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What are Dead Sea Salts?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Dead Sea salts are mineral salts extracted from the Dead Sea, a unique body of water located between Israel and Jordan. The Dead Sea has been a source of interest for thousands of years, as it is a remarkable place, and people have been bathing in its waters for health benefits for centuries. It is possible to find pure Dead Sea salts for sale, along with a number of products which incorporate the salts. Study on the composition of the Dead Sea has suggested that its unique salts may indeed carry health benefits, especially for people with skin conditions such as psoriasis.

The formation of the Dead Sea began millions of years ago, when the Sea was initially connected to the Red Sea. Over the centuries, the Dead Sea began to sink, because it is located at the boundary between two tectonic plates which are pulling apart. The only way that water escapes from the Dead Sea is through evaporation, and the sea is supplied by the River Jordan. It seems that the unique concentration of salts in the Dead Sea has been in existence for a very long time, since travelers have written about the unique region in very ancient accounts.

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The salinity of the Dead Sea can sometimes approach up to 30%. This high salinity makes the Sea a popular bathing spot, since people will float like corks in the water, rather than sinking. The salts also tend to precipitate out to the bottom of the Dead Sea and the shoreline, since the water is so supersaturated. People have been collecting the salts and using them for body care for centuries, along with the unique mud that gathers at the edge of the Dead Sea.

Many people like to add Dead Sea salts to bath water and soak in them, just as if they were bathing in the Dead Sea. The salts are also added to skincare lines, and they pop up in things like exfoliating scrubs, moisturizers, and other skin conditioners. Dead Sea salts appear to be soothing and relieving for skin conditions like eczema and acne as well as psoriasis.

Unfortunately, overutilization of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea's resources has led to an alarming shrinkage of the body of water. This shrinkage began in earnest in the 1960s, when both Israel and Jordan began to rely heavily on the river as a water source. In addition, both nations extract Dead Sea Salts through a series of evaporation ponds, which accelerates the water loss even further. Unless effort is taken to reverse this process, the Dead Sea may not be around much longer, although its salts will endure.

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