Avoiding excess salt in your diet? Good call for your health; but when it comes to your beauty regimen, this age-old remedy is just what the doctor (or dermatologist) ordered.

One of Mother Earth’s oldest natural beauty fixes, mineral-dense Dead Sea salt acts much differently than classic table salt, especially when on (rather than in) the body. Its range of minerals—magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium—lend a multitude of benefits to the skin, hair and lips. Try these easy, DIY beauty remedies to bring flavor to your summer beauty routine. Plus, check out our favorite salty natural product picks for the season.

For your skin …

Chock-full of essential minerals, sea salt makes a stellar gentle, natural exfoliant that supports healthy circulation and sloughs off dead skin cells. Dead Sea salt has traditionally been used to heal psoriasis and dermatitis. Now, research shows that the magnesium in Dead Sea salt can also hydrate skin, improve skin barrier function and visibly reduce topical inflammation.

DIY: Combine a cup of sea salt with a half-cup of nourishing fruit oil or nut oil (olive, almond or grapeseed) and a drop or two of your favorite essential oil; gently rub on arms and legs in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells and promote circulation. Also use as a foot soak, sprinkling salt into warm water to hydrate skin and reduce inflammation. “Follow with a rich lotion,” recommends Leah Crump, spa director at Ocean Pearl Spa in Carlsbad, California.

For your hair …

No need to hit the waves to get tousled summertime tresses (though we do recommend taking advantage of those vacation days, for wellness sake!). Sea salt is a go-to ingredient for adding texture to hair, naturally, and it couldn’t be easier to make your own nontoxic blend.

DIY: Fill a spray bottle with natural spring water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a blissful aromatherapy bonus. Spray directly on wet hair and scrunch hair with your fingers. Voilà! Handy and inexpensive. Plus, this 3-in-1 spritz can also fight breakouts and puffy eyes, says Crump.

For your lips …

“Many of us go through spurts of dry, chapped lips as we transition into summer,” Crump says. She suggests priming lips for a natural chapstick by first removing excess dry or dead skin with a sea salt concoction.

DIY: Mix 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt with ½ teaspoon shea butter or coconut oil; gently massage into lips with a soft toothbrush. Pat dry and apply an ultra-rich plant-based lip balm.

More from-the-sea beauty secrets

  • Chlorella: A green algae that brightens and tightens skin. Try it for “tired eyes.”
  • Dead Sea Mud: Packed with powerful minerals, this mud can fight signs of aging and tighten pores. Its antibacterial properties also make it excellent for combatting acne.
  • Kelp: A soothing anti-inflammatory ingredient, kelp alleviates skin redness and irritation.