So it's Thanksgiving here in the states and an odd combination of things are on my mind. In the past day, I've
- Brined a turkey whole, skin on
- Taken a long epsom salt bath
(Same thing, right? What a turkey! Haha.)
Anyways, it got me wondering, can a long salt water bath increase water retention? It's basically the same process as brining meat:
Salt is added to cold water in a container, where the meat is soaked usually six to twelve hours [making] cooked meat moister by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking, via the process of osmosis
I'm sure we've all experienced dry, shriveled or even cracking skin (called xeroderma when chronic), which can apparently be improved by warm baths or showers. And here is where I'm in danger of leaving the bounds of rigorous science: can you cause or worsen water retention by soaking in a salt water bath? How much water can the skin take on? If you weighed yourself regularly and rigorously, would you be able to perceive a difference in weight before and after such a bath?
If it doesn't occur, what makes human skin different in this regard from poultry skin? Would brining not be effective if the body cavity of the bird weren't opened and vacated? (Brining and marinating of course works perfectly well on skinless cuts of meat.)