How Mineral Baths Revive Your Skin

Epsom salts exfoliate the skin, which opens it up to absorb moisture.
Epsom salts exfoliate the skin, which opens it up to absorb moisture.
Polka Dot/Thinkstock

We're all looking for that elusive product to keep us looking soft, kissable, clean, clear and glowing. You could spend hundreds of dollars each year on lotions and potions all purporting to give you a youthful look. And some people even undergo chemical peels or plastic surgery looking for that magical effect. But what if you could tap into that fabled "fountain of youth" by simply taking a dip in your own bathtub or a natural spring? It costs next to nothing, and studies show that it actually really works. Yes, it's true: Mineral baths can revive and improve your skin.

Hot springs are very high in naturally-occurring minerals like salt, magnesium, sulfur, calcium and sodium bicarbonate, and for about as long as man and woman have been around, they've been bathing in these mineral-rich waters around the globe. The ancient Greeks called the practice of relaxing in natural hot springs "balneotherapy," or "taking the waters." And many historians agree that the hot springs in Florida are actually the "Fountain of Youth" Ponce de Leon so famously sought. There's even a story that Cleopatra was so enamored of the magical beauty powers of the Dead Sea's mud and water that she urged her lover Mark Antony to conquer the region so she could have unlimited access!

Today in Europe and Japan, hot springs are an accepted method for treating musculo-skeletal issues, as well as high blood pressure, arthritis, nasal congestion, digestion problems and other complaints. It's said that the high concentration of minerals in the water has healing properties. What are they?