Dead Sea Salt Scrub

“Last year I got talked into purchasing a jar of authentic Dead Sea salt scrub,” my friend Liz Arden confessed at a potluck dinner the other night.

Greta Bruhl was entranced. “I read that Dead Sea salt outperforms Alba Botanica [a bath emollient] as a sunscreen,” she said. Greta is the daughter of my good friend, retired newspaper editor Lee Bruhl.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
–Mark Twain

Ashley Proctor brought a special new salt to the potluck. “It’s organic!” she said, happily.

Paul “Buster” Door, a former North Puffin car dealer and Democratic party official, says he can taste the difference.


Morton Salt GirlOrganic? Health benefits?

While it is true that a nice mineral coating on your skin does reflect sunlight, I couldn’t find any minerals in Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen. None. Alba Botanica proudly offers “100% vegetarian personal care products” that contain isopropyl palmitate, glyceryl stearate SE, steareth-2, dimethicone, trimethylsiloxysilicate, glyceryl stearate, stearic acid, methyl glyceth-20, cetyl phosphate, allantoin, phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol, and potassium sorbate. Not a mineral in sight. Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid but it and allantoin are in there in minute quantities, probably to inhibit mold or repel mosquitoes.

A mineral is a “naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a characteristic crystalline structure, color, and hardness.” Inorganic elements such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc are well known examples.

Organic and inorganic compounds form the basis for chemistry and it’s fairly easy to tell them apart. The primary difference between them is that organic compounds always contain carbon; most inorganic compounds don’t. Table sugar, ethanol, and cholesterol with its linked hydrocarbon rings are all organic. Salts, metals, salts, the battery in your smartphone, salts, and all substances except diamonds made from single elements are inorganic.

Maybe she meant it’s organic food! Organic foods are produced without the usual pesticides and fertilizers used in farming. Typically, organic food processing also doesn’t use radiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives.

Organic Chemistry? Nupe. Common table or sea salt is Sodium Chloride with the chemical symbol NaCl. No carbon.

Organic Food? Nupe. It’s been a while since I was in a salt mine, so maybe things have changed but I’m pretty sure they don’t need pesticides, fertilizers, radiation, solvents, or food additives to pull rocks out of the ground or out of sea water.

People are sooooooooooooo gullible.


1 thought on “Dead Sea Salt Scrub

  1. 1. Organics can absorb UV. 2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-p-cresol is sold commercially as Tinuvin P UV absorber and is used in many plastics, caulks, etc. 75ppm in transparent plastic will make it unlikely you would get a sunburn. Not sure which of those organics in Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen is the UV blocker, but just for reference, oil of wintergreen will do it too (but you have to use more.)

    However, you are damned-sure correct about it not being a mineral product.

    2. Can be sea salt rather than mined rock salt. (Or brine-derived salt for that matter.) But I think your arguments still apply.

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