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The Dead Sea Mud and Salt: A Review of Its Characterization,
Contaminants, and Beneficial Effects

Vibrance Skin


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 [50]. There are more elements present in addition to magnesium. For instance, zinc promotes wound healing and epidermal regeneration [51].


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 [76].



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 [77].



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 [79].

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 [80]. Hasunuma et al. (2000) created a bathing product including Dead Sea salts for moisturizing and conditioning health of the skin [81].

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 [15]. 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) [28].

Work Cited :

Al Bawab, A.  “The Dead Sea Mud and Salt: A Review of Its Characterization, Contaminants, and Beneficial Effects”.

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