub the skin directly with a salt bar. As lovely as a Himalayan salt bar is to look at, it consists of hard bits that can scratch something awful if you just rub it on your wet leg or arm (can you tell I speak from experience?).


A balm can be anything from a very simple butter, wax, and oil combination to a multi-ingredient masterpiece.

Regardless of ingredients, the function of a balm is pretty universal: to keep the skin moisturized and protected.

One of the advantages of balms is they can be used all over - from face to feet. The secret is in how much you apply. Less is more on the face, but you can slather your feet, elbows or any dry patches liberally with balm.

For max benefits, apply balm to moist skin immediately after bathing - this locks in moisture and helps keep the skin healthy and glowing.

Want to make your own balm? There's a link to a 3 ingredient balm how-to on this blog below.

More About Salt for Skincare

Salt and Skincare (this blog)
Health Check: Why Swimming in the Sea is Good for you
Influence of Water and salt Solutions on UVB irradiation of normal skin and psoriasis
Dead Sea Sun vs Dead Sea Water in treatment of psoriasis
Dead Sea Salt (wikipedia)
PubMed: Bathing in magnesium-rich...
Chemical evaluation of major salt deposits in Pakistan
Whipped Shea Balm How To (this blog)

Comments said…
such good info and writing Lisa- do you mind if I share it on a blog with all your credentials to you? - btw- was there suppose to be a link at the end? looking for the 3 ingredient recipe- I may have misunderstood.
LisaLise said…
Hi Suzzannemarie - Thank you kindly! You are welcome to link to this article and the 3 ingredient balm is the bottommost link :)