There's a dirty and dark aspect of the clean skincare movement no one talks about; ingredient selection and sourcing.
Everyone is of the impression everything that's natural, meaning it naturally occurs in nature should be packed and sold, because it's so good for your skin!
Not so fast! I've personally suffered the consequences of such poor skincare manufacturing decisions including skin cancer. My entire body is covered in scars because of them. So pardon if I don't buy into the trendy hype of the Dead Sea Mud fad.
When it comes to selecting ingredients to use in my formulas, saying I'm very picky is an understatement. Every chosen ingredient is heavily researched and tested before it's even used in the formulation. Expensive task you say? Yes! Very! But well worth it! Unfortunately one that's not as common in the natural skincare industry as you might think.
Such is the case with anything from the Dead Sea, and I mean anything.
The Dead Sea is the second most toxic body of water on the planet to nearly all biological life, and contrary to popular belief and travel channels, to Humans. Year after year people accidentally drinking small amounts of the water are rushed to the hospitals, some of them dying from its devastating effects.
Why would anyone drink Dead Sea water? They don't, "Most people don't drown in it; they trip, fall and swallow the water. The water's high sodium concentration disrupts the body's sodium balance, especially the calcium, magnesium and phosphorus levels, at the same time, it causes a pulmonary disorder, reminiscent of pneumonia." (1)
What makes you float is toxic
Dead Sea water is composed of 44.8% of sodium and calcium chloride combined, 4.4% of potassium chloride and an astonishing 50.8% of magnesium chloride. Individuals accidentally drinking just a small amount of the water suffer a unique intoxication resulting in physiological effects of combined severe hypecalcemia & hypermagnesemia. Swallowing Dead Sea water would cause the larynx to inflate, resulting in immediate chocking and suffocation. (2, 3)
Dead Sea water, salt and mud, the latter which is packed as is into jars and bags for cosmetics use, with just the bare minimum preservatives, contains dangerous minerals, and toxic chemicals. Even though some of its minerals might be considered good for the skin, the extremely high levels of magnesium alongside toxic metals and other elements such as antimony, lead, mercury and arsenic, are certainly ones to avoid at all costs. (4)
But even if you manage to see past the lead, mercury and others, as being within the limits in skincare, which yes they are, there's one aspect I cannot get past, sewage water.
Raw untreated sewage water from neighboring countries and the Jordan river has being dumped into the Dead Sea for decades now, putting a new spin on the trendy Dead Sea mud mask and beauty products derived from it. (5)
Without mentioning the ecological damage to the area, caused by several industries, including the beauty industries, is irreparable. (6)
Call me squeamish and a tree huger, but that salty goop won't make it into our products anytime soon.
1. Dan Evan, "Think That Swimming in the Dead Sea is Safe? Think Again", August 19, 2010 - https://www.haaretz.com/2010-08-19/ty-article/think-that-swimming-in-dead-sea-is-safe-think-again/0000017f-e709-dc7e-adff-f7ad978a0000
2. A Porath, M Mosseri, I Harman, I Ovsyshcher, A Keynan, "Dead Sea water poisoning", February 1989 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2916785/
3. Jennifer Frazer, "Fountains of Life Found at the Bottom of the Dead Sea", October 9, 2011 - https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/artful-amoeba/fountains-of-life-found-at-the-bottom-of-the-dead-sea/
4. "Certificate of Analysis Dead Sea Mud" - https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/msds/COA_deadseamineralmudverifiedbyecocertcosmosapproved_l_16123.pdf
5. ABC News "Salt. Sewage and Sinkholes" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqh6hGLqAG8
6. "Your Obsession With ‘Wellness’ Is Killing the Dead Sea" - https://www.thedailybeast.com/your-obsession-with-wellness-is-killing-the-dead-sea