The big thing in skin care products nowadays are Dead Sea minerals. Many skin experts and beauty consultants swear by the benefits that it has for your skin especially those affected by chronic skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis.
The actual Dead Sea is located between Jordan and Israel and many have visited the area seeking a cure for their health aliments by bathing in the sea.
In fact, for many centuries it was used as a type of skin therapy (Baumann, 2009). Supposedly it has positive benefits in alleviate acne, contact dermatitis, ichthyosis, rosacea, just to name a few.
Scientific Evidence in Dead Sea Salt/Minerals Benefits
There are plenty of scientific evidence that balenotherapy (therapeutic effects of bathing in the Dead Sea) can help relieve many skin disorders. Many of the tests were focused on psoriasis clients and results showed that there is a high success rate in its effectiveness. What is interesting is that balnotherapy is sometimes combined with climatotheraphy, a gradual exposure of affected skin lesions to the sun (Dead Sea Wonder of Nature, 2010).
Regardless of these remarkable results, climatotherapy is effective in treating atopic dermatitis (eczema) to a lesser extent compared to psoriasis (Baumann, 2009). It is still beneficial to most skin disorders. Here are some facts:
- Dead sea is a reservoir of Dead Sea salts containing minerals such as magnesium (anti-inflammatory) and sulfur-containing mud. – Promotes reduction in skin roughness.
- Compared to other oceans and Seas, the Dead Sea has the most abundant of magnesium, calcium, bromide, potassium, sodium and carbonate which contributes to its healing properties (Pindak, 2009). And it is low in sulfate.
Issues with Dead Sea Minerals
I find it is a hit or miss among several brands that have products containing Dead Sea Minerals. Some have worked well with my Eczema, while others did not. I believe it could be the other ingredients that are affecting my Eczema as many Dead Sea products have other ingredients and not just Dead Sea minerals . I notice that many of them contain fragrance (sometimes very strong) even though it is stated on the packaging that there isn’t any.
I always stay away from fragrance in any product because it is one of my triggers for flare-ups. I do question some these other ingredients because all I really care is the true Dead Sea mineral benefits. Make sure to check the listed ingredient so none of them will trigger an allergic reaction or flare-up.
Where can I find Dead Sea Mineral Products?
There are a couple places where you can find Dead Sea mineral products. Some are sold in health food stores, kiosk in malls and privately online. However they can differ in terms of their target market.
Note – Many Dead Sea Minerals products are either in scrub or body butter (thicker than cream) form, as great as it would be to bathe in the dead sea.
KIOSK IN MALLS
They are companies that have their own kiosk in malls like Orogold. Often, the sales person will make an effort to pull you in so they can rub a sample of their Dead Sea salt scrub onto your hands. You will notice they are very pushy sales people. I was pulled in once into the kiosk area and they scrub in the substance onto my skin. Then they sprayed off the salt scrub with some water and then applying their company’s body butter. It did make my hand feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom but they did have to use a lot of it and they end up telling you that you can use very little of it on your body. In my opinion you will go through it quickly, so cost is pretty high for the average consumer.
I notice for any Dead Sea salt salesperson, as soon as you tell them you have eczema, they will always say it is perfect for it! That is my issue right there. These companies have an excellent concept of Dead Sea minerals but it is not rightfully made for skin care. I believe it is more of a beauty line for those with no skin issues.
Scrub Fight: Obey Your Body VERSUS Orogold
I have tried both the Scrub and Body Butter products from Obey Your Body. Their slogan is the Original Dead Sea Minerals. The substance in the Scrub is a sugary-like substance that had some essential oils which didn’t aggravate my skin at all. It was not bad. The downside for me is the cost for a 250ml container. It is so easy to go through it.
On the other hand OroGold scrub is an actual salt scrub that has bigger granules, so it’s more abrasive than a sugar scrub which possibly results in more stinging in any open sores especially in Eczema sufferers. It could also make our Eczema skin worse by scrubbing too much layers off the skin which can delay in our skin healing. I would only use this if our Eczema is settled as I did find Orogold scrub very useful on my foot and hands where I hardly have any eczema.
The interesting thing I notice is that the ingredients has Sea Salt listed and not Dead Sea Salt as the salesperson told me. Also the scrub is infused with 24 karat gold and herb extract, which they say provides extra benefits to the skin. In my opinion and from being a researcher, I would not hold this to be true until I do some digging on the benefits of infused gold in body scrubs, but not in this article.
They do mentioned that the scrub is perfect for people who work with their hands such as dishwashers, nurses and doctors and that the hands will stay moisturized even after couple washes. This may be true but it would not be useful to those of us with hand eczema. In this case, the cost outweighs the benefit for Eczema.
Body Butters Accompaniment
Both companies also provide their versions of body butter and I found both not too be too bad. Obey Your Body Body Butter comes in different types like Kiwi & Ocean and does contain Dead Sea Minerals unlike OroGold version. The issue I have is that they all contain fragrance which I found one of them to be too perfumy. Source of the fragrance is questionable as I know Obey Your Body does contain essential oils.
I would prefer if it had essential oils or NO fragrance at all since fragrance can irritate my Eczema. These may be better suited for non-Eczema sufferers as they are other choices or follow my directions by making your own body butter in order to save money in the long run.
Other Lines of Dead Sea Minerals
Other companies that offer Dead Sea minerals product lines are Adovia Inc., Ahava, Health & Beauty Dead Sea Minerals, Kawar, La Cure. Usually these companies have separate products including hand/body lotions, cleansing mud masks, mineral mud soaps, body exfoliants, night creams, sunscreens and shampoos.
One company that was recommended and that has been getting good reviews is Premier. They have also a scrub and body butter line as seen below.(I will include a review here soon). I personally haven’t tried it yet but I am willing to test it in the near future, *except for its body butter since it is scented.
Are Dead Sea Minerals Product a Cure for Eczema?
They are Dead Sea treatments offered at spas as treatment whereas some are offered in products such as Vichy Thermal Water and La Roche-Posay Spa Water according to Dr. Baumann (2009). However a research paper from Dr. Baumann state that it is still unclear in the effectiveness of several products that are advertised boastfully to have curative powers of the Dead Sea minerals. In other words, these other products may not have similar benefits but can still contribute to skin moisture. To use these in conjunction with treatments to other skin disorders is questionable and requires more research.
My Final Thoughts and a Dead Sea Package to TRY!Understand that most of the Dead Sea Minerals products on the market are not catered to Eczema sufferers. The time I did try it then, the sales consultant all told me it was perfect for Eczema. I was young and desperate for a relief from Eczema that time, so I didn’t hesitate to try them. I found a majority did not work very well on my Eczema skin but it did work well in areas where I didn’t have severe Eczema like my hands and feet. It may be more suitable for those with minor Eczema or no Eczema at all.
But there is one Company called Yaffa, that seem to work well on my Eczema and their Dead Sea Mineral package is actually catered to Eczema!! They also have a package for Psoriasis as well. Click here for my review on Yaffa’s Eczema Dead Sea Minerals Product.