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Does Salt Therapy Live Up to Its Claims? What You Need to Know
Skincare treatments are constantly evolving, and we’re always looking to explore the latest and the greatest trends.
As an added bonus, some of these treatments extend beyond the skincare factor and tap into our emotional health.
They can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, contributing to our overall well-being.
Top-notch skin and a better mood? We’ll take it!
Needless to say, this treatment is clearly making its rounds!
Salt therapy is one of these lovely dual-effect treatments, and it’s certainly having its shining moment in the skincare world.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you will likely have some pressing questions.
After all, before jumping headfirst into a new skin treatment, it’s always wise to do your homework!
So don’t worry, lovelies - I’m here to tell you everything you need to know.
I’ve done salt therapy with my boys and I want to share my experience with you!
We’ll start by discussing the history of salt therapy, and how the process works.
We’ll also talk about what to expect at your first session.
Then, we’ll delve into ways that you can create your own salt therapy experience right in your bedroom.
Finally, we’ll get into what you’re really looking for - the benefits of salt therapy on your skin and general health.
When we’re done here, you might be well on your way to discovering your new favorite treatment!
So, are you ladies ready?
Let’s do this!
What Is Salt Therapy?
Dry salt therapy, or halotherapy, is a holistic, drug-free, natural therapy using microparticles of salt.
The process involves sitting in a “salt room” for an hour or more.
Coming from “halo,” the Greek word for salt, the treatment is said to promote optimal health and wellness.
Since it’s a natural alternative therapy, salt therapy is a safe and non-invasive process.
This therapy is used in the medical field, and also in the spa industry all over the world.
When it comes to benefits, the treatment is particularly valuable for lung health.
This is why salt therapy is popular among people with asthma, cystic fibrosis, and many other respiratory and skin conditions.
It’s often used to treat children with asthma, as some believe that it reduces the need for prescription medications.
But wait - there’s more!
Along with boosting lung health, salt therapy is linked to a variety of other health-related benefits.
Where Did Salt Therapy Come From?
Salt therapy is essentially a modern spin on the Eastern European tradition of spending time in natural salt caves for health.
Polish physician Dr. Boczkowski was the first to raise awareness around the health benefits of salt caves in 1843.
He came to his conclusions after observing the good health of salt miners in the Wieliczka salt mines.
Specifically, he noticed that these workers had fewer respiratory problems than others - which he linked to the inhalation of salt dust.
Following these claims, a halotherapy therapeutic spa was developed in Poland.
As the phenomenon grew, healers and philosophers continued to recommend the process to treat respiratory-related problems.
Fast-forward to today, and this trendy process is all over the world - and continues to expand in popularity!
What’s the Purpose of Salt Therapy?
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to dig a little deeper.
All trendiness aside, what does salt therapy truly have to offer?
While certain benefits may vary per person, the ultimate goal of salt therapy is to leave you feeling rejuvenated.
Just how rejuvenated, you ask?
The results are often compared to the effect of spending time near the ocean - and that beachside ambiance offers some serious advantages.
According to Reader’s Digest, salt air is linked to a range of benefits.
These include boosted immunity, clearer skin, and improved respiratory conditions.
The theory is that one hour in the salt room is equal to about a day at the beach - and experts say that it can equal up to three times as much!
Experiencing a day at the beach without the hassle of planning a trip?
We’ll take it!
So, How Does Salt Therapy Work?
Intrigued but intimidated by the salt therapy process?
Let’s break it down, shall we?
The process works by creating a squeaky-clean environment, with controlled temperature and humidity.
This allows salt particles to diffuse naturally from the walls into the air.
When you breathe in the salty air, salt molecules enter the lungs and break down - which then release the negative ions.
The negative ions then stimulate airway linings, which helps clear up mucus and boost immune response.
People with chronic respiratory conditions lack sodium chloride in their airway linings, and salt therapy helps to resolve this issue.
Ellen Patrick, co-founder of Breathe Salt Rooms in New York, explained further to InStyle:
“The natural healing qualities of salt are that it’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. These qualities are what make salt an effective method of relieving a number of respiratory issues like congestion from eczema or mucus from a cold virus.”
Along with clearing the airways, the salt can clear up a variety of skin conditions - such as psoriasis and eczema.
Plus, the release of negative ions can have a mood-boosting effect - and we’re always down for a little pick-me-up!
How Do I Prepare for Salt Therapy?
No prep work? No problem!
There’s essentially no preparation required for a salt room visit, as the treatment is a safe option with minimal reported side effects.
However, experts suggest skipping the shower until post-salt sesh for an added benefit.
Since salt is a drying agent, the combo of residue and water can help soften skin and act as an exfoliant!
What Should I Expect During Salt Therapy?
Ready to give salt therapy a whirl?
Here’s a little sneak peek at what you’ll get.
While some facilities are salt room-only, others offer additional treatments such as massages.
Generally, treatment sessions last about an hour.
However, several facilities offer shorter sessions combined with other treatments.
Feeling shy? Not a problem.
Most facilities offer the option to go solo or opt for a group room.
As for the atmosphere, expect a zen-like vibe with low lighting and soothing music.
These faux-caves typically have sea salt bricks lining the walls, with a looser grain of salt on the floor.
Many spaces also have salt lamps, which are often clustered in a salt “fireplace” to give off a soothing glow.
As for the effects, this often varies per person.
You may notice a difference immediately after leaving the room, or you may observe stronger results after multiple visits.
Pro tip: Be sure to moisturize post-session to ensure that your skin doesn’t get dehydrated.
Can I Do Salt Therapy Myself?
Down for a little DIY?
You’re in luck.
You can totally snag the benefits of salt therapy in the comfort of your own home.
All you’ll need to do is purchase a salt inhaler.
Here’s how it works:
Himalayan salt crystals are placed between the porcelain filters of the device.
When you inhale, the salt particles pass into your respiratory system.
This helps to cleanse and flush away any impurities.
You can also buy a Himalayan salt crystal lamp, which comes in an illuminated pink or peach-colored tower.
Salt lamps are made from salt crystals, obtained from 250-million-year-old deposits in the Himalayan region.
In one study, salt lamps were shown to increase the negative ion count of the surrounding air up to 600%.
Plus, let’s be honest - that beautiful pink glow is seriously difficult to pass up!
What Can Salt Therapy Do for My Skin?
Got a pesky skin issue, such as rashes or acne?
Salt therapy can come to the rescue!
Pure mineral salts can help attract moisture to the skin.
Since minerals are crucial for cell function and detoxification, these salts have some seriously strong rejuvenating powers.
Plus, those suffering from inflammatory issues like eczema and psoriasis can also benefit from the treatment.
“These skin conditions are autoimmune conditions and are inflammatory,” explained Ellen Patrick, co-founder of Breathe Salt Rooms in New York to InStyle. “The salt acts as an anti-inflammatory and a very gentle defoliant, helping slough off the dead skin so the new healed skin can come out.”
Even if you don’t have a pressing skin issue, salt therapy can also improve skin over time by acting as an exfoliant.
By shedding dead cells, this helps to promote healthy oil production.
Many people also believe that it can leave skin significantly smoother and fight signs of aging.
Are There Other Health Benefits?
The benefits of salt therapy are largely linked to its super sterile environment.
Breathing in salt particles is said to help reduce inflammation in the lungs and clear mucus, as well as potentially boost lung capacity.
Ulle Pukk, the founder of Salt Chamber Inc., explains it this way:
"Kinetically activated dry salt particles are like an army of janitors helping to detox the respiratory system."
So if you’re suffering from allergies or a never-ending cold, salt therapy can be a good option to clear things up.
Others suggest it can also ease smoking-related symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Salt therapy can also do wonders for your mental health.
A 2014 study from the Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine surveyed 300 people in Poland, and a whopping 93 percent reported that they felt better and more relaxed after approximately 3 salt cave sessions.
As I mentioned in the intro, I gave salt therapy a try for myself recently, and brought my boys along for the ride!
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any huge improvements in their asthma and allergies.
However, I do think it helped Eli clear out a small mucus cough that he had for three weeks.
With no negative side effects and some added fun for the kids, I encourage you to give it a try yourself.
Everyone is different, and certain people may experience more benefits than others.
Plus, salt therapy offers a more accessible solution for when you can’t make it all the way to the beach for the weekend.
Of course, the process shouldn’t necessarily replace traditional methods of treatment.
When it comes to chronic respiratory issues, your doctor should always be your first stop.
However, if you’re dealing with a cold or allergies, it could be just the rejuvenating relief you need.
Overall, breathing in salty air can add a new refreshing spin to your everyday skincare routine.
Have you tried salt therapy? How did it work for you? Let us know about your experience in the comments!