If you're looking for sustainable luxury with a twist, why not take yourself away on a therapeutic break to the salt lakes? There are salt lakes scattered all over the world, but not all are maintained by an ecosystem, making it possible and of course, safe for bathing. A trip to the salt lakes is a fantastic experience for people of all ages. It's fun, interesting and ideal for those who are looking to enjoy an outdoor spa break.
Traditional spa breaks are wonderful but a visit to a salt lake can provide you with the same relaxing experience in a more natural environment. Salt lakes are usually found in natural, untouched environments, close to beaches, mountains and countryside. So as well as enjoying bathing in the salt lakes, you can also enjoy some scenic walks in the fresh air whilst there. Salt lake destinations are the kind of places where you can visit just for the day to say you've had the experience, or you can extend your stay and incorporate bathing in the salt lakes into your beauty regime. Either way, a visit to the salt lakes is highly recommended and you're sure to come away feeling rejuvenated.
What Causes Salt Lakes?
When water containing salt or minerals enters an endorheic lake, and therefore cannot leave, salt lakes are formed. Once the water has entered the lake, it evaporates and leaves behind dissolved salts. This is why salt lakes are an ideal location for salt production. Should you visit a salt lake, you may notice great quantities of salt piled up nearby, and and possibly salt miners working away.
Why are Salt Lakes Pink?
Salt lakes are typically red, pink or orange in colour. The reason for this is microbes. Due to the high salt content in the water, very little can survive in such environments. However, single-celled organisms known as halobacteria thrive in high salinity conditions. The fruity shade of pink that comes from halobacteria is produced by a highly pigmented protein called bacteriorhodospin. The process is similar to that of photosynthesis in plants. Bacteriorhodospin is used to sense light in the retinas of vertebrates and halobacteria use it to absorb energy from the sun. That said, the intensity of the shade will differ throughout the seasons and also depends on the water level at the time. The colour is strongest during the summer months when the water levels are generally at their lowest.
Are Salt Lakes Safe for Bathing?
Salt lakes are perfectly safe for bathing. Despite their associated beauty benefits, the water is not safe for drinking due to its high salt levels. For this reason, not much can survive in salt lakes.
Why Do You Float in Salt Lakes?
The Dead Sea, along with salt lakes across the world, are unique in the way that you float in the water. The level of dissolved mineral salts is so highly concentrated, making the density of the water far greater than that of plain water. Our body weight Is less dense or lighter than the density of the water, which makes it easy for us to float. The difference between floating in plain water and floating in saline water, is that in plain water you have to consciously make yourself float. In saline waters you float without even trying. Experiencing this sensation is incredibly impressive. Swimming in saline waters isn't as easy as in plain waters, so bear in mind if you're planning a trip, salt lakes aren't ideal conditions for swimming.
Health and Beauty Benefits Associated with Salt Lakes
The most beneficial aspect of bathing in salt lakes or the Dead Sea is the high concentrations of salt and minerals. Sea salt is incredibly beneficial for your skin. The salt and minerals found in salt lakes, as well as in the Dead Sea, contain antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It helps to cleanse the skin by eliminating bacteria and unclogging pores. The salt isn't damaging to your skin, but it is abrasive enough to stimulate blood flow when using it as an exfoliater. Sea salt and minerals are also brilliant for promoting skin healing. Last of all, bathing has very many therapeutic benefits too. All in all, bathing in salt lakes offers a wealth of physical and mental health benefits.
My Travel Diary to the Salt Lakes
My first trip to the salt lakes took place a couple of months ago, when I visited the salt lakes in Burgas, Bulgaria. It's definitely an experience I recommend. At first I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was aware that your body floated in saline waters but it's not until you try it for yourself that you can fully appreciate the sensation of the pomegranate-toned water pushing your body back up to the surface. The waterbed was a firm surface of uneven salt crystals in parts and soft black clay mud in other areas. Due to the high salinity and minerals in the water. The surrounding area can sometimes bear an unpleasant smell. This is nothing to worry about and you can still bathe in the lakes during these times. Luckily for me, the smell was not present at the time I chose for bathing. The water was warmer than I had expected, unlike the sea temperature at that time, which was noticeably cooler.
I walked down the steps, into the middle of the salt lake so that I could test out floating. When my feet were on the ground, I didn't float – it's not the same as gravity. But once my feet left the ground and I attempted floating on my front, on my back, or tried to swim, the water was constantly pushing me back up to the surface. The texture of the water was something that grabbed my attention almost immediately after entering the salt lake. The water felt silky on my skin, almost like a moisturiser. Dipping my hair into the opaque water was like immersing my hair into a bottle of conditioner. The salty water made my hair feel denser, as though I'd got plenty of product in it, but it didn't have the same drying effect that salty sea water has. After leaving the lake, my hair and skin felt smooth, hydrated and as though there was a layer of salt on my skin. The soda minerals made my skin glisten; like I'd poured glitter all over myself. Admittedly, I did have a strong urge to shower off the salt residue and wash my hair afterwards, but the effects of bathing in the salt lakes made my skin and hair feel great!
Where Can You Visit Salt Lakes in the World?
There are salt lakes located all around the world, but some of the best places to *visit are:
- The Dead Sea, Israel
- The Great Salt Lake, Utah
- Burgas, Bulgaria
- South Aral Sea, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
- Lake Turkana - Kenya and Ethopia
- Lake Van, Turkey
- Lake Eyre - Australia
- Qinghai Lake, China
- Lake Urmia - Iran
- Issyk Kul, Kyrgystan
- Lake Balkhash - Kazakhstan
- Caspian Sea - Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan
*These are the links to the nearest airports located near to the salt lakes mentioned above. This post contains affiliate links*