As much as we love a good spa treatment, we do highly recommend trying one common spa treatment in your own tub: the skin-soothing soak. You can soak in milk, mud, minerals, or–my favorite–salt water (more on that below!) to help soften skin and relax the mind and body.

Here’s why you might want to opt for a salt water soak: Bathing in salt has been shown to relieve dry, scaly skin symptoms (such as psoriasis) and even help relieve joint and muscle pain. These benefits may be improved with the use of Dead Sea salts. The Dead Sea is ten times saltier than any other sea on Earth and its salts have been reputed to have healing properties since Biblical times.Researchers at the University of Negev, Israel treated 30 patients with psoriasis vulgaris (a condition involving rapidly dividing, overactive cells that causes patchy, scaly skin) with salt baths for twenty minutes each day for three weeks. Half of the patients soaked in common salt water, while the other half were in Dead Sea salt water.

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The Results: Both salt water baths significantly reduced the extent and the severity of the psoriasis, however the Dead Sea salt soak reduced the psoriasis a bit more. Why is this the case? No one knows for sure, but it may be related to the higher concentrations of magnesium, bromide and other ions contained in Dead Sea salt.

If you’re ready to go for it: Limit your soak to about 20 minutes. That is all the time you need to reap the benefits, and soaking too long in salt water can cause dehydration. If Dead Sea salts (found at specialty stores or online) are out of your price range, regular old sea salt works well too! The concentration of salt is really up to you, but add enough to the water that it tastes as salty as the ocean.

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Bottom LineSoaking in salt baths are a great and affordable way to soothe dry, scaly skin. Whether you choose to go to a spa or create a spa-like atmosphere in your own home, you should consider a salt (or even better, Dead Sea salt!) bath to treat your skin and body.

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For more science-based beauty tips check out the Beauty Brains!