Salt in Cosmetic Formulation

Salt in Cosmetic Formulation

In a previous post here I talked about different salts. Salt is a powerful ingredient and can soften and smooth the skin and hair and add vibrancy. I’m sharing ways to use salt for your personal use and how to formulate with salt and use in your cosmetic formulation.

Epsom Salt

First, I want to share the incredible power of Epsom salt and the effect on the body, skin and hair. Second, I am including ways to use Epsom salt in formulations. Technically, Epsom salt is not salt, it’s not sodium chloride. It is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Epsom salt is named after a bitter saline spring in Epsom, Surrey, England. It has been used as a traditional healing remedy for ages. 

Power of Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is known to ease pain, muscle soreness and cramps. It has been used in baths to soak in for sports injuries and other injuries to reduce bruising, swelling and pain. Soaking in water with epsom salt also soothes and softens the skin.

The skin absorbs the magnesium and sulfate from soaking in epsom salt water. Magnesium and sulfate assist in relaxing, de-stressing and detoxifying the body. Read this report on the absorption rate here.

Cosmetic Formulation Ideas with Epsom Salt

Try creating a cosmetic formulation with the ideas below and develop a product with it.

Relaxing Bath Soak

A very relaxing bath soak. Add the essential oil to the Epsom salt and then pour the salt into the warm bath water. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
2 cups Epsom salt
3 drops Lavender essential oil

Detoxing Bath Soak

If you are very stressed and depleted try this bath soak. Add the essential oil to the Epsom salt and baking soda and then pour the mixture into the warm bath water. Stir the water until salt and soda are dissolved. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
2 cups Epsom salt
2 cups Baking soda
3 drops Lavender essential oil

Exfoliating Body Scrub

Combine and mix the salt and oil. Massage the body in circular motions with this scrub to exfoliate the skin. The skin will be soft, moisturized and vibrant.
1 cup Epsom salt
3 tablespoons plant oil (olive, sunflower, almond, safflower, avocado)
optional: 2 drops grapefruit essential oil

Facial Cleanser

This gentle cleanser and exfoliator will gently cleanse and brighten the skin.
Add 1/4 teaspoon Epsom salt to 1 teaspoon of your cleansing cream or facial cream.

Hair Mask

This hair mask adds conditioning, volume and shine/sheen to the hair.
Add 2 tablespoons Epsom salt to 2 tablespoons hair conditioner. It’s best to warm the hair conditioner and the Epsom salt to dissolve the salt. Apply hair mask and massage the scalp and work through the hair and and allow to set on hair 5-10 minutes. Rinse off.

Epsom Salt in Shampoo Formulations Add Volume to Hair

Add 1% Epsom salt to your hair care formulation. In a 500 gram batch of shampoo, add 5 grams Epsom salt. In the process of making the shampoo, you will need to warm your surfactant first to dissolve the Epsom salt into it.

Add Epsom salt to your shampoo bottle. In 8 ounces of shampoo, add 0.08 ounces Epsom salt. Shake or stir the shampoo.

Thickening Liquid Soap, Shampoo and Body Wash Formulations

Salt is a great way to thicken liquid soap such as castle soap and potassium cocoate. Add salt (sodium chloride), not Epsom salt, to increase the viscosity and thicken liquid soap, shampoo and body wash formulations. In order for the salt to thicken the formulation, it must be an anionic system. An anionic surfactant needs to be part of the surfactant system. It works in a combination of anionic and non-ionic surfactants.

It’s all about the right amount of salt. If you add too much salt it will decrease the viscosity of the formulation.

Make a salt solution and add it to your formulation. First, thicken the formulation and then add scent. Fragrance oils and essential oils can reduce the viscosity of a formulation. Dissolve the salt into the water. Add 24 ml of this salt solution, stirring it into 24 ounces of your liquid soap, shampoo or body wash formulation.

Salt Solution
2 ounces/57 grams water
0.7 ounce/19.8 grams salt

In the next post I’ll include a Sea Salt Hair Mist Recipe

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  • I recently tried to make a magnesium sulfate STICK and the water just squirted right out of the stick once hardened. I used low HLB and high HLB emulsifiers but nothing would keep it emulsified in the stick. Still trying to figure that one out.

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