What Are Dead Sea Creams?

C. Mitchell

Dead Sea creams are lotions made with minerals mined from the Dead Sea, a salt water body located between Israel and Jordan. Sitting deep below sea level the Dead Sea contains the highest salinity content of almost any water on earth. It also houses many ancient mineral deposits that are well renowned for their health and restorative benefits. Bathers have been soaking in the Dead Sea for centuries in pursuit of softer, younger looking skin, among other things. Cosmetics manufacturers have tried to capture some of the Dead Sea’s skin benefits by incorporating sea minerals into various products, including creams.

A woman using Dead Sea hand cream.
A woman using Dead Sea hand cream.

Most Dead Sea creams are rich moisturizing lotions that are augmented with mineral compounds from either the water or the silt and sediment of the sea bed. The Dead Sea is home to many elements that are otherwise hard to find, or at least expensive to mine and not readily available. Minerals from the Dead Sea are also unique in that they have gone through a process of saturation, then drying, sometimes repeatedly.

The Dead Sea has elements that are otherwise hard to find.
The Dead Sea has elements that are otherwise hard to find.

The Dead Sea is so named because its salt content is so intense that sea life simply cannot survive in its waters. Every year, the salt concentration rises as water is lost to evaporation. The Dead Sea is fed by the Jordan River, but is located in an extraordinarily hot, arid climate. Though not always noticeable, the sea loses more than it gains in most years. This both concentrates the presence of salts and other minerals in the water and exposes new mineral beds as the waterline recedes.

So-called Dead Sea cosmetics have become popular in recent years as a way for people all over the world to experience a bit of the sea without having to travel. In Dead Sea creams, cosmetics manufacturers charge skin lotions with any number of the minerals found and mined from the seabed. Creams range from general body lotions to hand creams, eye creams, and Dead Sea facial care masks.

Most Dead Sea creams are marketed as having anti-aging properties, and most are naturally vehicles of intense skin hydration. Creams packaged as Dead Sea facial products tend to be very popular because of these perceived benefits. The Dead Sea is home to a number of different mineral compounds, many of which do contribute to skin softening, smoothing, and moisturizing. Many also have anti-aging properties by virtue of their ability to reflect light and protect against some UV rays.

Mineral concentrations in the water are necessarily much higher than in a packaged lotion, however. How much mineral to include in Dead Sea creams is largely a matter of discretion for the manufacturer. Whether a lotion made with Dead Sea minerals will actually impart the benefits promised depends as much on which minerals are included as it does on their percentages.

Still, almost any contact with Dead Sea minerals is likely to have at least temporary benefits, particularly when packaged in a rich cream. In most cases, Dead Sea creams start out as rich almond oil or cocoa butter body creams. Cosmetics manufacturers will then add the minerals to these bases, which only amplifies their effects.

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