Dead Sea Facial: The Natural Beauty of Minerals
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea (actually a lake), comfortably situated between Israel and Jordan at 1,300 feet below sea level fills a void in what is in fact the "lowest place" on earth. Protected from pollution by its location, the Dead Sea is continuously fed by the Jordan River and a number of local mineral springs. Because of its special conditions, both the mud and water of the Dead Sea are an extraordinary source of minerals and natural sediments that have accumulated over countless years. Dead Sea mud, valuable for its high concentrations of magnesium, calcium chlorides, potassium and salts offers the skin numerous health and beauty benefits
Minerals benefit the skin by absorbing and utilizing the moisture that is necessary for keeping our skin smooth, soft and resilient. As we age, it is necessary to supplement our skin with moisture in order to lessen its vulnerability to the damaging influences that continuously surround us in our daily lives. Skin cells rely on minerals for metabolism. Without minerals our skin cells cannot synthesize the nutrients they require for healthy maintenance and growth. Keeping the moisture of our skin well balanced slows down the effects of aging and protects it from free radical damage. Dead Sea mud, now available to the public for purchase was once so valued for its beauty properties that Marc Antony captured the Dead Sea area for Cleopatra. Ancient Egyptians are known to have used the mud in the preparation of cosmetics, perfumes and medicinal products, and Cleopartra obviously desired the availability of a continuous supply; I guess she got what she wanted............ for awhile.
The mineral and salt content of Dead Sea mud affects people differently. Let's face it, depending on skin type we all have different needs. People with oily skin can safely use the mud up to three times per week, whereas normal skin types would limit their use to no more than twice a week and dry skin types no more than once per week. Although, I have to admit that having dry skin myself, I wouldn't use the preparation more than a few times per month.
Dead Sea mud users can also upgrade their experience by adding other readily available ingredients to their mask preparations. A bit of honey, aloe vera, lemon juice and even essential oils can be added during the mixing; the best thing about preparing treatments at home is the individuality of the results. Just remember to apply your mask thinly and to soften it with a warm, wet towel before removal. Softening the mask will make it far easier to remove and a much more pleasant experience.
Dead Sea mud may be prepared in a number of different ways depending upon how simple or extravagant you'd like your application to be. Simple masks can be made by taking several teaspoons of the mud grains (available in many health food stores or online) and gradually adding water until a soft paste forms. This application, which only requires a small amount of mud should be thinly spread on fresh, clean skin and allowed to dry. After drying, just rinse and pat your face with a clean towel and relish the feeling. Note, that Dead Sea mud's stimulating ingredients may be used on the body as well as the face, but that those same stimulating ingredients may require some getting used to. If you're using the mud for the first time, it might be a good idea to put it off until you have a nice period for relaxation and to avoid its use just prior to a night on the town. Different skin reacts in different ways, and as with anything else, better safe than sorry.
The simple application noted above is also beneficial when used as an exfoliant. Dry, irritated and often abused body parts like knees and elbows easily shed their flaky, dry skin when treated. Dead skin doesn't have a chance against the mud and after treatment rinses down the drain leaving your skin both smooth and moisturized. Extremely dry areas may of course require more than one application depending on how neglected they've been, but once you've experienced the desired results I doubt you'll ever neglect them again.
As with all natural ingredients, test a small patch of skin before application. Most natural ingredients are safely and easily used by the majority, but when using something new there is always a chance of an allergic reaction. Those with sensitive skin should also use these products carefully
The Complete Guide to Natural Healing, International Masters Publishers, @ MCMXCIX