Ever come back from a beach day with your skin (and hair) looking like what you would see in an ad for your favorite beauty product?
You may have even pondered the possibility of recreating that impact in the comfort of your own home, maybe by using saltwater from the ocean to wash your face and spray your hair.
Or perhaps, you have seen videos on TikTok that claim washing your face with salt water may help clear up acne breakouts and give you a “just-got-back-from-the-beach” appearance.
However, is salt water healthy for your skin?
Keep reading to discover what specialists have to say about putting salt water on your face—including what it can and can’t do for your skin.
This information will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to ditch your normal face wash in favor of a refreshing dip in the ocean.
Salt Water for Facial Skin
According to Snehal Amin, FAAD, MD, people in ancient Egypt knew that salt water had the power to disinfect and wash the skin, and this practice is still valid today. (1)
The question is, what exactly are the advantages of bathing in salt water for the skin?
Salt may be used as a scrub and a mechanical exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells. This results in the skin having a more refined texture and a more radiant appearance.
Salts can absorb poisons and suck out dirt and oil via osmosis. Increased pore size reduction is a further advantage, according to Amin.
However, before you go out and buy a bunch of salt, you should be aware that washing your face with salt water is not something you should do regularly.
This recommendation comes from a board-certified dermatologist at the La Jolla Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center, Azadeh Shirazi. (2)
Without a shadow of a doubt, most individuals, especially women, fantasize about having softer, cleaner, and smoother skin, not to mention pores that seem smaller.
The two specialists, Snehal Amin and Azadeh Shirazi, agree that salt water is most effective for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin, despite the possibility that it may not genuinely cure acne.
The Many Benefits of Washing Your Face with Salt Water
Everyone strives to have beautiful, youthful-looking skin.
Washing your face as soon as you get up, sipping a glass of warm water, and then proceed to cleanse, tone, moisturize and apply sunscreen is one of the most common pieces of advice that people give to those who want healthy skin—whether it comes from your dermatologist, your mother, or your grandmother.
Since we lead such hurried lives and are addicted to our phones, we are often too distracted to pay attention to the little things happening around us.
Washing your face with salted water instead of ordinary water is a great way to achieve smooth skin.
Yes, just one simple ingredient. If you’re planning to give this hack a go, here are a few benefits you must know about washing your face with salt water:
- Fights and eliminates acne-causing bacteria.
- Treat eczema and psoriasis, among other conditions.
- Acts as a natural facial toner for refreshing skin.
- Heals certain wounds and blemishes.
- Gets rid of dead skin cells on the skin surface.
- Improves blood circulation and detoxifies the skin.
- Minerals help in softening and promote hydration.
- Balances the PH level of facial skin (maximum 5).
- Potassium and magnesium help in skin brightening.
- Deeply cleanses the pores and removes blackheads.
- Eliminates dark spots, acne scars, and stubborn marks.
Now that you know all about the benefits of using salt water, focus on correcting the process.
We recommend using non-iodized salt and taking two teaspoons of that salt before adding it to a cup with four cups of boiled water. Combine the two ingredients and give a good shake.
Once boiled, remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool. After it has reached the desired temperature, it is ready for use.
Some More Ways to Use Salt Water for Skin
Salt is readily available in most kitchens, and it is not difficult to make salt water at home. The following is a list of ways to improve your skin by using salt water.
- Combine sea salt, water, and some honey. (1 tsp)
- Mix well to form a thick paste.
- Apply this across your whole face.
- Keep it on for approximately 20 minutes.
- Wash it off with warm water and pat dry.
- Take a quarter cup of salt and water, or use a cup of seawater.
- Add a half cup of olive or coconut oil.
- Add drops of your preferred essential oil to the mixture.
- Mix well to form a thick paste.
- Scrub it on your face in a gentle circular motion to remove any dead skin cells.
- Wash it off with either cold or lukewarm water.
- Combine one spoonful of fine sea salt with one cup of warm water.
- Add a pinch of Epsom salt and dissolve both the salts.
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle with a nozzle attached.
The Ancient Skin-Softening Bathing Ritual
The skin-soothing soak is a frequent spa treatment that can be replicated at home, and we can’t recommend it enough.
If you have access to a bathtub, give this treatment a try. Milk, clay, minerals, or—our favorite—salt water may be used as a soak to help you get softer skin and calm your mind and body (more on this below). The following are some reasons you might consider using a salt water soak.
Over the years, it has been shown that soaking in salt water may alleviate symptoms of dry, scaling skin (like what’s caused by psoriasis), as well as aid ease discomfort in the joints and muscles.
It’s possible that using salts from the Dead Sea might make these advantages even more apparent. Located in Israel, the Dead Sea is 10 times saltier than any other sea on Earth and has been said to have therapeutic capabilities since Biblical times.
Researchers at the University of Negev in Israel gave salt baths to thirty patients suffering from psoriasis Vulgaris—a condition characterized by rapidly dividing, overactive cells that cause patchy, scaly skin—for twenty minutes per day over three weeks. (3)
The patients were divided into two groups: soaking in regular salt water and soaking in Dead Sea salt water.
The findings showed that both baths significantly decreased the amount and severity of psoriasis; however, the Dead Sea salt soak reduced psoriasis much more than the other saltwater baths did.
Why is this the case?
No one can say for sure, although it might have something to do with the increased quantities of bromide, magnesium, and other ions found in Dead Sea salt.
The method is quite simple. Since soaking in salt water for an extended period might cause dehydration, you must do it for that long to gain the advantages (approximately 20 minutes).
If the price of Dead Sea salts, which may be purchased at specialist shops or online, is out of your budget, you can substitute common sea salt.
It is entirely up to you how much salt you put into the water, but be sure you put in enough so it has the same saltiness as the sea.
Even though you may have come across recommendations or videos on TikTok promoting DIY salt water as a simple and magical cure for all your skin issues, this is not entirely the truth.
Washing your face with salt water may be abrasive and uncomfortable, and repeated usage can weaken your skin’s protective barrier. Some skin diseases, including acne and eczema, may worsen as a consequence, leading to hyperpigmentation and scarring.
The Bottom Line
So, there you have it – all the information about washing your face in salt water.
Indeed, salt water may still benefit your skin in several ways; however, to keep your skin from becoming very dry, reduce the amount of salt you use and limit the amount of time you spend in salt water.
See a dermatologist if you need further assistance in treating acne or any other skin condition.
On top of that, the ancient therapy benefits from dipping in salt (or even better, Dead Sea salt!) baths are very much real today, and you can take advantage of this common household ingredient.