We all know that water is essential to healthy, beautiful skin. I go so far as to track every glass I drink because, without a doubt, my skin does not hide dehydration well! But water can work hard on the outside too.
From volcanic springs to salt-saturated seas, women around the world cherish these top spots for their water’s curative properties. And for those of us who can’t hop on the next transcontinental flight, I’ve included some great products that pack all the benefits without the skin-parching flight or the jetlag.
1) Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Iceland’s name conjures visions of a frigidly cold land of snow and ice, and in the wintertime, it is far colder than my sun-spoiled body will bear. But as she often does, Mother Nature offers reprieve from the cold.
Exploring the outskirts of the capital, Reykjavik, reveals a dramatic landscape of rocky black lava fields punctuated with blue phosphorescent thermal pools. The Blue Lagoon offers visitors a chance to relax and soak in the benefits of the warm geothermal waters.
Water temp: 98-104°F (37-40°C)
Properties: Silica, Algae, Minerals
Benefits: Silica fortifies the epidermis (the skin’s outermost layer) and Algae helps the skin produce collagen
Product: Blue Lagoon Rich Nourishing Cream, $150
2) Dead Sea, Borders Israel, Jordan and Palestine
The Dead Sea is a paradox. After all, could there truly be a place with an environment so hostile that no animal life form could survive it, and yet also offer incredible health benefits?
At about 8 times the salinity of the ocean, the Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. The result is that the water is so dense, you can naturally and effortlessly float on the water while your skin drinks up all the mineral goodness.
Water temp: 66°-99°F (19°-37°C)
Properties: Salt and Minerals (Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Bromides)
Benefits: The minerals found in Dead Sea Salt work together to combat stress, ease fluid retention, slow the effects of aging, increase circulation and strengthen bones and nails.
Product: Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion, $26
3) Terme di Saturnia, Italy
Italian women seemingly have it all: incredible food and wine, a remarkably picturesque countryside, beautiful designer clothing and the shoes, oh the shoes! So it’s only fitting that they would also have access to world-class skincare. Located near the Italian west coast, the Terme di Saturnia promises to relax and rejuvenate under the Tuscan sun.
Water temp: 99.5° F (37.5°) C
Properties: Sulfur, Carbon, Sulphate, Calcium, Magnesium
Benefits: The water’s healing properties promote natural exfoliation and cleansing and also have an anti-inflammatory effect which help alleviate skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
Product: Terme di Saturnia Sebum Normalizing Cream, $92
4) Kusatsu Onsen, Japan
A 60-minute bullet-train ride from bustling Tokyo transports you to one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. Kusatsu Onsen features several pools of varying temperatures as high as 118° F. Now that’s hot! So hot that one would wonder how it is even possible to bathe in the water without scalding oneself. This is where Mother Nature (love her) comes in.
The water has very high acidity — in fact it has about the same pH of lemon juice. As the water mixes with the air and the sun’s rays, it crystallizes into a natural bath salt, Yunohana. These Yunohana form a membrane around the bather as she enters the water, making the water feel cooler than it is. How cool is that?!
Water temp: 118° F (48° C)
Properties: Sulfur, aluminum sulfate and chloride
Benefits: The highly acidic water relieves everything from muscular pain to skin ailments. In fact, it’s said that the only thing it can’t cure is heartache. Awww. 🙁
Product: Yunohana Bath Salts are sold in limited quantities in the town of Kusatsu, but I have been able to find similar versions on Ebay through various sellers.