The Dead Sea Mud and Salt: A Review of Its Characterization,
Contaminants, and Beneficial Effects
The Dead Sea is in one of the lowest geographical altitudes on earth and is considered to be the biggest natural saline reserve in the world. The sea’s salt content is approximated to be 348 g/L which makes its salinity 10 times the typical salinity of oceans. The Dead Sea is located in the Syrian – East African rift valley and surrounded by the Moab Mountains to the east and the Judean Mountains to the West.
Due to the rarity of its atmospheric and climatic features, the Dead Sea is considered to be an attractive destination for patients who seek a medication for diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatic disorders, and atopic dermatitis. Treatments are mainly based on: bathing in the Dead Sea water while exposing the skin to filtered UV radiation, and secondary mud packs prepared from highly saline black mineral mud that is rich in sulfide, which is found abundantly in the area.
The Dead Sea is renowned for its restorative and healing qualities. Unique climatic conditions in the Dead Sea region make it a globally known place for the practice of climatotherapy, which is a way of using natural occurring properties from nature to help heal a illness or treat a condition. Dead Sea Minerals are said to treat a number of skin conditions and healing and rejuvenating the skin.
This review focuses on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of Dead Sea mud and salts, as well benefits and cosmetic applications of Dead Sea Minerals.
In terms of therapy and cosmetics, the beneficial effects of Dead Sea mud and salts are highlighted. Additional benefits of both Dead Sea mud and salts are also discussed, such as the antimicrobial action of the mud in relation to its therapeutic properties and the capacity of both mud and salts to be a good medium for the growth of a beneficial bacterias and microbes.
Beneficial effects of Dead Sea products:
Due to its high mineral content, which allows it to retain heat for hours and be highly absorbent [6, 46-48], Dead Sea mud has been used to treat various skin disorders since ancient times [6, 46-48]. Thus, Dead Sea mud can enhance blood circulation, lymphatic flow, exfoliate dead skin cells, promote wound healing, and alleviate irritation [47, 49].
Numerous medical applications exist for the magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution. This salt solution bathing enhances skin hydration, skin barrier functions, and dry skin inflammation . There are more elements present in addition to magnesium. For instance, zinc promotes wound healing and epidermal regeneration .
In addition, it is important to note that one of the primary therapeutic uses of the Dead Sea is the anti-aging effect of Dead Sea minerals. Soroka et al. (2008) studied the effect of minerals on cultures of keratinocytes and human skin. The obtained results demonstrated that Dead Sea minerals can reduce the expression of certain aging markers, enhance proliferation, stimulate mitochondrial activity, and limit apoptotic damage after UVB exposure .
For many years, cosmetics containing Dead Sea mud or salts have been utilized, and a number of companies provide product lines that incorporate Dead Sea minerals. These products include bath salts, mineral mud soaps, mineral peeling soaps, hand and body lotions, eye cream, cleansing mud masks, body butter, body exfoliates, acne lotions, sunscreens, lightening cream with SPF, collagen firming creams with SPF, firming night creams, scalp masks, antidandruff and numerous other shampoos, and products with a “anti-wrinkle effect.”
Due to its moisturizing and emollient properties, Dead Sea water is frequently used in cosmetics. This is attributed to the high magnesium content, which increases water retention in the epidermis [77, 78], and CaCl2, which imparts a greasy texture to Dead Sea water [2, 18-20].
The Ma’or et al. (1997) clinical study evaluated three liquid gels prepared from Dead Sea products to demonstrate the skin-smoothing efficacy of Dead Sea water. Twenty female participants applied these gels twice aday for four weeks. In this study, it was found that utilizing liquid gel containing 1% of a Dead Sea mineral solution could reduce skin roughness by 40.7%, compared to 27.8% when using liquid gel without mineral additives and 10.4% when using a control gel without anti-wrinkle chemicals or additives .
Another study Zeng et al. (2004) formulated a skin-care product with Dead Sea mud and salts, hydrolyzing collagen, Ginseng Radix, and one or more of soybean isoflavone, sea snake bile, and bamboo charcoal. The resulting solution has proven benefits in skin cleansing, delivery of nutritional ingredients, and removal of dead skin .
Finally the Fleischmann (2004) clinical study developed bathing solutions comprised of Dead Sea salt, silica, and bicarbonate; these formulations were beneficial for dehydration, weight loss, and improved bowel function . Hasunuma et al. (2000) created a bathing product including Dead Sea salts for moisturizing and conditioning health of the skin .
Dead Sea Mud
Dead Sea mud is made up of older sediments and red-brown soils that are typically washed back into the sea during the winter . It is well renowned for its medicinal effects for skin problems due to its unique mineral makeup.
2010 Study investigated the chemical and physical parameters of Dead Sea mud samples taken from three distinct places (north, middle, and south collection points). Chemical analysis of mud samples revealed high CaO concentrations (20.61 – 27.86 wt.%), high CO2 concentrations (15.47 – 25.01 wt.%), and high SiO2 concentrations (23.74 – 33.66 wt.%), while total soluble salts (10.19 wt.%), chlorides (4.48 wt.%), and sulfates (0.056 wt.%).
Dead Sea Minerals
Dead Sea minerals contain specific components that contribute in skin metabolism regulating functions. The most abundant elements are magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It is also worth noting that minerals, due to their hygroscopic properties, have the power to restore moisture and increase intracellular water capacity. As a result, if absorbed into the skin, they can help to maintain the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF) .
Work Cited :
Al Bawab, A. “The Dead Sea Mud and Salt: A Review of Its Characterization, Contaminants, and Beneficial Effects”. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/305/1/012003/pdf
 Oren A 2010 Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management 15 215-222.
 Even-Paz Z and Shani J 1989 International Journal of Dermatology 28 (1) 1-9.
 Abels D and kipnis V 1998 A Dead Sea perspective clinics in Dermatology 16 695-698.
 Oumeish Y 1996 Clinics in Dermatology 14 659-664.
 Falk B, Nini A, Zigel L and Blau H 2006 Pediatric pulmonology 41 (3) 234.
 Halevy S and Sukenik S 1998 Ar-chives of Dermatology 134 (11) 1416-1420.
 Even-Paz Z 1996 Israel journal of medical sciences 32 511-515.
 Sukenik S, Buskila D and Neumann L 1990 Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 49 99-102.
 Sukenik S, Buskila D and Neumann L 1992 Clinical Rheumatology 11 243-247.
 Kushelersky A P and Slifkin M A 1975 Israel journal of medical sciences 5 588-590.
 Goldberg L H and Kushelevsky A P 1977 Proceedings of the Second International Symposium, 1976 ( ed EM Farber, New York, Yorke Medical Books) p 461-463.
 Avrach W W 1976 Proceedings of the second international symposium on psoriasis, Stanford University. New York, NY: Yorke Medical Books, pp. 258-261.
 David J Abels D J and Kattan-Byron J 1985 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 12 639-643. The 2nd International Conference on Advanced Materials (ICAM-2017) IOP Publishing IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering 305 (2018) 012003 doi:10.1088/1757-899X/305/1/012003
 Abu-Zurayka R A , Bozeya A, Abu-Irmaileha B, Abu-Mallouha S, Al-Bawab A and Al-Dujaili A H 2017, Soil and Sediment Contamination An International Journal, DOI: 10.1080/15320383.2017.1313193
 Neev D and Emery K 1967 Geol Survey (Israel) Bull 41 147.
 Khlaifat A, Al-Khashman O, and Qutob H 2010 Materials Characterization 61 564-568.
 Arab S and Alshikh A 2012 New York Science Journal 5(1) 112-115.
 Schamberg IL 1978 International Journal of Dermatology 17 (6) 524-525.
 David M, Efron D, Hodak E and Even-Paz Z 2000 The Israel Medical Association journal 2 (3) 232-234.
 Kudish AI, Abels D and Harari M 2003 International Journal of Dermatology 42 (5) 359-365.
 Oren A, Gurevich P, Anati DA, Barkan E and Luz B 1995 Hydrobiologia 297 173-185.
 Niemi T, Ben-Avraham Z and Gat JR 1997 The Dead Sea – The Lake and its Setting (Oxford University Press, New York).
 Gavrieli I, Beyth M and Yechieli Y 1999 Microbiology and Biogeochemistry of Hypersaline Environments, ed A Oren (CRC Press, Boca Raton) pp 121–7.
 Gavrieli I and Oren A 2004 Dying and Dead Seas. Climatic Versus Anthropic Causes, ed JCJ Nihoul, PO Zavialov, and PP Micklin PP (Kluwer Academic
Publishers,Dordrecht) pp 287–305.
 Post FJ 1977 Microbial Ecology 3 143-165.
 Collober I, Noel-Hudson M S and Wepierre J 1994. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 16 149-160.
 Menon G K, Price L F, Bommannan B, Elias P M and Feingold K R 1994 Journal of Investigative Dermatology 102 789-795.
 Jacobi O K 1967 Journal of Cosmetic Science 18 149-152.
 Sukenik S, Giryes H, Halevy S, Neumann L, Flusser D and Buskila D 1994 Journal of Rheumatology 21 (7) 1305-1309.
 Solomon D H, Bates D W, Panush R S and Katz JN 1997 Annals of Internal Medicine 127 (1) 52-60.
 GWRTAC 1997 Tech. Rep. TE-97-01, GWRTAC, Pittsburgh, Pa, USA, GWRTAC-E Series.  D’Amore J J, Al-Abed S R, Scheckel K G and Ryan J A 2005 Journal of Environmental Quality 34 (5) 1707-1745.
 Momani K, El-Hasan T, Auaydeh S and Al-Nawayseh K 2009 Jordan Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 2 (1) 50-59.
 Abdel-Fattah A and Pingitore N E 2009 Environmental Geochemistry and Health 31 (4) 487-492.
 Hubicki Z, Jakowicz A and Łodyga A 1999 Adsorption and its applications in industry and environmental protection: Studies in surface science and catalysis, ed A Dąbrowski (Elsevier, Amsterdam, New York).
 Dąbrowski A, Hubicki Z, Podkościelny P and Robens E 2004 Chemosphere 56 91-106.  Wang J L and Chen C 2006 Biotechnology Advances 24 427-451.
 Nissenbaum A 1975 Microbial Ecology 2 139-161.
 Mbata T 2008 Sudanese Journal of Public Health 3 (4) 170-172.
 Loret ML 1892 The Palestine Exploration Fund 48-50. The 2nd International Conference on Advanced Materials (ICAM-2017) IOP Publishing IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering 305 (2018) 012003 doi:10.1088/1757-899X/305/1/012003
 Volcani B E 1944 The microorganisms of the Dead Sea, in: Papers Collected to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Dr. Chaim Weizmann. Collective volume: 71–85. Rehovoth: Daniel Sieff Research Institute
 Oren A 1988 Advances in Microbial Ecology, ed KC Marshall (Plenum Publishing Company, New York, NY) Vol 10 pp 193–229.
 Oren A 2014 Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki 21 23.
 Oren A 2015 Current Opinion in Biotechnology 33 119-124.
 Satbhai A, Kasodekar A, Pachuau L and Bharambe N 2015 International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, Special Issue-2 1-17.
 Hodak E, Gottlieb A B and Segal T 2003 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 49 (3) 451-457.
 Comacchi C and Hercegova J 2004 Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 18 372-374.
 Moses S W, David M, Goldhammer E, Tal A and Sukenik S 2006 The Israel Medical Association Journal 8 (7) 483-488.
 Carretero M I 2002 Applied Clay Science 21 155-163.
 Proksch E, Nissen H P, Bremgartner M and Urqu-hart C 2005 International Journal of Dermatology 44 (2) 151-157.
 Iwata M, Takebayashi T, Ohta H, Alcalde R E, Itano Y, and Matsumura T 1999 Histochemistry and Cell Biology 112 (4) 283-290.
 Abu-Al-Basal M 2012 Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 15 (7) 306-315.  Shani J, Barak D and Levi D, 1985 Pharmacological Research Communications 17 (6) 501-512.
 Nasermoaddeli A and Kagamimori S 2005 Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 10 171-179.
 Dostrovsky A, Sagher F and Even-Paz Z 1959 Harefuah 57 143-145.
 Dostrovsky A and Shanon J 1963 Harefuah 63 127-129.
 Montgomery B J 1979 Journal of the American Medical Association 241 227-231.  Azizi E, Kushlevsky A, Avrach W and Schewach-Millet M 1982 Israel journal of medical sciences 18 267-270.
 Abels D J and Kattan-Byron J 1985 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 12 639-643.
 Giryes H, Halevy S and Sukenik S 1994 Sixth International Psoriasis Symposium; July 20-24, Chicago, III.
 Abels D J, Rose T and Bearman J E 1995 International Journal of Dermatology 34 134-137.
 Giryes H, Sukenik S and Halevy S 1995 Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 5 44-46.
 Even-Paz Z, Efron D, Kipnis V and Abels D J 1996 Journal of Dermatological Treatment 7 17-19.
 Halvey S, Giryes H, Friger M and Sukenik S 1997 Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 9 237-242.
 Giryes H, Friger M, Sarov B and Halevy S 1997 International Symposium at the Dead Sea; November 2-6, Dead Sea Israel.
 Shani J, Seidel V, Hristakieva E, Stanimirovic A, Burdo A and Harari M 1997 International Journal of Dermatology 36 481-492. The 2nd International Conference on Advanced Materials (ICAM-2017) IOP Publishing IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering 305 (2018) 012003 doi:10.1088/1757-899X/305/1/012003
 Shani J, Sharon R, Rand K and Even-Paz Z 1987 Pharmacologist 35 (6) 339-347.
 Levi-Schaffer F, Shani J, Politi Y, Rubinchik E and Brenner S 1996 Pharmacologist 52 (5) 321-328.
 Even-Paz Z, Gumon R, Kipnis V, Abels D J and Efron D 1996 Journal of Dermatological Treatment 7 83-86.
 Elkayam O, Ophir J, Brener S, Paran D, Wigler I and Efron D 2000 Rheumatology International 19 (3) 77-82.
 Sukenik S, Baradin R, Codish S, Neumann L, Flusser D, Abu-Shakra M and Buskila D 2001 Israel Medical Association Journal 3 147-150.
 Fioravanti A, Perpignano G, Tirri G, Cardinale G, Gianniti C, Lanza C, Loi A, Tirri E, Sfriso P and Cozzi F 2007 Rheumatology International 27 1157-1161.  Codish S, Abu-Shakra M, Flusser D, Friger M and Sukenik S 2005 Rheumatology International 25 49-54.
 Flusser D, Abu-Shakra M, Friger M, Codish S and Sukenik S Journal of Clinical Rheumatology 8 197-203.
 Ma’or Z and Michael R Pat. 2003, WO 2004000244 A1 20031231
 Soroka Y, Ma’or Z, Leshem Y, Verochovsky L, Neuman R, Bregegere F M and Milner Y 2008 Experimental Gerontology 43 (10) 947-957.
 Ma’Or Z, Yehuda S and Voss W 1997 International Journal of Cosmetic Science 19 (3) 105-110.
 Riyaz N and Arakkal F R 2011 The Indian Journal of Dermatology Venereology & Leprology 77 (2) 128-134.
 Zeng Q, Hu Z and Li Y 2004 Faming Zhuanli Shenqing CN 1543927 A 20041110
 Fleischmann E 2004 Pat. DE 10259825 A1 20040708
 Hasunuma, K, Hanaoka, H, Morita, K and Saito M 2000. Pat. JP 2000229841 A20000822
 Braun Y B and Braun E 2005 Pat. WO 2005007071 A2 20050127
 Beckermann 2001 Pat. DE10020874 A1 20010517
 Beckermann W J 2004 Pat. DE 10308774 A1 20040909
 Robert F R 1997 Pat. WO 9722348 A1 19970626
 Hwang S R and Lee I H 1998 Pat. KR 154348 B1 19981116
 Ma’or Z, Henis Y, Alon Y, Orlov E, SØrensen K, and Oren A 2006 International Journal of Dermatology 45 504-511.
 Chidambara K N 2005 Thesis submitted to the University of Mysore, India.  Emeish S 2013 Journal of Environment and Earth Science 3 (10) 6-15.