Many of the Senegalese people mine salt from the lake bottom. The salt that is extracted is carried to shore in cakes. To protect their skin, the salt collectors rub their skin with shea butter which is an salve that is used to avoid damage to the tissues of the skin.
The color of the lake is dependent on the light. On days when there is a strong wind, the lake will dry up and the salt concentration in it will increase, the bacteria in the lake will resist allowing more pigment, and the lake will turn red. On days that are cloudy, the lake will appear more gray than pink.