So, what is Himalayan Salt, does it actually come from the Himalayas, is it ethically sourced, and is it actually good for you? So put the kettle on, grab a cheeky cuppa and find out more about this super ingredient.
Before we started developing our bath collection we extensively researched the benefits and origins of all the salts that we intended to use. We were particularly drawn to Himalayan Pink Salts not just because of it's romanticised image of purity and freshness but because of it's incredible variety of trace minerals contained within. It also has the enviable reputation of being one of the purest salts on earth as it's mined from ancient sea beds which have crystallised long before pollutants existed, dreamy right? (ditches tea, starts running bath)
Where does 'Himalayan' Salt come from?
You'll all just say it's pretty obvious but it's a very large region and is sourced from a very specific area within the Himalayas. The actual salt range begins in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in Northeast Pakistan and stretches across approximately 186 miles from the Jhelum River to the Indus River. The range varies in width from 5 to 19 miles and includes several peaks nearly 5,000 feet high. There are six primary mines scattered across the Salt Range and each produces unique, varied and distinct salts.
The Khewra Salt Mine (also sometimes called the Mayo Salt Mine, pic above) is the most well-known, largest and also the oldest in the Salt Range. It produces most of the salt we've come to know as Himalayan Salt with the range of light-to-dark pink colouring.
Is Himalayan Salt sustainable?
The short answer is yes! Himalayan salt is a natural product containing trace minerals that are also present in our bodies. The salt is mined by hand by skilled workers using traditional methods, so there's little to no pollution or waste byproducts from manufacturing.
Though Himalayan pink salt was formed millions of years ago, the six mines where the salt is harvested each contain vast supplies. The total number is disputed, but by some estimates the largest mine, Khewra, holds 6.7 billion tons, of which about 220 million tons is currently accessible. Khewra harvests about 400,000 tons per year, which means one mine could continue harvesting at a similar rate, without expansion, for about 550 more years! If tunnels and mining expanded further into the mountains, the supply could be nearly infinite.
The salt mines are now managed by the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation which ensures that workers are paid fair wages and the working conditions are humane. This corporation, as well as the individual mining companies, provide employment opportunities, free medical care, education and community support as well as supporting environmental sustainability.
The health & skincare benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt
It's packed with 84 minerals including calcium, sodium, magnesium, manganese, iodine, potassium, fluoride, zinc, chromium, cobalt, copper, and gold, basically all the elements that we have in our body! It can be used in a number of ways when in it's original form, and can even be used instead of standard salt in your diet. (please don't use our range in your cooking though!)
There are so many benefits to list we thought we'd make it easier and just list the key ones for skincare and general wellness...
- Soothe Eczema - Soaking in a bath laden with Himalayan Pink Salt will rapidly reduce and relieve those itchy patches of skin that you may be suffering from because of Eczema. It’s soothing and antiseptic qualities will also help to prevent infection.
- Skin Moisturiser - Splash your face with warm water containing dissolved Himalayan Pink Salt to increase the hydration level. For even better results, follow with coconut oil to increase the moisture level and seal it in.
- Detoxify your Body - Soaking in a hot bath infused with Himalayan Salts will not only relax and soothe your skin, but also helps to extract those built up toxins trapped in your body.
- Relieve Muscle Soreness - Feeling achy and sore? A hot bath is always soothing, but often the cause of the aches and pains is a lack of magnesium, which is often depleted during hard exercise. Our Relax or Unwind Bath Salts dissolved in hot water will replenish that mineral, along with many others, to help soothe away the soreness.
- Hydrating - salty foods have you reaching for water, but treating your skin to prehistoric sea salt doesn't give you the same sapped and thirsty feeling. The minerals in salt can help maintain the skin's natural barrier, which can support hydration and keep out irritants.
So there you have it, hopefully this has enlightened, educated and opened your eyes to this fabulous super ingredient. Time now to run a relaxing bath and soak up some of the Himalayan goodness.
Click here to see our Bath Collection featuring Himalayan Salts.