Although majority of the cosmetic brands in the beauty world today have several products that are based on Dead Sea minerals, little is known about the beneficial effects of these products. If you have had the opportunity to incorporate a Dead Sea mud mask in your skin or hair care routine, you know the kind of magic it can pull. The article unravels the facts about Dead Sea mud masks and their capabilities without forgetting the myths and fantasies that most of us have heard through the grapevine.
Dead Sea mineral based-products were first introduced in the beauty world in the 1960s. However, it is believed that the legendary Queen Cleopatra used Dead Sea minerals in her beauty routine. Stories from the ancient world present Cleopatra as the most beautiful woman of her time. She commanded the beauty industry to manufacture cosmetic products with the ingredients that she considered valuable. It is said that Dead Sea minerals were among her wide variety of cosmetic products. In fact, a substantial number of archaeologists believe that remains of her Dead Sea cosmetic factories are still present at the Dead Sea shores.
As manufactures re-introduced Dead Sea minerals- based products in the market, they used this and other stories to entice consumers. They did not forget to create dreams and fantasies about enhanced skin and hair beauty in the minds of their target audience. For products that carry the word “dead” they had to be careful not to trigger unexpected reactions. The word dead is controversial in a beauty setting. Accordingly, attempting to convince enough people that it carries glory and glamour can be a pain in the neck.
Where Does Dead Sea Mud Mask Come from?
Deas sea mineral are considered to be part of the sea healing agents. In a thesis written by Richard Russel in 1750, the medicinal benefits of sea water are clearly outlined. Dead Sea mud mask is obtained from the Dead Sea. The water body is located somewhere in the Syria-African Rift Valley. The lake’s water is characterized by high levels of salt and chemicals. Patients from all over the world visit the sea and its surroundings in search of cure for diseases such as dermatitis, rheumatic related issues and psoriasis. Some people prefer to bath in the Dead Sea water while others use mud packs that are obtained from the water. Gray and black mud is usually available at the dry beds of the sea. They contain minerals that are high in salinity. The minerals originate from ground water. The lake’s shores host several hot-springs that release sulfide in the water and mud.
The formation of the mud layers that surround the lake took place over 10,000 year ago (Holocene era). Since then, people have been using them for therapeutic purposes. The Dead Sea water is also known for its healing powers. A chemical analysis on the Dead Sea water was first conducted in 1772. It revealed that the water is highly concentrated with alkaline earth salts. In addition, it is rich in calcium and magnesium ions.
A study conducted by Ma’or et al. (2006) revealed that there is more to Dead Sea mud. The consistency of the mud is as fine as clay. 35.6% of the crude mud is made up of water. Besides sulfide, calcium and magnesium ions, other minerals present in Dead Sea mud include chorite, illite, calcite, quartz, palygorskite and kaolinite. The mud is also made up of colony-forming microorganisms. Some of the microorganisms that were discovered in the study include Bacillus, and Clostridium related bacteria.
Dead Sea Minerals Mode of Action
Although the Dead Sea minerals mode of action on human skin is not well established, numerous scientists suggest that they facilitate metabolism. The different ions present in the minerals take up important roles that are controlled by enzymes in the development of a healthy skin. For example, calcium ions are associated with the regulation of cell permeability. Experts argue that minerals are characterized by hygroscopic characteristics. Accordingly, they restore moisture to the skin. They also promote intercellular water capacity in the skin.
The Beauty Benefits of Dead Sea Mud
Dead Sea mud is associated with skin smoothing and anti-wrinkle activity. Many people report that once they apply Dead Sea mud mask, their skin becomes baby’s ass smooth. In an attempt to validate this argument, an experiment was conducted by the Dead Sea Laboratories. They developed a Dead Sea mineral complex and used a European dermatological institute known as Dermatest to compare its results with those of two other products.
A basic gel and an anti-wrinkle gel were the alternative products used in the experiment. Fruit extracts, locust beam gum and glyco-proteins were the active ingredients in the anti-wrinkle gel. The Dead Sea mineral complex was used to enrich the anti-wrinkle gel. The three products were used on 20 female volunteers for a period of 30 days. The women were aged between 20 and 65. The sample involved women with sensitive and normal skin. After the experiment was over, the depth of wrinkles was evaluated. The results revealed that the basic gel had reduced the depth of wrinkles by 11% whereas the rate at which the active gel had reduced the depth of wrinkles was 27%. On the other hand, the enriched anti-wrinkle gel reduced the wrinkle depth at a rate of 40%. Accordingly, it was proven that Dead Sea mud is an effective remedy for wrinkles.
Cures Psoriasis: Dead Sea water and mud are used to treat psoriasis. A randomized study involving 367 individuals suffering from moderate to severe psoriasis was conducted to test the effectiveness of Dead Sea water against the condition. The patients were divided into two groups. The first group was treated with device administered phototherapy while the second group received the same in combination with baths in water that contained Dead Sea Minerals. After 35 sessions, both treatment remedies were effective but the approach that involved Dead Sea minerals produced superior results.
Skin Purification: Dead Sea mud contains minerals that shrink the size of pores found on the human skin. As it lessens the pores, it also draws out toxins from them. It also eliminates dead skin cells. These activities lead to a healthier and glowing skin.
Treats hair: Dead Sea mud is used to treat hair. Its chemical composition provides hair with numerous benefits. In most cases, it is used to reduce hair loss, control dandruff and eliminate scalp impurities. Normally, the mud is used to mask clean hair for bout 15-20 minutes. Later, the hair is rinsed with warm water. It leaves the hair feeling softer and looking healthier.
Treats acne: Dead Sea mud is very effective against acne inflammations. It is important to note that minerals are among the oldest acne treatment remedies. Clay minerals can successfully cure blackheads, spots and acne.
How to Use Dead Sea Mud Mask
There are many ways of using Dead Sea mask. The following list provides the most common approaches
Applying Dead Sea Mask Alone
- Apply a thin layer of the mask on your target areas (Dead Sea mask can be applied on the face, body and hair).
- Let the mask rest on your body for about 10-15 minutes. (Wait until it dries. Do not let it overstay on your skin)
- Rinse it off with warm water
- Dry your skin with a towel
- Apply your favorite moisturizer
Mixing Dead Sea Mask with Essential oils
- Prepare your face by washing it thoroughly
- Take one spoonful of Dead Sea mud and put it in a bowl
- Add two drops of frankincense essential oil
- Add three drops of myrrh essential oil
- Stir the ingredients with a spoon so that they can mix properly
- Apply the mixture on your face avoiding the eye area ( You can use oils such as coconut and olive to protect the eye area)
- Let it sit on your face for 15-30 minutes
- Rinse off with warm water
- Dry your face and apply your favorite moisturizer
- It is important to ensure that the essential oils do not react with your skin before using them.
Dead Sea Mud Body Mask with Essential Oils
- Put three spoonful of Dead Sea Mud in a bowl
- Add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Follow with 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- Add 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
- Apply the mixture on your body and let it sit for about 15 minutes
- Rinse off with warm water
- This mask alleviates muscles and joints pain.
There is no product that works magic for everyone. Accordingly, it is important to test Dead Sea mask on a small part of your skin before incorporating it in your makeup routine. This is particularly important for people with sensitive skin.
Harari, M. (2012, January). Beauty is not only Skin Deep: the Dead Sea features and Cosmetics/La belleza no está sólo en la superficie de la piel: características del Mar Muerto y los cosméticos. In Anales de Hidrología Médica (Vol. 5, No. 1, p. 75). Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Katz, U., Shoenfeld, Y., Zakin, V., Sherer, Y., & Sukenik, S. (2012, October). Scientific evidence of the therapeutic effects of Dead Sea treatments: a systematic review. In Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 186-200). WB Saunders.
Ma’or, Z., Henis, Y., Alon, Y., Orlov, E., Sørensen, K. B., & Oren, A. (2006). Antimicrobial properties of Dead Sea black mineral mud. International journal of dermatology, 45(5), 504-511.