Saltwater Chic: The Beauty Industry’s New Favorite Ingredient - Wholesale Supplies Plus
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Saltwater Chic: The Beauty Industry’s New Favorite Ingredient

Harnessing the refreshing and regenerative energy of the ocean, products with sea salt invoke a sense of calm and renewal. With so many ways to add this trendy ingredient, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect fit for you. Use the guide below for a quick overview on the different ways you can add sea salt to your summer line.

Benefits of Sea Salt in Cosmetics

The saying goes “The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.” The science is certainly there to back this claim up. Sea salt is known to have a plethora of benefits for hair and skin, as well as overall body and mind health. Salt can act as a natural exfoliant, sloughing off dirt and dead skin cells while encouraging regeneration and nourishing the skin with natural minerals. It is also a known humectant, meaning it will attract and retain moisture in whatever the application.

Salt is also believed to be anti-inflammatory and has been used as a natural way to fight psoriasis and eczema. In hair applications, salt is believed to add body by absorbing oil and opening the hair cuticle. Salt is also believed to have detoxifying properties, though these claims have yet to be officially substantiated.

How to Use Sea Salt in Cosmetics

Salt can be used as an exfoliant in body scrubs or soap bars, as a purifying agent in soaks, or to add instant texture and volume to hair. If you’re interested in adding salt to your products, the first step is to choose the right salt for you.

Which salt you choose can depend on crystal structures. They can range in size from small (1 to 2 mm) to medium (2 to 3 mm) to large (4 to 8 mm), and even larger. They can also be coarse or fine. Generally, the smaller the crystal, the finer it is. When adding to your product, minimize the water to which salts are exposed to avoid dissolution. Lotion-based scrubs are not a salt’s best friend, so choose oil-based instead.

Finer salts are generally a better choice for exfoliating compared to coarser salts, but they all work well in soaking products. Salts with a large surface area hold on to fragrances longer than smaller ones. Feel free to mix and match your salts. For instance, 5% Dendritic salt with 5% Dead Sea salt combined with sea salts or Epsom salts is an awesome combination!

Inspired to formulate some of your bath products? Consider these types of salts to include in your next line.

Epsom Salts
Epsom (INCI: Magnesium sulfate) are found as medium to large coarse crystals, which hold on to fragrances or color better than smaller crystals found in table or fine sea salt. We generally use magnesium sulfate heptahydrate over anhydrous magnesium sulfate, which is used as a hygroscopic ingredient to draw water from the atmosphere.

Magnesium has been shown to decrease inflammation, bind water in human skin and it may accelerate skin’s barrier repair. While it may be possible for small-sized magnesium ions to penetrate into skin, unfortunately there’s no evidence this results in relaxing aching muscles. One theory puts forth that floating in warm water may be the reason for that sensation.

Sea Salts
Sea salts (INCI: Sodium chloride or Maris sal) are generally produced by evaporating sea water and may be called by many names including bay, ocean, or river salts. Their crystal structure may range from small to large, and fine to coarse. Sea salts contain all kinds of elements like sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, strontium, and bromine.

Potassium has been demonstrated to reduce transepidermal water loss and inflammation, while sodium has good water holding capacity. Strontium may decrease itching, stinging and burning, while calcium may enhance skin’s barrier repair.

Dead Sea Salts
Dead Sea salts (INCI: Sodium chloride or Maris sal) come from the Dead Sea, which is about 32% salt (12% to 18% sodium chloride) compared to ocean water at 3.5%. They contain a number of elements with magnesium, sodium, calcium, potassium, bromine, iodine and zinc making up the majority. The crystals range from small and fine to large and coarse.

Studies have demonstrated that using Dead Sea salts in the bath may improve skin’s barrier function, which leads to less transepidermal water loss, less roughness and inflammation and more hydration in our stratum corneum (top layer of our skin). These benefits seem to be related to the magnesium and sodium content in the salts, both of which bind to water to increase moisturization.

Maker's Tip: Dead Sea salts are also hygroscopic, meaning they draw water from the atmosphere. It's great for skin, but not so great for storing these salts in your workshop. Ensure the container is sealed tight and consider throwing in a silica package or two for good measure. Please don’t use it at more than 10% of your total salt in a recipe as you’ll end up with solid balls of bath salts or pre-fizzed bath bombs!

Solar Salts
Solar salts (INCI: Sodium chloride or Maris sal) is a generic name for any type of sea salt produced by evaporation by the sun. The crystals may be small and fine to large and coarse depending upon processing.

Himalayan Salts
Himalayan salts (INCI: Sodium chloride) are mined salts from deposits in the Himalayan mountains. Their color ranges from white to pink to orange, depending on the levels of copper and iron, and you can find them in almost every form from fine, small crystals to large, coarse ones, as well as in slabs. They’re 95% to 98% sodium chloride, with the rest composed of polyhalite, a hydrated sulfate of potassium.

Dendritic Salts
Dendritic salts (INCI: Sodium chloride) are fast-dissolving, star-shaped crystals with large surface areas designed to hold fragrance and essential oils well and reduce clumping. The suggested usage rate is 5% in your soaking recipes.

Using Sea Salt Fragrance

Another way to incorporate sea salt into your products is to consider a fragrance oil with oceanic notes. This can be a quick, easy way to add sea salt label appeal without completely reformulating your product. Crafter’s Choice® Sea Salt & Driftwood is a wonderful, unisex scent with broad appeal or Crafter’s Choice® Rattan & Sea Salt takes a slightly more feminine, brighter take. If you&

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