Dead Sea cosmetics are made from ingredients taken from the actual Dead Sea, located near the borders of Jordan and Israel. Cosmetic suppliers use the salt and minerals found in the ocean to create beauty products that are purportedly good for the skin. Since this particular body of water has an abundance of salt and minerals due to its unique physical properties, millions of tourists travel to the sea each year for bathing and mineral-gathering purposes.
Ocean cosmetics are not new. The ancient Egyptians used the minerals and salts from the Dead Sea to create mummification balms and cosmetics. Several modern companies claim that Cleopatra used the Dead Sea's minerals for cosmetic purposes as well. Some people believe that ingredients from the Dead Sea, when combined with lotions and balms, can decrease wrinkles, help clear up acne and eczema, and relieve joint pain.
There are many manufacturers of designer cosmetics and cheap cosmetics that claim to use minerals from the Dead Sea in their products. It is difficult to determine which suppliers are merely using the name of the sea and which ones actually get their minerals directly from the Dead Sea. Since the ocean is world renowned for its therapeutic and beautifying effects, simply using the Dead Sea name can help to increase interest in a makeup line.
The tourism industry surrounding the Dead Sea area advertises mud baths and salt soaks. Facial mud masks made from Dead Sea minerals are especially popular in the cosmetics industry. Products marketed as "antiaging" are also quite common. Companies sometimes market these products as "all natural," but the consumer should be aware that they might also contain synthetic ingredients, so it's important to read labels carefully.
Genuine Dead Sea cosmetics tend to be expensive. The supplier must be based near the Dead Sea, which is in the Middle East. The first recorded, modern Dead Sea cosmetics marketing effort was by a spa technician named Ziva Gilad. He started a makeup company in 1988 after seeing female tourists bring home Dead Sea mud.
Several scientific studies have focused on the effects of applying Dead Sea cosmetics to the skin. A few of these studies are ongoing. Scientists conducting psoriasis, cancer, rheumatism, and UV exposure studies are researching the efficacy of Dead Sea salts for treatment programs. Some of the results have been positive, due to the exceptionally high concentration of minerals. Human skin easily absorbs ingredients and minerals, so it is important that people are aware of what they are applying.