“ Brand: Sea Spa / Salt / Type: Bath Salt / fragrance free: yes / What it does: destresses, Nourishes „
It was so easy in the beginning; go out to the shopping mall and get a shower gel or soap which doesnt dry skin out. I havent had dry skin since I left London back in 2000 but the glorious air Edinburgh has been receiving has also been leaving my skin feeling dry and looking a little flaky. Perhaps as I get older my skin is changing...
I was just about to go into the local Superdrug when a woman stopped me. I know I should have kept walking on but the little aisle table she had set up looked interesting and very professional. Silver decals on a white background proudly displayed the Sea Spa name and the whole presentation table was decked out in white with three or four jutting open shelves with oodles of tubs consisting of different coloured creams and potions.
She asked if she could feel my hands and I happy obliged. I had only just applied some moisturising cream that morning and as she ran her fingers up and down my palms she reckoned that my hands were feeling very dry. It was ironic that perhaps at that time I was on my way to Superdrug to pick up some dry skin cream formula and at my price, willing to spend £5-99 or over for a proper skin care product it looked as if I might be spending a little more.
If you havent happened along street malls yet with the Sea Spa aisle table shopping experience, then be warned. This is a long review but it is a worthy one of testing a product to its fullest and also earmarking the worst of selling procedures.
So Im standing there and she has my hands already in an open bowl, designed to mimic the best of bathroom wash bowls and like the whole aisle table, it too is white. She gives me a scrub to put into my hands and asks me to rub vigorously all over my skin and in between my fingers. I note already that she doesnt know the word for the skin between the fingers known to me (and probably so many consumers) as webs. So I casually drop this name into the conversation and she agrees with me that yes, I should rub the scrub into the webs of my hands...
And what an abrasive salt mix this is that I am applying to my hands. Feeling as if I have run sand paper all over them, any skin cream applied to my hands has now been completely destroyed and as Im rubbing I can feel oil on my skin at the same time. The scent however is heavenly and she goes onto point out that there are quite a few scents available such as the Peach scrub she has given me. Then she produces a water spray bottle and tells me to keep rubbing as she sprays the water all over my hands. Frankly Im enjoying the fact that perhaps Im being spoilt by this one to one sales technique and as I look up and around, I can see already there are a few consumers and shoppers forming on the other side ready to receive the same treatment from another girl.
And as the water flows all the salt scrub away I am left with the softest hands I have ever experienced. She then points out that this is a body scrub and the sea salt is from Israel, from the dead-sea no less and starts the advertising and selling principle of Dead Sea salts and how they are good for your skin...
Five minutes later I am still standing there and I find that I am checking out all the other products. The sales girl produces gift boxes, and fancy smaller version tubs eager to make a sale. But Im intrigued as to how this product works and I ask for a non-oil containing sea salt to see if it really does promise soft and smooth skin without the oil additives.
This is where it brings us to the product; Sea Spa Luxury Bath Salt.
** Sea Spa Salt **
Now, as you will see from their UK website (and theres one in Israel where this product comes from) there are a myriad of different versions of the Sea Salt Scrub. Available in Mango, Peach, Vanilla, Lavender, Rose and other variations, the 833g tubs are designed to be used sparingly although they do contain at least a quarter of oil which usually sits at the top surface of the sea salt. Here however I purchased the larger 1200g tub of pure white Sea Salt without any oil, and the price cost me around £50-00 when the tub in question according to the UK website should have cost me £40!! If of course I had known about this product beforehand then certainly I would have haggled hard with the sales staff.
** Appearance, Design and Directions **
The normal Luxury salt in its natural variation just looks like a massive tub of white salt. A look to its contents reveals amongst many natural things that it does contain such as Royal Jelly (one of my favourites for smooth skin), Aloe Vera and then the oils (if the oil versions are purchased.) but you wont find any colours in the natural variation. All this is contained in a clear acrylic tub with a large screw top lid and the product initially comes with a foil lid to peel back when bought brand new.
The directions of this salt however are easy to understand; against the sales lady-led advice the directions show that users can additionally shower before hand using soap but during the Sea Spa experience can only use the Salts without any soap or gel. There is very little scent in the natural version but there are some understatements of a clean fresh smell probably due to the Royal Jelly or Aloe Vera content. There is a reason for no adding of soap or gel whilst you use this product of which I will explain why very soon!
So standing naked upwards in my shower and having just doused myself in hot water, I applied the salt scrub to my skin as I had done in the shopping mall. The difference here is that it is the non-oil contained version (and I know I have at least repeated myself three times) of which my skin felt very abrasive afterwards. Then give it a few minutes for the salt to sit on the skin, on with the shower and wash off.
** Results **
After I used the salt in our bath at my parents home, I certainly did feel as if my skin was intoxicated. Tensions, just as promised by the company website were well removed particularly around my neck and shoulders which may well have something to do with the products promises of increased blood circulation. Infact my whole body seemed to be very hot after bathing and this insulation is perfect for going to bed.
The normal dry salt version reveals soft skin and remarkably I dont need to apply any cream thereafter. I found I get the same kind of skin with a Dove soap bar but the smooth results last a lot longer than Dove soap, particularly later in the day I touched my ankle for example to see if my skin was still smooth down there, and yes it unbelievably was. But at the price I paid, I felt a little hard done by for the large tub.
In the bath however it is a different principle. You can either douse yourself in water first and then apply the salt before sitting in the bath or add a handful of the salt to running water. But why must you never use soap or gel? Read on!
** Handy for Dry Skin **
Dead Sea salts contain so many purities and minerals it is hard to pinpoint as to what they actually contain. But added to water, this sea salt adds a layer of protection to skin without stripping the top layers. Youd think (just as I did) with a salt scrub that it would burn or bruise skin, but there is definitely something in these minerals which alleviates dry skin; added to water the salt changes its structure to hydrate skin rather than dry it out and with the added ingredients further prolongs the skin to become silky smooth and unblemished. If you add soap or gel, the properties of the Salt change and they cant hydrate the skin with full coverage.
I handed the product to my flat mate who needs prescription skin cream (he receives it from a company in London) as he has the worst Eczema I have ever seen and after a weeks trial with the salt scrub remarked it was quite possibly a fantastic experience after bathing in sea salt added water.
However there is a danger of believing everything with this product.
** Downsides **
The sea salt (oil & non oil versions) means that my bathroom floor becomes littered in salt; although I have applied the salt in the shower, it means that the tub will probably become caked in salt around the edges of the lid and makes a very messy business. Also as the tub directs, you're supposed to wet your skin before applying the salt on and this can be very cold when standing in a shower, wet the skin and then apply the salt on.
After my experience with the non oil version, I went straight back to the sales lady and bought the heavenly Kiwi laced oil version; the version I got in this instance was a 833 gram tub which cost me £30 and beforehand she was about to charge a different price, calculator in hand until I mentioned I had seen the prices on the UK website! She then felt complied to go with the price on the website; after all their handy little shopping bags proudly display the UK company website address.
I knew straight away that if my skin was going to be as silky smooth as the day my hands were on the long introduction shopping mall experience, then it would have to be an oil laced version. My initial fear of the oil version revealed that I didnt want to emerge out of the shower with greasy skin which is why I opted for the dry skin version instead but still I was more curious as to what would happen if I went for the oil version.
So with the same principle I applied the scented oil version to my skin, stepped into the shower and using my hands and fingers washed off the salt scrub on my body. Result? Extra smooth and soft skin but completely water proof since the oil had applied itself to my skin. Then as an owner I started to wonder, what version is best for alleviating dry skin and having smooth skin at the same time?
** Conclusion **
Whilst the dry oil-less version is great, the effects of smooth skin are lost out partly to the fact that there is no oil added compared to oil added versions of Sea Spa salt and for the price I feel disappointed because of the lack of smooth and soft luxury.
For dry skin however I still feel inclined to pay out for a cheaper shower or bath cream gel or soap which gives relief rather than spending more than £30 or more for a product which takes a little longer when used in the shower or bath. Whilst the non oil version doesnt leave skin as smooth as the heavily scented versions do, they do appear to ease the pain of dry skin as well as applying some smooth texture to the top skin surface; this is especially evident in how you feel your skin after using this treatment.
However whilst the oil version gives silky smooth feeling skin, it is somewhat lost when towelling down to dry and doesnt allow dry skin to almost breathe. Whilst the parts of my skin felt great afterwards, the dry patches felt as if oil had just been applied to them without actual alleviating the pain that dry skin usually imparts.
Certainly by the way these products suggest, they are both a luxury in price as well as general feel after using, but for every day use the prolonged amount of time it takes to apply and wash off is certainly slower than simple shower gel and soap products which wont make you gawk at the price which these products command. Yes these products do work, but dont feel compelled to overspend if you are attacked by the Sea Spa Sales staff in the Shopping mall; the UK website clearly indicates the luxury commanded by all of the products Sea Spa sell and you shouldnt feel you need to be cheated by at least £10 for their sales commission. Cheat the company at their own game; buy the no oil version and add Johnson & Johnsons' Baby oil - at least then you can limit the amount of oil you use.
Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.
The healthy preserving qualities of the Dead Sea have been known for generations / Its water contains a unique composition of minerals and trace elements, with soothing effects on the skin, and the whole body / Sea Spa Bath Salts contain exclusively selected bath salts from the Dead Sea and are free of artificial additives / Let your skin breathe! Sea Spa Luxury Bath Salts naturally aid the health and beauty of your skin as they remove dead skin cells and increase blood circulation to your whole body / Our mineral salts are also recommended to relieve tension and promote relaxation / For perfectly polished skin, treat yourself to the ultimate exfoliating and nourishing body scrub / Sea Spa Luxury Bath Salts are available in Natural (fragrance free), Eucalyptus, Lavender, Apple Blossom, Madagascar Vanilla and Rose /