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Is Ocean Water Good or Bad for Your Skin

We all know the way sea air and salt water can make us feel relaxed and replenished after a vacation but usually we are afraid that we return home with dry, damaged skin and hair. Indeed, it is essential to prepare our skin and apply specific body care products when hitting the beach to prevent it from getting too dry, but most people don’t know that mineral-rich sea water can also nourish our skin and treat various conditions. Let’s reveal the secrets now and discuss the question ‘is ocean water good for your skin’ by looking at the pros and cons!

Anett Victoria - Author of SeaSpiration

Written by Anett Victoria

When it comes to a beach vacation, Anett is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway, or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear, and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious about where She wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!

Benefits of salt water on skin

If you’re looking for a natural way to hydrate and even out your skin, you may consider treating it with ocean water.

Woman floating on water

Taking a dip in the sea exposes your skin to a variety of natural nutrients that are known to nourish and moisturize skin cells and may also be great for treating some common skin conditions. To learn why is salt water good for your skin, here are the main benefits to know!

Beneficial for various skin conditions

Can swimming be a natural way to clear up skin? According to studies, sea water works wonders for certain skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

The high magnesium content in ocean water provides anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that may help to combat the microbes responsible for skin disorders. Patients treated with sea water saw improvements in inflammation, cracking, and lesions.

May help prevent wrinkles

Salty water provides nourishment and antioxidant benefits the for skin due to its abundance of calcium, potassium, chromium, selenium, zinc, and vanadium. The essential mineral selenium (Se) is particularly effective in keeping the skin firm and protected.

It is powerful for stopping damage from free radicals that cause lines, wrinkles, and premature skin aging. What’s more, selenium provides some protection against UV damage too.

Girl standing in the Ocean

Even if you are not around the ocean, you can benefit from using sea water cosmetics. Just make sure to choose products that contain deep sea water since it has a higher concentration of nutrients compared to shallow water due to reduced exposure to sunlight at deeper depths.

A great exfoliant

Exfoliating regularly helps remove dead skin cells and is essential for having clean, fresh skin. It turns out that being a water baby may also help to reveal fresh skin. That’s because sea salt offers gentle exfoliating properties and increases circulation and like this, it speeds up the resurfacing of new cells.

Gently scrubbing the skin with sea salt also opens pores to allow for moisturizer and anti-aging creams to absorb deeply into the skin for better results. Moreover, it is great for drawing impurities and dirt out that could be responsible for acne.

Hydrates the skin

One common misconception is that ocean water will dehydrate the skin. In fact, the mineral content in salt helps to support the skin’s natural protective barrier.

The taught, tight feeling on the skin that many people experience after swimming in the ocean is actually magnesium working its magic to lock in moisture. With the moisture barrier strengthened, the skin is better able to hold in hydration so as long as you moisturize after a dip in the sea, the appearance of your skin will improve.

Why is salt water bad for your skin?

Dermatologists and skin experts generally agree that salt water has many benefits on the skin, but in some cases, it can exacerbate skin issues. Here’s a look at the potential side effects:

May cause infections

Water quality makes all the difference when submerging your body in the ocean or using sea water containing beauty products.

While most sea salt is safe, some may carry microbial contaminants. Bacteria-filled salt water puts people at risk for skin infections. What many people mistake for the sensation of sunburn during a day at the beach may be actually irritation caused by bacteria.

While salt water is known to boost the immune system, its healing effects aren’t necessarily strong enough to protect you from microbes that are directly entering the body through cuts and other breaks in the skin, so it is crucial to cover any wounds before hitting the water.

To be prepared to treat any unexpected incidents, make sure to have sanitizer, some plasters and bandages among the things you take to the beach.

Salt particles can scratch the skin

Sea salt can be highly abrasive. Many people go “too rough” when exfoliating with sea salt because the texture feels smooth to the touch.

Treating the face with sea salt

However, it can leave tender skin on the face with scratches. In addition to being unattractive, these cuts can be entryways for bacteria, so you should be careful when exfoliating your skin with sea salt.

Increases the risk of sunburn

If you’re soaking your skin in ocean water for the beauty benefits, you may be overlooking the most important part of keeping skin fresh, young, which is keeping it protected from harmful sun rays. Swimming in any type of water but especially in salty water can cause sunscreen to rub away.

Exposure to UV rays is linked with wrinkles, premature aging, discoloration, and skin cancer. No benefit gained by using salt water can outline the damage that a severe sunburn can cause, so make sure to use high SPF, full-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen when at the beach and reapply it as instructed on the packaging of the product.

Why is ocean water good for your skin?

Sea water is filled with minerals and antioxidants that nourish the skin, support the skin’s natural moisture barrier, and fight free radicals. Natural salty water is also great for exfoliation when the goal is to remove dirt and impurities from deep within the pores.

Does salt water damage your skin?

Exposure to salt water is not bad for your skin directly. Swimming casually in seawater only causes problems under certain circumstances: if the water is dirty, bacteria or microbes are present in it, you may experience allergies, rash, breakouts and bacterial infections. When used too aggressively for exfoliation, salt water also can cause irritation but it is beneficial when in moderation and helps clear the skin.

Does salt water clear up skin?

There is some evidence that the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of salt water can help to clear up the skin if you’re suffering from conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. These properties may also help to fight acne when salt water is used as an exfoliant because it opens up the pores to help extract dirt and oils that could be causing breakouts.

Tips to protect your skin from sea water

It’s fully possible to enjoy the benefits of ocean water without going overboard. To avoid suffering from damaged, dry skin after a beach vacation, here are some tips to follow:

  • avoid getting in the ocean if you have open wounds as it can increase the chances of bacteria getting into the body.
  • make sure that you’re applying generous amounts of sunscreen to your entire body when spending time outdoors.
  • never assume that any water source is 100% clean. When planning your holiday, check the quality of beaches and water of the area you are planning to stay in.
  • While it’s fine to regularly spend time in ocean water and enjoy its cleansing and beautifying purposes, it’s important to always rinse off sea water as soon as you can to wash away any potentially harmful substances. At home, take a shower using a mild shower gel to fully cleanse the skin.
  • don’t forget to moisturize after showering. To avoid getting your skin becoming dry, use a rich, yet lightweight body lotion. Should you get a bit sunburnt too, choose a formula that also soothes the skin such as aloe vera gel.
  • if you experience any allergic reaction or irritation when in ocean water or when using seawater-containing body care products, rinse the skin immediately and seek medical assistance if your symptoms do not go away.

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