Your Best Friend In The Beauty Department. In a constant search for the fountain of youth, Americans are pushing the skin care market to record sales levels. According to trade magazine Cosmetics International, sales of moisturizers, cleansers, hand care products and body lotions are predicted to reach $7 billion by 2010, thanks to double-digit growth from anti-aging products. But if you’re among the big spenders, you may not realize that one of the best beauty secrets could be hiding in a 40-pound bag in a corner of your basement. The secret is salt. That’s right, salt. It’s contained in home water-conditioning units across the nation, and it holds the key to all kinds of things that make us feel beautiful, from smoother skin to shinier hair.

The Beauty of Softened Water

Most American households-85 percent-are affected by hard water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The naturally occurring minerals in “hard” water are the root of many beauty and household problems. For example, when you bathe or shower in hard water, mineral deposits are left behind on your body, which may dry out your skin. These mineral deposits can also leave your hair looking dry and dull. In addition, hard water makes it difficult for soaps, detergents and shampoos to lather, which in turn forces you to use more of these products and to scrub harder when cleaning.

Installing a water softener in your home can greatly reduce the harsh effects of the natural minerals found in water.
“I ask every client if they have a water softener at home,” said Stephen Adams, owner of Moxie Salon in Minneapolis and Paul Mitchell senior national educator. “Clients love the look I create for them in the salon, but when they try to re-create it at home, it doesn’t quite look the same. In many cases, the hard water they use to wash their hair keeps the style from reaching its true potential.”

To get the most benefits from your water conditioner, be sure to choose a water-conditioning salt with a high purity level. For example, Diamond Crystal salt pellets are up to 99.8 percent pure salt and are packaged in a 40-pound bag with two convenient handles, making it easy to lift and carry.

Beauty Tips: Beautify With High-Purity Salt

Smoother skin: Softened water helps make the surface of your skin feel smooth and supple. In dry climates or when humidity is low during the winter months, your skin can become dry. While some may turn to lotions and creams for relief, bathing or showering in soft water is a much more pleasant experience because minerals that irritate skin have been removed from your home’s water supply.

Bubblier bubble baths: With mineral deposits such as calcium and magnesium removed from your water, your soaps will lather more quickly and completely, generating more bubbles for a luxurious bath or shower. Since less soap is needed in order to generate those bubbles, expensive shower gels and bathing products also last much longer.

Cleaner, shinier hair: Shampooing in softened water can reveal your hair’s natural shine because it allows you to wash your hair more completely. Only a small amount of shampoo is needed to create a full head of lather, leaving hair softer, shinier and looking better conditioned.

“Hard water can’t thoroughly rinse out dulling chemical and mineral deposits,” Adams added. “If you want hair that’s really clean, you need soft water. And clean hair is the foundation of great style.”

Fluffy sheets and towels: When you launder bath towels in softened water, your towels will feel like they’re fresh from the spa. Your skin won’t be as irritated because the towels will feel softer and fluffier.

By pauline