In the Spring of 2016, Essential made the decision to not source or work with Dead Sea Salt from Israel or Jordan because of the high environmental cost of harvesting.
Dead Sea Salt is like no other salt on earth. The Dead Sea lies about 400 meters or 1,280 feet below sea level making it the lowest natural place on earth. The salt concentration is ten times higher than that of ordinary ocean water; approximately 35-40% compared to ocean water which is only about 3-4%. Also, the composition of Dead Sea Salt is unique in that it only contains about 12-18% sodium chloride (aka common table salt). Dead Sea Salt is mined from the mud of the Dead Sea and is mainly composed of bromides, magnesium, potassium, calcium oxide, iron oxide and many other oxides, trioxides, and pentoxides. This unique combination makes Dead Sea Salt highly desirable for skincare. But the terrible environmental impact on the finite resources the Dead Sea puts this salt source on our ‘no’ list.
A Pinch of Controversy
The Dead Sea is disappearing, and it’s happening faster than you may think. 98% of the fresh water from the Jordan River is diverted from the Sea. Currently, the Dead Sea is dropping at more than a meter or 3 feet per year. In the 1980’s, stone steps to the shoreline were built so bathers could easily soak. Today, the Sea is no longer visible from those same steps. The rapidly falling Sea level is threatening precious wildlife habitats and the freshwater oases on the coast. As if this news wasn’t alarming enough, sinkholes are now appearing in the hundreds. Geologists conservatively estimate the Sea level to drop another 25 meters or 75 feet by the year 2035.
Essential is aware of the awful environmental impact of its continued demand for this finite resource. Because of the urgency and critical state of the Dead Sea, we have made a decision to discontinue purchasing, using, and selling this ingredient.
What are the Alternatives?
Pink Himalayan Salt
This beautiful pink salt is composed primarily of sodium chloride but is also rich in trace minerals, especially iron oxide which gives it that gorgeous color. Mined from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan about 300 miles west of the Himalayan Mountain Range, Pink Himalayan Salt is thought to be one of the purest salts available due to the remote location and unique geology. The salt is mined by hand by skilled workers using traditional methods, so there’s little to no pollution or waste byproducts from manufacturing. Pink Himalayan Salt can range in color from almost white to a deep, rich red. Essential carries a rich pink salt in fine grade with crystals that are about 1mm in size. The salt is mined by hand by skilled workers using traditional methods, so there’s little to no pollution or waste byproducts from manufacturing.
With a fine powdery grain and larger surface area, Dendritic Salt retains essential oils and colors better than other salts. This natural salt also absorbs essential oils and fragrance oils twice as efficiently as other salts used in bath mixes. It’s specially formulated to prevent caking, add flow-ability and keeps the scent in your salts longer. We recommend using 1 cup of dendritic salt to every 20 cups of other salts used. Adding 5% Dendritic Salt to your bath salt mixtures will help prevent clumping. It is also a good addition to body polishes and scrubs, as Dendritic Salt gently exfoliates dry flaking skin. Add to your favorite scrubs to keep your skin smooth and bright.
Coarse Solar Salts
This extra coarse white crystalline sodium chloride is produced by the solar evaporation of seawater from the Great Salt Lake. The salt crystals are refined by washing with clean saturated brine to remove surface impurities drained of excess moisture, dried and screened to size.The Great Salt Lake is considered to be North America’s Dead Sea. Although it contains many trace minerals, it is primarily composed of sodium chloride. These large, bright crystals are very attractive when blended with smaller grained bath salts, such as Epsom salt or European spa bath salt.
Epsom Salt or Magnesium Sulfate is widely recognized for its ability to help soothe sore and tired bodies. Water breaks down Epsom Salt into magnesium and sulfate to work its magic to soothe the body and help skin feel and look its best.
Atlantic Sea Salt
Collected from deep ocean waters and allowed to evaporate naturally in the sun, Atlantic Sea Salt contains sodium chloride, sulfate, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It blends beautifully with coarser salts and makes a lovely body polish when combined with various butters and oils. The fine grain feels great against the skin as it gently exfoliates dry, flaky skin. The mineral content is also great for soaking and is the star ingredient in our Sea Mineral Facial Toner
There are many good alternatives to Dead Sea Salt and Essential is committed to providing the best, environmentally sustainable salts the world has to offer. You’ll find recipes and ideas on our blog, including this bright and sunny Lemon Sea Salt Hair Spray.