Thalassotherapy or Balneotherapy anyone?
In April I reviewed (and heartily recommended) a moisturizing body scrub which is based on "sugar". I loved how it both exfoliated and moisturized my 51-year-old skin. But when my sister asked me how a sugar-based body scrub compared to a salt-based body scrub (which SHE loves), I couldn't answer because I really didn't know. Clearly I needed to do more research, which was fine with me, because I also wanted to learn more about ALL types of products which promote the large quantities of salt (specifically "Dead Sea Salt") in their ingredient lists.
I soon found that Adovia (the company formerly known as SeaOra... not Adovia, Madagascar) offered just such a salt-based product line, and the salt was indeed 100% Dead Sea Salt (and/or 100% Dead Sea Mud), imported from Israel. So when offered, I jumped at the chance to test the Adovia line of "spa" muds, scrubs and the facial cleanser. When the Adovia test package arrived it was accompanied by a bonus surprise.... a large canister of lavender scented bath salts and a packet of almost a dozen Adovia Spa tester-sized lotions, gels and masks.
Why my interest in Dead Sea Salts? Thalassotherapy (medical use of sea water) has been around since biblical times and Balneotherapy (the use of mineral baths or spa-therapy... including radon or carbon dioxide therapy... has been around since the 19th century. It is widely believed that trace elements of magnesium, potassium, calcium sodium and iodide (iodine) can be absorbed through the skin, and that this (most often in combination with extended exposure to sunlight) may promote natural healing of a broad range of illness and skin conditions.... everything from arthritis to fibromyalgia. These salts can be great natural anti-bacterial's, and psoriasis sufferers swear by Dead Sea Salts. I have spent a decent amount of time traveling across Turkey and the Middle East, and found that a huge percentage of that population partakes in "dead sea salt therapy" and generally regard it as an effective holistic medical alternative. That being said, while there is much too much anecdotal information to simply disregard these claims as being without merit, I couldn't locate any reliable/current scientific studies (using large control groups, tracked over extended periods of time, and compared to a "like" control group) which proved or disproved healing claims one way or another. So until then, the next best option remaining for this TIA detective was a personal test.
Let me be clear before we go any further....determining whether or not Dead Sea Salts have a medicinal value is not the point of this posting; it is much simpler. To determine for myself whether or not the Adovia products (many of which are based on the Dead Sea salts and muds) did anything to enhance the appearance or health of my hair and skin. The answer? Four were terrific, and while "rejecting" the three others seems a bit too harsh a description, I really can't recommend them.
So let's name names and talk specifics.
Four of the products worked quite well for me, enough so that I purchased an additional supply to go into a Mothers Day gift basket. My "recommended" list starts with 1) the Mineral Eye Gel which was light, soothing, cooling, and it reduced any sign of under eye puffiness quickly. It also visibly plumped up my laugh lines, and was fragrance free, which my eyes appreciated. I only wish it did not contains the small amount of parabens. Next on the list is the the Purifying Mud Facial Mud Mask which left my face and neck feeling deeply cleansed, softened and hydrated. The Mud Mask is also reported to remove blackheads although I was not able to test this attribute. Next on the list was the Day Moisturizing Lotion (with UV protection). It is a nice, light moisturizer, which provided me with just the right amount of hydration (without getting greasy) under either foundation or the tinted physical facial sunscreens I have taken to wearing. And last but not least was the Mineral Hand Cream, which was excellent. It is ideal for application before bedtime...apply a small amount before bedtime and when you awaken your hard working hands will feel butter soft and deeply hydrated.
Three of the products simply didn't work for me, and thus will have to go on the rejected list. 1) The Peach and Honey Moisturizing Salt Scrub was too abrasive for my liking, and holy-smoke-oly does it ever sting if you have any nicks, scratches or razor burns. The directions suggested that I leave it on for up to 20 minutes while showering to get the full medicinal effect, but either I am more of a wimp than I thought, or this product is better suited for someone who does not lead an active lifestyle (read: ZERO scratches and abrasions) and doesn't shave their legs. 2) The Mineral Facial Cleansing Gel left my face feeling TOO clean, and a bit tight and dry, despite the fact that it contains Evening Primrose oil and Lavender Oil. Perhaps it is better suited for someone with oily skin. Lastly, 3) the Mineral Lift Serum is designed to soften and firm skin beginning with the first application, but after two weeks of use (the size of my tester) I can't say that I felt or noticed any difference. The ingredient list was impressive, but I simply did not see any results.
I have not yet tried the lovely 32 oz canister of Lavender Mineral Rich Bath Salts yet.... I am just not a bath person.... so if you are interested in testing it for yourself and providing a review, watch for an upcoming "dare to try it" from Marta and she will send the Adovia Spa Bath Salts your way.