Sophie Qureshi shows you the benefits of adding a pinch to your beauty routine…
Salt makes up 3.5% of the world’s oceans and has a huge array of health and beauty benefits, from antiseptic properties to exfoliating powers – not to mention its ability to transform limp locks into beachy waves in a matter of moments. Whatever you’re looking for – a better night’s sleep, glowing skin, a less bloated bod – there’s a salt-related product that can seriously help with that.
You’re probably familiar with salt sprays, but a newer trend for salt shampoos is emerging, promising to detoxify your scalp, remove product build-up and amp volume.
One of the best is Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, £43, which feels like a grainy paste but lathers up when massaged into roots. The salt exfoliates, eliminating impurities from oily or sensitive scalps and boosting blood circulation. It’s pricey, but you only need to use it once a week to reap rewards.
A less eye-watering option is Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo, £13.25, which uses hand-harvested sea salt to lift the hair and add body, along with protein-rich seaweed to strengthen. Lee Stafford Sea Salt Crystal Shampoo, £9.99, also contains salt crystals and seaweed, and leaves you with big, beachy hair worthy of a mermaid. Just beware of using any of these too often if your hair is seriously dry or processed. Although the shampoos aren’t left on your hair long enough for the salt to do any damage, salt-infused beauty products can have a slightly dehydrating effect.
For all the texture – and none of the knots – finish with a spritz of Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray, £32. It uses pink sea salt to give hair the perfect tousled texture and has a dreamy scent of passionfruit, guava and hibiscus.
After months swathed in cosy knits and opaque tights, there’s no better way to get limbs gleaming than to invest a few minutes in the shower armed with a good salt scrub. A brilliant natural exfoliator, salt buffs away rough, dry skin and gets it fit for public exposure pronto. Salt scrubs can be messy, though, and with some, you end up with more crystals coating your shower tray than your body.
We recommend Origins Incredible Spreadable Smoothing Salt Body Scrub, £25, which blends salt with sugar for the ideal cell-sloughing texture. If winter’s left your lips flaky and sore and balm just isn’t cutting it, your pout can also get in on the action with Make Beauty Sea Salt Exfoliator & Marine Lip Repair, £35.
This winning combo comprises a gentle scrub with super-fine sea-salt granules to buff away chapped flakes, followed by a conditioning balm to nourish and plump. Bath salts are having a bit of a renaissance right now. But these aren’t the artificially fragranced granules your granny used to keep by the tub; today’s incarnations are about detoxifying your body and soothing your soul. Ila Bath Salts for Inner Peace, £49, contain Himalayan salt crystals, which are rich in minerals that can be absorbed through the skin. Ideal for when you’ve packed the kids off to bed and want to wipe away the stresses of the day, they’re also brilliant for eczema and psoriasis.
Equally indulgent are Mauli Rituals Himalayan Healing Salts, £42 – pink salts infused with 13 therapeutic oils and laced with powdered rose quartz, to ‘open the heart to love of self or others’. Even if you’re something of a sceptic about crystal healing, there’s no doubting that after a 15-minute soak, you emerge feeling wholly reborn.
The salts are also ideal for taking on your travels – use them as a foot soak to take the edge off your jetlag and revive your spirits. Epsom salts – named after the town where they were first found – are famously soothing to both muscle and mind because of their high levels of magnesium. Find them in Bamford Botanic Bath Salts, which combine Epsom salts with deep-cleansing sea salts and geranium essential oil.
For even higher levels of magnesium (and at a pocket-change price), try Better You Magnesium Flakes. Whereas Epsom salts contain magnesium sulphate, these have magnesium chloride, which is more easily absorbed and metabolised in the body. If you have trouble sleeping, a soak with these is a surefire way to knock yourself out.