The mills are working at full capacity, crushing seeds and roots, and precious infusions with flower petals are being prepared in the tanks. The beauty salon is crowded, customers sit on stone seats waiting for their turn to experience the miracles of cosmetics made in that large laboratory, with the products that nature offers, salts and muds. It seems a common scene as can be seen today in specialized centers and spas, except that this is a reconstruction by historians and archeologists of what could have happened in the first century BC on the shores of the Dead Sea. Yes, because archeological excavations have allowed to bring to light what was probably the first beauty salon in history, which belonged to none other than the fascinating queen of Egypt Cleopatra thanks to the intercession of Antonio, who made sure that Cleopatra was sold a region of the Dead Sea precisely for the exploitation of its incredible resources. And the queen of Egypt, it is said, loved the salts of the Dead Sea, which she often used to treat itching, to make the skin supple, hydrated and radiant and to relieve pain and stiffness. Here is another of her beauty and health secrets finally revealed! But we too can easily exploit this secret. So, let's see how to create Cleopatra's bath salts at home, so that we can close our eyes and immerse ourselves in the folds of history, at the court of the most mysterious and fascinating woman celebrated by books, to feel ourselves kings and queens. But first, let's see what the science says about bath salts!
Bath salts, properties
Bath salts are a product used for the preparation of hot baths with an anti-inflammatory, relaxing and detoxifying action and useful for making the skin more hydrated and soft. These salts, as the name suggests, are made up of different types of salt, such as sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium sulphate, which are enriched with other ingredients, such as, for example, plant based and essential oils. The different salts with which the bath salts are made also give the final product different properties since they have a different composition. For example, Dead Sea salt is rich in magnesium and has interesting anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, studies have observed that baths with Dead Sea salt helped in the case of atopic dermatitis, increasing skin hydration, reducing redness and replenishing the skin's protective barrier (Proksch et al, Int J Dermatol, 2005 ). Not only that, a bath with Dead Sea salts can also help in case of joint pain and joint stiffness (Sukenik et al, Clin Exp Rheumatol, 1990). When it comes to bath salts, however, the ingredient we often think of is Epsom salts. Epsom salts are made up of magnesium sulfate and, thanks to this characteristic, they act by reducing muscle tension, promote relaxation and also help to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it soft and luminous (Bianchini et al, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2012). Bath salts can also be prepared with whole sea salt, useful to fight skin infections (Petersen et al, Pediatr dermatol, 2015). Finally, do not forget that the use of salt dissolved in water counteracts stagnation and retention since it increases the osmotic pressure between the liquid in which one is immersed and the fluids of the body, thus stimulating the circulation and drainage of liquids (Connor et al, Biol Sport, 2021).
Homemade bath salts, the recipe
In a bowl pour three tablespoons of salt. For example, if you have skin problems such as dermatitis, irritation or hives it may be interesting to choose Dead Sea Salt, in case of fatigue, muscle pain and stiffness you can try Epsom salts, alternatively sea salt is also good, as well as a mixture of several types of salt.
Then, you can add the essential oils. For example, 4-5 drops of lavender essential oil or the same amount of sweet orange essential oil if you want to obtain a relaxing effect, useful against anxiety (Goes et al, J Altern Complement Med, 2012). In case of skin irritation but also mycosis, such as athlete's foot, you can instead add 3-4 drops of tea tree essential oil (Nenoff et al, Skin Pharmacol, 1996). Do you have muscle or joint pain? The essential oils of cinnamon and ginger come to your aid, 2 drops per essence, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action (Funk et al, PharmaNutrition., 2016 - Zhao et al, Molecules, 2021). Do you have dry and dehydrated skin? You can also add to the salts a teaspoon of sweet almond oil or jojoba oil, which have a moisturizing action. Stir and add to the tub water. Now you can immerse in the water and give yourself a real pampering of beauty and health!