Are Your Summer Dips in the Ocean Good for Your Skin?

Megan Dominion

Everybody looks forward to an incredible summer, I mean, who would not? Right?

The best way to describe fun in the sun is a trip to the beach. Summer would not be complete without enjoying the sights, sounds, and breeze of the ocean. However, is too much vitamin sea good for your skin?

It turns out that sea salt has numerous skin benefits1Is saltwater good for the skin? What to know – Medical News Today. Those of us who don’t live in an area with easy access to the beach often fantasize about the next time we can dig our toes into the warm sand and feel the wonders salt water can do to our skin.

Is Salt Water Good for Skin?

It comes as a surprise to many that the sea offers much more than a cool breeze on a hot day, but can ultimately be beneficial to your skin.

Skin exfoliation is one of the most common benefits of salt water on the skin. The salt in the ocean scrubs away dead skin cells and opens the pores. It is recommended that when you get out of the water, slather on plenty of moisturizers, which will absorb quickly and leave you with silky smooth, glowing skin.

Many beneficial substances are found in seawater, including magnesium, potassium, zinc, iodine, sodium, and iron. That’s why a quick dip in the ocean is essentially a mineral bath for your skin. Ocean water may be especially beneficial to people with sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema2Swimming with Eczema: What You Should Know Before You Take the Plunge – National Eczema Association, as mineral-rich ocean water can sometimes soothe skin irritation and inflammation. It is also said to sometimes help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis and other dry skin conditions, by simply soaking or bathing in sea salt water. These benefits will be very dependent on the individual, so take note of how your skin reacts next time you take a dip to understand your skin better.

Benefits of Salt Water for Skin

Soaking or swimming in salt water may be beneficial to the skin in a variety of ways, including:

Woman on beach

Exfoliates the Skin

On the skin, saltwater may act as a mechanical exfoliant. Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells from the skin’s top layer. This may help prevent the buildup of dead skin cells that can lead to blocked pours and acne.

Boost Magnesium Levels

Magnesium-rich salt water helps the skin retain moisture while absorbing toxins and reducing inflammation.

Reduce Skin Allergic Reactions

Research has noted that deep seawater may help reduce allergic reactions in the skin. They also found that deep seawater slowed or blocked the response of histamine and proinflammatory cytokines.

Treatment of Eczema and Psoriasis

Balneotherapy is a therapy that involves bathing in thermal mineral waters to treat certain medical conditions. Saltwater is rich in minerals and nutrients that can help dry skin, such as:

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur

These minerals work well together to relieve dry skin and can also sometimes help with some skin conditions.

Women swimming at the beach

Does Salt Water Dry Out your Skin?

A quick dip in seawater can help to increase the hydration level in your skin by opening pores and balancing natural oil levels. Magnesium, the magical mineral in seawater, protects the skin’s moisture barrier by holding in moisture and promoting cell regeneration, which can also help to reduce the appearance of dry skin and fine lines in mature skin.

Tips for Protecting Your Skin from Sun Damage

Continue to enjoy the wonders of the ocean, but take some steps to keep yourself safe. Sun exposure is the most common cause of premature skin damage, that’s why while out in the sun, it is recommended to always use sunscreen to protect your skin and reapply as needed. Staying in the shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelters can also help you avoid sun damage and skin cancer.

Too much time in the sea can dry out your skin and hair, so keep your swimming session short, 15 minutes is said to be the ideal time, to reap the most benefits without becoming dehydrated. While salt water has been shown to have skin and hair benefits, it is indeed important to remember that the sea can be dangerous and extreme caution is always advised.

Why Salt Water may Feel like Burning?

Although saltwater is not harmful to your skin, prolonged exposure to a combination of salt, sun, and sand can irritate and dry out skin, particularly in those who have a history of dry skin or other issues such as eczema, resulting in a burning or irritating sensation.

Take a Dip for Your Skin’s Vitamin Sea

A beach vacation would not be complete without a quick dip in the ocean. The soothing sounds of the sea, the vast blue water, the cool breeze, and, of course, the skin benefits of saltwater. Saltwater contains nutrients, has antibacterial properties and exfoliates the skin, all of which may benefit skin health.

So, is salt water beneficial to the skin? Take a trip to the beach this summer to see for yourself how salt water can work wonders on your skin. If you needed even more of a reason to hit the beach this summer, this is the sign you are looking for!

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.