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Does a dip in the sea help your skin?

  • 4 min read

Oh we do love to be beside the seaside! It’s as if we’ve known since ancestral times that there’s something inherently good for us when taking in the sea air! And we’re not wrong, it turns out that there are many benefits of a wonderful splash of salt water. If you’re keen to give your skin a boost this summer, it’s worth considering a trip to the coast for a refreshing dip in the sea. 

There are many benefits of sea water on skin, so if you have questions about what a dip in the sea can do for your skin – or if you simply need a good reason to hit the beach – read on and discover why your body will thank you for taking a plunge into salt water.

Is salt water good for your skin?

If you have ever wondered about the effects of salt water on skin, then you’ll be pleased to know that the sea provides so much more than a refreshing coolness on a sweltering day. That’s right – taking a dip in the sea is actually good for your skin.

One of the most common benefits of salt water on skin is exfoliation. A swim in the ocean allows the salt to scrub away dead skin cells and open the pores. There aren’t many all over natural ways of exfoliating, so lap it up. When you emerge from the sea, slather on plenty of moisturiser which will be absorbed quickly, leaving silky smooth, glowing skin.

Does sea water help dry skin?

Sea water is full of rich minerals and nutrients that can benefit dry skin, including:

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Sulphur

These minerals are an effective combination for alleviating dry skin and can also help to improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It’s tempting to think that going for a swim in the sea is drying, but as long as you moisturise effectively afterwards, the opposite is true.

Can sea water clear acne?

The naturally occurring minerals in sea water can help to reduce the risk of a breakout by absorbing bacteria and restoring healthy pH levels in the skin. It can also soothe redness and irritation to calm acne-prone skin.

Salt water also draws excess oil from the skin, which will dry up troublesome pimples for a clearer, healthier-looking complexion. Combine this with the benefits of the sun’s rays for acne-prone skin and you can be sure that a summertime trip to the beach is a wonderful acne treatment!

Does sea water dehydrate your skin?

Hydrated skin is healthy skin, and a quick plunge into sea water can help to increase the level of hydration in your skin, by opening pores and balancing the natural oil levels.

The magic mineral in sea water is magnesium, which protects the skin’s moisture barrier by locking in moisture and encouraging cell regeneration and regrowth – which can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines in mature skin. Don’t confuse the taught feeling on your skin with problematic dryness, but do use your body moisturiser after a swim.

Will sea water damage my hair?

If you have ever emerged from the sea with tangled, dry hair, you may be thinking that salt water is not beneficial to your locks. And while it is true that salt can draw water out of your hair and scalp, sea water can also improve the appearance of dandruff by gently exfoliating the scalp as you swim.

Plus, magnesium can also stimulate stronger hair growth, so if you want a thicker mane, give sea swimming a try – just remember to apply a leave-in conditioner after your dip to protect your hair and keep it tangle-free. As so often with beauty, it’s about balance and finding what works for you.

Are there any side effects of salt water on the skin?

Of course, before hitting the beach, remember to apply water-resistant sun cream to prevent skin damage and sunburn – read our guide to choosing an appropriate SPF to find out more. It’s also important to choose an SPF that’s kind to the planet and reef-safe.

Spending too much time in the sea can dry out your skin and hair, so keep your swimming session short – about 15 minutes is the ideal time – to reap the best rewards without heading into dryness territory.

While salt water has proven benefits for your skin and hair, it’s important to remember that the sea can be dangerous – and caution is always advised. Make sure you swim with another person, or let someone know if you choose to swim alone. Ideally, swim in safe zones with lifeguards, and always avoid red flag areas.

While many beaches are clean and inviting places to enjoy a refreshing dip, avoid swimming if you have broken skin or a cut, as this could lead to an infection. 

Don’t want to swim in the sea?

If the idea of swimming in the sea doesn’t appeal to you, or you can’t get to the coast this summer, you can still reap the benefits of salt water for your skin without visiting the beach.

For the ultimate sea-spa session at home, exfoliate your skin with a gentle face scrub to open your pores and buff away dead skin cells. Then prepare a salt water bath by adding a quarter of a cup of sea salt to your bath, top up with warm water and sink into the tub to experience the skin-boosting properties of the sea at home. Like you would in the sea, hop out after about 15 minutes.

After your salt bath, slather your skin with a Vitamin E rich moisturiser to lock in natural hydration and keep your skin smooth and soft.

Get ready to take a salt water dip this summer

So, is salt water good for skin? We suggest taking a trip to the beach this summer and discovering for yourself how salt water can benefit your complexion. 

We’d love to know your findings, so tag us in your beach photos and show off your glowing, silky skin. Happy swimming!