Salt is probably one of the last foods that comes to mind when you think about skin hydration...which is part of the reason I chose it as my last Inside Out Beauty Food! I love when I can take a food or ingredient and shed a new light on it. Especially a food as vilified as salt.
And here's the thing - regular table salt is just as bad as you have been taught to believe. It is highly-processed and stripped of every benefit it once had. Table salt is typically mined from underground salt deposits, then stripped of minerals, iodized, and bleached. It lacks all the magical properties of the kind of salt I'm talking about here...sea salt.
Natural salt forms when sodium and chloride from ocean water collides with magnesium and potassium of the earth when it hits the shore. This creates a chemical reaction that forms a crystal as it dries in the sunlight. It is the only edible crystal on earth.
My eye-opening experience with salt happened about two years ago when I went to get a facial. My skin was a little dry and my esthetician recommended I start drinking salt water for hydration. I was shocked as I had always believed salt would have the opposite effect on skin, leading to dehydration. She explained to me that salt in it's natural form, not only has naturally-occuring essential minerals, but also has electrolytes.
After my facial, I rushed next door to the place she recommended to get this special salt - an Ayurvedic spa, elixir bar, yoga center and shop called the Dhyana Center. It sparked my interest in Ayurveda and I have since taken several classes from their wonderful founder, DeAnna Batdorff. If you haven't been to the Dhyana Center, I definitely recommend checking it out! Through my own research and with DeAnna's guidance, I came to understand the power of natural salt. The most profound takeaway for me is this - natural sea salt, when combined with pure water, has an electric charge. When we consume this mixture, it activates our cells in a new way - opening up pathways for communication.
What do electrolytes do for our cells?
Electrolytes - specifically magnesium, calcium, chloride, sodium and potassium - literally have an electric charge! They help our cells communicate and they allow nerve impulses
- regulate hydration from a cellular level
- maintain fluid homeostasis (balance) - prevent fluid retention
- electrically conduct nerve transmission for proper cellular communication - help with muscle function
Keys when looking for natural salt
- "dried by the sun" or "raw"
- wet texture - pure sea salt will have a moist texture because it hasn't been dried using high-heat methods
- slightly greyish coloring: you'll notice it's not pure white. This is because of the natural mineral content and because it hasn't been bleached.
- Look for Atlantic Grey Sea Salt, here's a brand I recommend
DAILY MORNING SALT WATER
- 16 oz. hot water
- 1/4 teasp. natural sea salt (like this one)
Combine water and salt. Stir with non-metal spoon*. Sip slowly.
*this is important! Metal will de-ionize the salt, essentially taking out the electric charge and turning it into regular table salt. In order to keep all the magical properties, I recommend using a wooden spoon :-)
This type of salt is safe for daily consumption. I recommend trying this every day for the first five days - first thing on an empty stomach when you wake up for maximum cleansing. If you want to try my full Daily Detox, follow with lemon water, and then a green smoothie. Full blog post here.
I usually drink my salt water 4-5 times a week. When I wake up, if I'm not craving it, it probably means my salt intake the day before was on the high side so I don't need it. I recommend trying this daily for the first five days, and then after that, gauge how you feel when you wake up. Listen to your body - it will tell you!
I can tell you, after doing this regularly for the past ~two years, my skin has become noticeably more hydrated. I've even noticed a reduction in fine lines. When I go to long without it, I can feel the difference.
I hope you enjoyed today's Inside Out Beauty Food! Thank you for reading!