Swim in the Sea! Is Salt Water Bad for Your Skin or Good?
During the summer, there’s nothing like taking a dip in the pool or in the ocean on a hot day. I mean, lounging on the beach with a good book (and lots of SPF) is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Summer is the perfect time of the year for beach days, salt sprays, vitamin D, a glowing complexion, and relaxation – but is there such a thing as too much salt water? In other words – is salt water bad for your skin?
We’ve heard that too much salt in our food is no bueno, so could the same ring true for our skin? With the amount of salt scrubs out there, it makes sense why you’d be curious. Below, we’ll discuss all of the benefits and need-to-know facts about salt water on the body and finally address the question: is salt water bad for your skin?
- Magnesium, calcium, and potassium are all skin-friendly minerals that can be found in sea salt.
- Sea salt acts as a great exfoliant that opens pores for a deeper clean, increases blood circulation, and allows your skin to better absorb moisturizers and other topical skin treatments.
- Salt water has moisture-reducing abilities that can help control excess oil, which eventually leads to clogged pores.
Is Salt Water Bad For Your Skin?
Like stated earlier, it’s quite common for people to avoid consuming salt since it can cause bloating and contribute to high blood pressure. However, when it comes to your skin, salt can do wonders to balance, protect, and restore the body and skin.
If you don’t believe me, think of all of the people who travel to the Dead Sea each year just to bathe in the mineral rich waters. You may have even noticed yourself that swimming in the sea helped treat a cut you had. Is salt water bad for your skin? Not necessarily. Here’s why:
Benefits of Salt Water for Skin
Salt water naturally contains plenty of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. Magnesium, sulfur, selenium, calcium, and potassium are all skin-friendly minerals that can be found in sea salt and act as natural detoxifiers and antiseptics (1). These minerals can help combat acne-causing bacteria, skin infections, reduce inflammation, and speed up the healing process for wounds, thus diminishing scars.
2. Controls Oil and Reduces Clogged Pores
Those with an oily skin mood can benefit from washing their face with a saltwater solution due to its moisture-reducing abilities that can help control excess oil, which eventually leads to clogged pores.
3. Helps with Eczema
If you have eczema, you can really benefit by using salt water in your skincare ritual since magnesium is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial mineral that alleviates itching and reduces moisture from bacteria and fungi that causes eczema.
4. Exfoliating Abilities
Sea salt acts as a great exfoliant that opens pores for a deeper clean, increases blood circulation, removes dead skin cells, and allows your skin to better absorb moisturizers and other topical skin treatments. If you have sensitive skin, salt water should be used for your body instead of the face where your skin is thinner and more easily irritated. If you don’t have sensitive skin and are looking to attain softer skin, incorporate sea salt into your shower ritual – it aids in skin cell turnover, helping you achieve softer skin texture and combat itchy skin.
5. Anti-Dandruff Treatment
You don’t have to use salt water for just your body and face; you can also use it in your hair. Salt water helps loosen and remove dandruff while stimulating blood circulation for a healthier scalp. Also, sea salt helps keep fungal growth at bay by absorbing excess oil and moisture (2).
Overexposure to Salt Water
If you’re a skin-thusiast, you’re most likely well aware of the harmful effects that the sun can have on your skin, which is why applying sunscreen regularly every day is so important. But there’s another culprit lurking on the beach that can wreak havoc on your skin and hair when you are overexposed to it. Unfortunately, that culprit is salt water.
Of course, moderation is key. So, when it comes to the question, “Is salt water bad for your skin?”, there’s not a definitive “yes” or “no”. The key word here is “overexposure.” Moderate exposure to salt water can have many beneficial effects on the skin and hair like we mentioned earlier. As long as you’re careful and protect your skin and hair before and after taking a trip to the beach, you can reap salt water’s natural benefits and avoid the negatives.
Negatives of Overexposure to Salt Water
1. Dry Skin
If you are already prone to a dry skin mood on your face or body, salt water can exacerbate the issue for some people. The pH balance of the water you’re swimming in varies from place to place, so some bodies of salt water can be more or less drying than others.
2. Dry and Knotty Hair
Ever went to the beach, not fully wash the salt out of your hair, and notice how hard it is to brush the next day?
This is because the strands of your hair can become dehydrated if too much moisture is lost by salt water sitting in your hair all day and drawing moisture out. This can make it tanged, dry, dull, brittle, knotty and hard to manage. Avoid this at all costs and be sure to thoroughly rinse out all of the salt water from your face and body after you’ve had your fun in the sun. Then, use a moisturizing cleanser and apply moisturizing and conditioning products to the skin and hair.
3. Irritate Wounds
While salt water can speed up the healing process of wounds, you shouldn’t run to the beach every time you get a cut. Due to pollution, ocean water can be toxic and contain bacteria that can contaminate wounds.
4. Chlorine in Salt Water
Beware of saltwater swimming pools, as they can have added chlorine. It’s helpful to be aware of this, as chlorine can bind to the skin and cause dryness, irritation, and lead to free radical damage (3).
Written by Selena Ponton