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Are you a beach person? For me, it’s always been the sea, sipping on a tropical cocktail, soaking in the sun, and listening to the waves. My favorite part is diving into the sea and letting the saltwater soak and revitalize my body.
Not to mention, I’ve heard some bizarre theories about seawater clearing skin conditions. But does swimming in saltwater help acne?
Yes, swimming in salt water can help fight acne prone skin. Saltwater cleanses skin cells by getting rid of bacteria. Since it is packed with salts, it acts as a natural exfoliant, removing excess oil from the skin. Thus, it clears pores, dries out the pimples and removes acne ~Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital.
If you’ve been looking for a natural remedy for your acne-prone skin, you’re in the right place! This article covers essential information on swimming in saltwater and its healing effects on acne. Let’s get started!
Swimming in Salt Water: An Overview
If I were given the opportunity to pick a vacation spot, you’d find me relaxing by the sea. I can go to great lengths to achieve clear, acne-free skin, even if it means diving into the ocean.
Sea water covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface. It’s basically water with a high salt composition, but seawater has a very complex chemical structure. Salts, when dissolved in seawater, split into charged particles called ions.
It contains chloride, magnesium, potassium, sulfate, and calcium ions which are skin-friendly minerals. Let’s discover the significance each of these ions offers to the skin:
- Chloride: opens pores and removes excess oil present on the skin’s surface
- Magnesium: protects your skin from damage and supports the skin’s cell turnover process
- Potassium: the anti-aging mineral prevents wrinkle formation and naturally hydrates the skin.
- Sulfate: remove the dirt and grime from the skin’s surface
- Calcium: encourages lipid synthesis, improving skin hydration
Does Swimming in Saltwater Help Acne Scars? Let’s Know The Mechanism
Saltwater is rich in minerals that dry out the skin. For instance, sulfur is a drying agent, commonly found in anti-blemish skin products.
So, if you have acne scars or blemishes on the skin, diving into the sea might just be what you need!
Seawater and blood plasma have similar chemical compositions of mineral and trace elements.
Magnesium, calcium, and potassium promote healing, reduce scarring, and soothe inflammation. Thus, swimming in salt water can help get rid of acne scars.
Why Swim in Salt Water? 3 benefits of swimming in salt water
By now, you’ve probably understood that swimming in salt water isn’t just good for the soul, but it’s beneficial for the skin too! When consumed, salt can cause bloating and high blood pressure, but when applied to the skin, it can do wonders!
Let’s discover some of the benefits of swimming in salt water.
3 Benefits of Swimming in Salt Water:
1. Exfoliates the Skin
Saltwater acts as a gentle exfoliant. The salt composites open pores of the skin and decongests them. Salts such as zinc, magnesium, and potassium boast antibacterial properties, fighting acne-causing bacteria.
Seawater can help fight acne by removing the layer of dead skin cells present on the skin surface
Caution: Saltwater is not suitable for every skin type. It’s best to consult your dermatologist before diving into the sea.
2. Rejuvenates The Skin
The best thing saltwater can do for your skin is support the cell turnover process, for healthier-looking, clear skin.
Magnesium present in seawater soothes itchy and dry skin while reducing inflammation.
The mineral helps your skin recover and regulates the cell repair process, ensuring your skin remains protected against external attacks.
3. Relieve Skin Conditions
Minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, heal the skin and help combat skin infections.
Eczema can be treated with seawater since magnesium alleviates itching and soothes inflammation.
“Sea water contains magnesium-based salt, an anti-inflammatory that fights skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.” ~ Dr. Zeichner
What will happen if I swim for a long time in saltwater?
- Effects of swimming for a long time in sea-saltwater:
If you’re diving into the saltwater (sea salt water) make sure you don’t expose your body for too long. Prolonged exposure to saltwater dries out the skin, stripping it of its natural oils. This will do more damage than good.
- Effects of swimming for a long time in salt water pools:
The same goes for salt water pools since they contain chlorine. Studies have revealed that frequently swimming in chlorine pools increases the risk of asthma or lung inflammation.
It isn’t always possible to run to the beach every time you feel that your skin is breaking out.
In such cases, you can make your own saltwater spray by dissolving three tablespoons of salt in extremely hot water.
What are the side effects of swimming in salt water?
Saltwater itself is not harmful to the skin but constant exposure to it can distress the skin, especially if you suffer from skin conditions such as eczema.
Prolonged exposure must be avoided if you suffer from eczema or have sensitive skin. Plus, the skin on the face tends to be thinner and more sensitive, so saltwater must be avoided if your skin is more easily irritated.
Exposure to salt water alters the composition of the human skin microbiome. ~ Marisa Chattman Nielsen, Ph.D. University of California
My Observation: Although saltwater helps with acne, spending too much time in the ocean can worsen overall skin health (mentioned earlier also how it worsen skin conditions).
1. What would be the ideal duration of swimming in saltwater?
The ideal duration of swimming in saltwater is not more than 6 to 8 hours. However, it may change due to your skin conditions.
My suggestion is to take the help of a dermatologist to know what would be the ultimate duration of swimming in saltwater against your body conditions.
2. Does your body absorb the salt in saltwater pools?
Yes, the human skin can absorb the salt in saltwater pools. Apart from sodium, the chlorine and salts present in the pools also penetrate the skin which has raised many health concerns.
3. Can swimming in saltwater cause swelling?
Saltwater does not cause swelling, but if you are at the beach, in a hot environment, your feet and ankles are likely to swell. This is because the blood flow in blood vessels increases to cool your body down, causing swelling.
4. Is swimming in a saltwater pool good for you?
Swimming in a saltwater pool helps relieve muscle pains, soreness, and joint pain, thus, it is good for the body.
5. Does saltwater remove blackheads?
Saltwater is rich in minerals and absorbs the bacteria present on the skin surface. It sucks the dirt and oil present in pores which reduces blackheads and acne breakouts.
My Final Opinion
I’m sure you have tried all the remedies you could find to heal your acne. But if you haven’t tried this saltwater beauty hack, I’d suggest you pack your bags and run to the beach.
There’s a reason why doctors in the olden days advised their patients to take a dip in the ocean to heal pains! The ocean benefits the skin and the body and helps fight acne.I hope I’ve cleared all your doubts regarding saltwater as an acne treatment. Don’t forget to share this article with your loved ones struggling with acne.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.