Salt is no stranger when it comes to beauty practices. The mineral content penetrates easily into skin, replenishing it with trace elements, like magnesium, manganese, potassium and calcium. It’s also said to work on acne, drying out oily skin.
But before salt was used in beauty treatments, it was used to treat the sick. The most famous of all is the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland. In the 1880s, a doctor discovered that salt mine workers at Wieliczka were healthier and had better skin than coal and metal miners. It was because of the salt they were exposed to.
That’s how halotherapy, which uses an environment where microscopic salt particles are in the air, began. Salt caves are also beneficial to skin conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
In Singapore, Pablo Blau, a spa, offers salt mine-like conditions similar to that of Wieliczka. The Salt Experience comprises a lounge and treatment rooms, all lined with salt. The spa says that 45 minutes in its salt room is equivalent to three hours of therapy in a salt cave.
You first enter a dry, cool chamber wearing surgical booties to walk over the floor covered in pharmaceuticalgrade dry salt – it’s like snow, but rougher, and almost crunchy.
The salt is 99 per cent pure sodium chloride, and free from trace minerals and dirt. A salt generator constantly grinds and produces minute salt particles in the air to create an allergenand bacteria-free space.
After a short relaxation on the chaise longue, I’m ushered to the salt-covered treatment room. The spa uses a “screed” technique to spray its salt onto the walls, to mimic the salt caves. The rooms are cleaned by hand, and every few months, Pablo Blau sends for its salt from Europe and replaces it completely.
The salt in here is finer. This is intentional as the grade of the salt is important when one is spending almost 90 minutes for a facial. The air in the room is dry too, and filled with mists of salt particles.
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