How Dead Sea Salt Saved My Skin

In honor of this month being National Eczema Awareness Month, let’s get personal.

Seborrheic dermatitis is my childhood skin condition that has continued to haunt my adult life…until now.

Since the age of 11, I have been struggling with a tough case of seborrheic dermatitis on my face and scalp. In the most recent years, it had become so severe that I required almost daily use of topical steroids, prescription antifungals, and rarely had days without a flare of the painful and unattractive skin condition.

Seborrheic dermatitis is considered to be a chronic form of eczema, and is seen on areas of the body that have higher levels of oil-producing glands, such as the facial T-zone, scalp and back of the neck. Stress, hormonal changes, harsh soaps & chemicals and dry winter weather are all triggers for seborrheic dermatitis flares.

As you can see from the image to the right, I desperately wanted to find a cure for this condition.

After decades of trying every prescription, lotion, cleanser, and steroid that was recommended to me with little to no relief, I began to lose hope.

This prompted me to begin researching alternative therapies. One such therapy that caught my eye was the use of Dead Sea Salt rinses.Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_marysmn'>marysmn / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

The benefits of sea salt and specifically salt from the Dead Sea have long since been studied, even the ancient Greeks praised the healing nature of mineral hot springs. The health benefits from Dead Sea salt are attributed to the higher levels of the mineral components, specifically magnesium.

New York based dermatologist, Francesca Fusco, MD explained to ELLE magazine why the additional of these minerals is important for skin health.   

"Ordinary salt is largely sodium chloride is very dehydrating, but mineral salt, such as Dead Sea salt, is rich in magnesium and calcium, which improve hydration by strengthening the barrier function of the skin."

“When the skin's mineral quotient is out of whack, we all know it: Telltale signs such as dryness, irritation, dullness, and blotchiness" begin to emerge, Fusco says. "Moisturizers containing salts are better than plain old occlusive (which prevent water from evaporating from the skin, such as Vaseline), because they allow moisture to be absorbed and to bind to skin more efficiently."

From personal experience, in February of this year, I ditched my long list of failed treatments, and replaced them with daily Dead Sea salt water washes and Aveeno Eczema therapy. I also do not use any soaps or face washes, and avoid any additional oils on my face and scalp.

The results…..I have not had a single seborrheic dermatitis flare since beginning the Dead Sea Salt therapy! That’s 8 MONTHS without a flare….life changing!

Additionally, I have had significant improvements in acne and overall skin tone and color.

I know what your next questions is….how do I remove my makeup with no face wash? I use a microfiber cloth that very thoroughly removes makeup and leaves my skin feeling clean and exfoliated, without the use of soaps or harsh cleansers.

Here is the recipe for the Dead Sea Salt wash, and the specific products that I recommend:

Minera Dead Sea Salt Face Wash

½ tsp Minera Dead Sea Salt
2 cups of warm water
 
Combine and stir until salt is dissolved. Soak affected area for a few minutes, and let sit on the area for a few minutes. Rinse with clean water and pat dry.  
I then apply the oatmeal-based Aveeno Eczema therapy to the affected areas, and daily as preventative.

 

Minera Sea Salt from the San Francisco Salt Company

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Bella Rose FACE OFF Makeup Remover

Recommended Products:

Live by BEING Organic Skin Care

Complexion Clay Collection            Release Milk Bath Mini

             

October 19, 2016 by Summer Kramer

Comments

Sarah

Sarah said:

Hi, I suffer severe scalp seborrheic dermatitis. Do you think the salt would help? How would you soak your scalp, bathtub? How much salt would you add? Thank you

Summer

Summer said:

Hi Sarah!

That is a wonderful question. I too suffer from seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp as well, so I can empathize with what you are dealing with. What I have done is actually mix the salt solution up in a measuring cup and pour it on my hair/scalp right when I get in the shower and let is sit for a few minutes, then wash my hair as normal.

A bath soak would work as well, I just don’t find baths to be as practical because I don’t have time to take a bath each day. It took a few days of using the salt water twice a day get a handle on my initial flare, but then I was able to go to once a day for maintenance. I am now experimenting with using an apple cider vinegar solution as well.

I hope this is helpful, but please feel free to reach out to me directly at info@yoursummerskin.com if you would like to chat more. Also, I would encourage you to join our Facebook Group – the SUMMERSKIN Society.
xo
Summer

MJ

MJ said:

I have seborrheic dermatitis on my eyebrow down to the bridge of my nose, as well as around my ear lobes. How do you “soak” your face? Thank you?

Summer

Summer said:

Hi MJ,
I apologize for me delayed response. I have seborrheic dermatitis in my eyebrows and nose as well. I know is sounds funny to soak your face, but I actually do just that. I use the same mix and proportions as mentioned in the post, and I mix it in a shallow bowl. Once the salt is dissolved I submerge my face for 10 seconds or so and repeat that a few times. I also then just use my hands to apply more salt water to specific areas that need more.
I hope that this helps, but please feel free to send me an email at info@yoursummerskin.com if you would like to chat more about it.
Summer

susan

susan said:

Hi,
Have tried it all and this is the only treatment that has gentley and completely cleared my facial dermatitis which was very moderate around the corners or my mouth; lips and under my nose. I am afraid to stop my once a day routine with the salt water rinse for fear it will come back. I am hoping to keep my skin condition under control with a few weekly rinses with the sea salt and the aveeno excema daily cream which I love too.
Please keep me updated on long term use of the salt water and if anyone has completely reversed this ugly and embarassing skin condition.
thank you.

susan

susan said:

Hi again,
I have not used my sea salt in two days and see some reddening and couple of flakes; I have been doing the treatment lx day for about 10 days; is it too soon to be doing every couple of days? should I continue daily indefinitely? I have made a spray bottle of the mix to spray my face with in the shower. How often do you use the sea salt rinse? I hae been using the aveeno exzema lotion too and I have sensitive skin but it works well.
thanks in advance for your help.
susan

CH

CH said:

Hi Summer,
How long did it take to see a noticeable difference with the sea salt rinses? I started my rinses a couple days ago.

Thanks!
CH

Sonya Summer

Sonya Summer said:

I just wanted to thank you for this informative and helpful blog! I am 15 days dermatitis free! I use Minera dead sea salt every morning and before I retire for the night. I only apply Aveeno excema therapy lotion if I have a dry spot on my face. I no longer have to dred getting up in the morning and afraid to look in the mirror. I am elated!!

Summer

Summer said:

Hi Susan,

I apologize for the very delayed response. I too have made a spray bottle for convenience, and I believe that the treatment is indefinite as there is no known complete cure for seborrheic dermatitis. However, this natural treatment feels like a cure, or at least remission. I have been able to go down to treatments once per day, but notice that in times of stress or harsh weather, I need to go back to twice a day until the flare subsides.
I hope this is helpful, but please keep us posted!
Summer

Summer

Summer said:

Hi CH,

I’m so happy to hear that you have tried the therapy. I definitely noticed a difference within a week of using the salt water rinses, but I would also clarify that with it would depend on your starting point. Please keep us posted on your progress!
Summer

Summer

Summer said:

Hi Sonja!

You absolutely made my day! I completely understand your feeling and elation!! I can remember when I realized that this treatment was working for me and I would be able to get off my steroids, and I just wanted to cry from happiness.
I have been using this for about a year and a half now, and I have been able to adjust the therapy from twice a day to once a day. However, I have noticed that in times of higher stress, weather changes or if I swim in chlorinated water, I need to go back to the twice a day regimen.
Please keep us all posted, as we love success stories!!
xo
Summer

Naz

Naz said:

I am getting married after 3 weeks and the eczema is killing me, i tried alot of stuff that was told to me to use but it got my face worse and i am left with multi colored face ?. I am going to try this advice plus i got soo motivated after reading the comments so i will try it out and update you. I have one question thou, I can’t find the Aveeno Eczema Threpy Moisturizing Cream here in Sweden can I continue using my Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer ?

Thanks ?

Ericia Gaskins

Ericia Gaskins said:

How do you use this for your hair though? My daughter has terrible seborrhic dermatitis on her scalp. She has type 4c hair.

CP

CP said:

Hi Summer,
I have been using this method for about 2 years from a previous article I found online and it totally works for me. I’m curious, though, if you have found a certain type of make-up that is better for this condition. I have always just used “regular” brands but I’m guessing that the mineral types of powder would probably be better for sensitive skin. Any thoughts?

Nav

Nav said:

Soaking in salt water does benefit certain dry skin conditions, such as psoriasis. While even ordinary salt is helpful in this regard, Dead Sea Salts may offer some additional level of benefit.

So, a nice facial mist or cleanser consisting of natural spring water and Dead Sea salt will not only be refreshing but will help to reduce the top layer of oil on your skin.

Thanks,
Nav

Connie

Connie said:

Hi Summer, I wanted to know if you’re still having success with the dead sea salt. I’m nervous to try the Aveeno moisturizer because my face reacts badly to every moisturizer I’ve ever tried. Do you think it would be too drying for my face to only use the dead sea salt wash? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks! Connie

EKTA P SHAH

EKTA P SHAH said:

Hi, my 3.5 year old son has a black, leathery patch of eczema on his neck that won’t go away (even with a clean diet). What can you recommend?

EKTA P SHAH

EKTA P SHAH said:

Hi Summer, my son has very leathery, dry, rough, discolored eczema on his neck. I am tired of steroids and moisturizers that don’t work and could cause problems later or if stopped. Would you recommend dead sea salt for his neck area? I’m desperate to help him!!

J

J said:

This particular Dead Sea salt that you mentioned
is not sold In the country I am from is it ok to use other Dead Sea salts
Like Westlab or Dead Sea Spa Magik

Thank you

Alicia

Alicia said:

Hey I’m wondering if you can use some of the scented Dead Sea salts. Or is the unseats best. I have vintiligo and Just recently used a combination of products on my hair that burnt my scalp and now have sorbiatic dermatitis and nothing is getting rid of it. It has also spread to my ears, nose, and under my lashes. But I love scented things and would love to purchase a scented bag.

Candy

Candy said:

When u use this on ur face do u just splash it on? I don’t want to get in my eyes

Rita

Rita said:

I have tried this on my scalp. I put the salt in a small spray bottle with warm water until the salt is desolved. Then I spray it on my scalp. I leave it on for about 20 min and wash my hair. Seems to be working so far.

Jeanie

Jeanie said:

Hi! I have seborrheic dermatitis everywhere I can possibly have an oil gland! For the past few months, my scalp has become unmanageable. All my seborrheic dermatitis is flared up due to a mast cell storm. I have of course tried all the usual prescribed and suggested treatments with no lasting success. I read all the posts regarding using the mineral salts for scalp. It’s mentioned each time to soak and then shampoo as usual. Silly question, but does this mean with a regular shampoo??? Thanks for the clarification. Until recently, I had only had a scalp problems once—dandruff for one brief few days arounds age twelve.

Zamzamzam

Zamzamzam said:

Since I started using dead sea salt, my sebboreic dermatitis has improved by lets say 80%. I was very skeptical before but it actually worked.

Mark Floyd

Mark Floyd said:

Aloha I have been suffering from saborea dermatitis , I believe it was the result of a bad accident when I was younger that put stress on my nervous system to say the least, I noticed not too long after my accident I started getting these weird patches, Stripes almost across my scalp then later on in life and I believe due to diet and stress I started noticing red patches on my face sometimes it would get so bad that it was raw and red looking on my face like a really bad sunburn I was able to maintain it through steroid creams but I know that’s not good for you and it’s only a temporary fix through no change of my way of living the redness and itchiness on my face have dissipated though I sometimes get it in my eyebrows and a little bit around my nose but now for probably the last year my scalp has been out of control completely covered with patches of skin an gets dry and Flaky and very itchy at times sometimes oily and thick I know it’s gross and discomforting and very embarrassing also now I have these dry scaly patches in my ears, it is gross and irritating everyday I get home from a long day of work I carefully clean and remove the dry patchy skin from my ears a lot of times afterwards secretes oils sometimes dry and bleeding. Ive applied tea tree oil an other remedies that help but get busy an forget to apply it everyday as I should..I live in Hawaii which is very humid and I don’t know if that has something to do with my worsening condition but maybe the moist atmosphere makes it worse I tried all different remedies to no avail but the one thing that I’ve always noticed and this is why I I am interested in this blog about the Dead Sea salt because I used to Surf all the time and aside from getting too much sun sometimes and causing my face to flare up I never had skin issues on my scalp , I don’t get to go to the beach as much as I should even though I live close because I’m so busy working to live here but when I do get to go in the ocean it really helps my scalp I told myself if I could only get to the ocean once a day to swim around it might help my scalp problem, I really want to try this remedy that you are speaking of and hopes that it will control this. So if you read this thank you for reading my personal problems and thank you for your information I hope this will help, I hope one day we can find a final solution to this problem instead of a temporary fix and how to balance our systems to fight whatever imbalances causes seborrheic dermatitis.. aloha an thanks again for your information 🤙

Olaf

Olaf said:

Hi Summer,

I’ve just started using this Dead Salt therapy for my facial seborrheic dermatitis. I noticed that I have a lot of dead skin sitting on my face. I can just wipe it off (when my face is wet) but I think that will only make the condition worse. How do you deal with this? Do you use the exfoliating cloth for that? And how do you use that?

amelia

amelia said:

I started getting facial eczema a year after i gave birth to my son. My face would get very red, swollen, oozing, dry and flaky. I started doing the dead sea salt soaks after coming back from a month long vacation where a beach was always near by. It only took 2 days of soaking by the beach and my facial eczema cleared. I came back to Canada and I started flaring up again. I came across this site and boy am I glad that I did.
I started doing my salt soaks in February of this year. It’s been 2 months and my face is clear. I still get very itchy but it wouldn’t leave a mark like before. I also started adding Apple cider vinegar and i find it heals me faster. I would leave it on for 20-30mins and rinse. I also use aloe vera (actual plant) masks and this helps hydrate my skin after soaking. I know my eczema will never go away, but i’m glad that i can cotrol it with salt soaks. Thanks for putting up this helpful site.

Colette van der Merwe

Colette van der Merwe said:

Hi

I had an unusual incident of seborrheic dermatitis. I spent so much money trying to cure it. This was the only treatment that worked after 3 rinses it cleared up.

Jerald

Jerald said:

I have had s.d. for 15 years. For half that time i just used topical corticosteroids creams. I found the benefits of sea salt and being miserable, desperate and poor. I dropped the creams and soaps for my face and started using table sea salt. I found just hopping in the shower, wetting a wash cloth, pouring a handful of cheap, fine ground sea salt used for cooking and scrubbing it directly onto my face and more for the scalp, works great. Once every day or two. Has been working since.

Linn

Linn said:

Hi. I read that someone soak their skin in dead sea salt mixed with water, then wash it off and others use it as a facial toner, and dont wash it off, why so? and why wash it of when it can be used as a toner?

thanks:)

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