What is a Salt Scrub?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2019
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A salt scrub is a formulation of salt and other ingredients which is used to exfoliate dead skin from the body, leaving fresh skin behind and nourishing that skin with herbal ingredients. Salt scrubs are often sold in bath stores and drug stores so that people can apply them at home, and salt scrubs are also offered as body treatments in spas. In addition to purchasing packaged salt scrubs, consumers can also make their own, if they want to experiment with ingredients and textures.

Regular exfoliation promotes healthy, glowing skin by removing layers of detritus and dead material all at once. A number of body products are designed for exfoliation, including sugar scrubs and scrubs with ingredients like ground nutshells and loofah. Most salt scrubs should not be used on people with sensitive skin, since salt can be abrasive and harsh; you may want to test a small patch of salt scrub on your skin before doing your whole body. Users can control the level of exfoliation by altering the grain of the salt used. It is possible to find very fine salt scrubs which use carefully ground salts, along with much more coarse scrubs with large grains which will deeply penetrate, removing more dead skin.


Most salt scrubs use sea salt or Dead Sea salts, rather than rock salt mined from under the Earth. Various salts have differing amounts of trace minerals which can help to nourish the skin while it is scrubbed, and Dead Sea salts in particular are prized for their cosmetic and skin soothing value. The salts are then combined with herbal ingredients to create a desired scent or to promote healthy skin. These ingredients can include things like lavender, rosemary, orange peels, figs, lemons, lemongrass, herb blends, spices, and seaweed, though not all together.

Once the salt and herb blend is created, a salt scrub can be applied as-is or mixed with a small amount of oil to create a paste which is rubbed onto the skin. The trick with a salt scrub is only applying a small amount of salt at a time, ensuring the the skin is thoroughly scraped. A thick handful of salt can be less effective, because the grains of salt transfer their energy to each other, rather to the skin. The oil and herbal ingredients in the salt scrub help to polish the skin while it is being exfoliated.

Spas sometimes refer to salt scrubs as salt glows or polishes because they often leave the skin with a hint of a shimmer. A salt glow can also be an invigorating experience for spa clients, especially when invigorating herbal ingredients like lemons are used. After a salt scrub has been applied, a crust of salt and herbs is left on the body, and most people prefer to quickly shower to remove this layer of detritus. After showering, a moisturizing body butter, oil, or cream can be applied to nourish the skin after the brisk effects of the scrub, and in a spa a salt scrub may be followed by a body wrap or a massage, if a client requests these services.


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Post 1

Like the article says, if you have sensitive skin be careful! Also if you are at the spa having a salt scrub done, don't be afraid to tell the person if they are scrubbing too hard! I made that mistake and ended up with a burning sensation for hours instead of a relaxing afternoon!

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