Though Himalayan salts have been around for centuries, it’s recently become a popular staple in specialty foods, in spa treatments, and even in home décor. (We’re looking at you, salt lamps.)
Most of the salt comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, where there are salt beds that have been around for 200 million years. The unrefined salts get their characteristic pink hue from trace amounts of minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron (which is also what gives it it’s purported health benefits).
What are the health benefits of Himalayan Salt?
Depending on how it’s used, Himalayan salt is believed to help with everything from respiratory conditions like allergies and asthma to boosting your circulation, calming inflammations on your skin, and relieving any tension or stress on your body.
It’s also widely favored over table or sea salt as a way to flavor your food using less sodium. For our intents and purposes, we’re going to focus on the beauty and wellness benefits here.
What are some ways to use Himalayan Salt in your beauty routine?
You can prepare a soothing foot soak by mixing 1/8 cup of Himalayan and magnesium salts per each gallon of warm water. Submerge your tired feet in the salt bath for instant relief and added softening of calloused heels.
You can also use Himalayan salt as a body scrub. All you have to do is combine a cup of salt with ¼ cup olive oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. (We’re partial to lavender, rose or eucalyptus.) Mix well and gently rub the concoction onto your skin using small, circular motions, focusing on the areas that tend to get driest like your elbows, knees and the soles of your feet. Not really feeling a DIY project right now? We have some ready-made scrubs for you to check out below.
Hands down, our favorite way to use Himalayan salts is in our bathtubs. Not only does salt have microbial properties (which is helpful if you have body acne), but it can also help soothe irritation and inflammation.
Plus, there’s the whole mind-body relaxation that happens whenever you take the time to soak in a warm bath. (In fact, some studies have even found that “immersive bathing” aka taking a bath has mental and physical benefits like reduced anxiety and tension and increased blood flow overall.)
Sign me up. How can I prepare my own Himalayan Salt Bath at home?
First things first: Make sure to wash your body thoroughly before hopping in the tub. You want to start with a clean slate, so nothing (i.e., remnants of your shampoo, body lotion or perfume) pollutes your salt bath. This way, you’ll get maximum benefits from the experience.
After you’ve showered, it’s time to prepare your bath, which we’ll walk you through step by step now.
1. Fill your tub with warm—not hot—water. You want to aim for water that’s just above body temperature so you’re comfortably warm, rather than profusely sweating.
2. Slowly pour in the Himalayan salt, one scoop at a time (topping off at 2-3 scoops total depending on the size of your tub). Allow the salts to completely dissolve as the tub fills. (Tip: We prefer a finely ground salt for baths, as chunkier salts may not fully dissolve in the time it takes to fill your tub.)
3. Cue the Norah Jones (or Leon Bridges) and soak your cares away for the next half hour. We recommend keeping a tall glass of cold water nearby to stay hydrated while you bathe.
4. Slowly get out of the bath and pat your skin dry. Drink some more water before you climb into bed and revel in a glorious night of sleep.
5. One final note: A Himalayan salt bath is an intensely relaxing experience, but intense nonetheless so try not to exceed bathing more than 1-2 times a week.
Here are some of our favorite bath products with Himalayan Salt.
1. True Botanicals Calming CBD Bath Soak ($50) blends essential oils with magnesium flakes, Himalayan salt and 100mg of water-soluble CBD for the ultimate unwind after a long day. The neroli, lavender and frankincense scent is deeply grounding and sets the stage for a relaxing night of sleep.
2. Goop G.Tox 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub ($40) uses five mineral-rich salts from the Himalayan mountains to the Dead Sea to sweep away dead skin cells, while leaving behind a veil of deeply hydrating ingredients like moringa, rose hip and extra virgin olive oils—so much so that we can skip moisturizer altogether.
3. Lord Jones High CBD Formula Balt Salts ($65) is our go-to after a long run or particularly intense workout. (Heck, it’s glorious after hours spent hunched over our computers, too.) Formulated with broad-spectrum CBD, arnica, Epsom and Himalayan pink salts, it melts away any tension and soreness instantly.
4. Rituals The Ritual of Ayurveda Rejuvenating Himalayan Salt Scrub ($18) is as clearing to our senses as it is to our skin. Packed with crystal salt from the Himalayas and imbued with the aroma of Indian rose and sweet almond oil, it turns a routine shower into a full-on spa experience. And don’t even get us started on how silky smooth it makes our limbs feel afterward.