Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bath Salts

The term bath salts refers to a range of water-soluble, usually inorganic solid products designed to be added to a bath. They are said to improve cleaning, improve the experience of bathing, and serve as a vehicle for cosmetic agents. Bath salts have been developed which mimic the properties of natural mineral baths or hot springs.

Such salts include:

    magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)
    sodium chloride (table salt)
    sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
    sodium hexametaphosphate (Calgon, amorphous/glassy sodium metaphosphate)
    sodium sesquicarbonate

The name of "salts" comes from the appearance, similar to the crystals of common salt, rather than the presence of true chemical salts. Chemically speaking, many organic substances commonly used in bath water (such as soap and many others surfactants) are salts, but not referred to as "bath salts". On the other hand, some organic salts such as sodium citrate are used in bath salts.

Fragrances and colors are often added to bath salts; in fact, one purpose of salts is as a vehicle or diluent to extend fragrances which are otherwise too potent for convenient use. Other common additives to bath salts are oils (agglomerating the salts to form amorphous granules, the product being called "bath beads" or "bath oil beads"), foaming agents, and effervescent agents.

Bath salts may be packaged for sale in boxes or bags. Their appearance is often considered attractive, and they may be sold in transparent containers, showing off, for example, the needlelike appearance of sodium sesquicarbonate crystals.

Bath salts may even refer to a new type of designer drug that has hit the U.S in places like Miami, North Dakota, etc.

History of bath salts
The earliest systematic exposition of the different kinds of salts, its uses, and the methods of its extraction was published in China around 2700 years BCE. Hippocrates encouraged his fellow healers to make use of salt water to heal various ailments by immersing their patients in sea water. The ancient Greeks continued this, and in 1753 English author and physician Dr. Charles Russel published "The Uses of Sea Water".
Effects of bath salts

Salts change the osmotic balance of the water so that less water is absorbed by the skin via osmosis.[citation needed] Some bath salts such as phosphates have a detergent action vhich softens calloused skin and aids in exfoliation. Some bath salts act as water softeners and change the way soap rinses. Some confusion may arise after a first experience with soft water. Hard water does not lather well with soap and can leave a sticky feeling. Soft water lathers better than hard water but feels slippery for a longer time during rinsing of soap, even though the soap is coming off faster, because the soap remains soluble.

High concentrations of salts increase the density of the water and increase buoyancy which makes the body feel lighter in the bath. Very high concentrations of salts in water are used in many isolation tank therapies.

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