Summer is the season to kick back, relax, take kids for vacation and just enjoy being outside; but it's not the time to slack on your skincare routine. UVA/UVB rays are harmful all year long but they are especially damaging during the summer months when our exposure levels are higher thanks to spending free days at the beach or in the park. That's why it's important to focus on sun and heat protection in addition to maintaining your regular skincare routine. But it can be tough to know where to start when switching over your products for a new season.
The magic of vitamin D and vitamin Sea: the duo that makes beach days feel restorative for your mind and body. But prolonged sun exposure can wreak havoc on your skin, and saltwater can have its own set of pitfalls if you’re not careful. No need to skip fun in the sun, though; let's talk about saltwater on skin and how to replenish the complexion after beach day is done.
What's in Salt Water?
Ever notice how smooth and soft your skin feels after a dip in the ocean? Or how seawater seems to quickly heal a skin abrasion or pesky pimple? That’s because the deep blue sea contains a cocktail of nutrient-rich minerals and amino acids that can benefit the skin.
In addition to salt, ocean water also contains dozens of naturally occurring minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. These marine minerals have the ability to heal, detoxify, cleanse, exfoliate, and retain moisture.
A dive under the sea can also help ward off acne-causing bacteria and blemishes, thanks to naturally occurring antibacterial and antimicrobials. Seawater includes vital amino acids and other wound-healing mineral salts like sodium and iodine. So while there are certainly plenty of wild ingredients in the ocean, there are plenty that can offer benefits for skin, health, and beauty.
What Are the Benefits of Ocean Water on Skin?
For many, a fun-filled day at the beach is the ultimate summer getaway. The sand and surf help the mind and body good! If you need another reason to hit the shore, consider the many benefits of saltwater on the skin for a glowing complexion. Let’s unpack these potential benefits!
#1. May help with acne
Salt is a powerful mineral that can kill bacteria from the skin. This can naturally help to remove and reduce the longevity of breakouts.
#2. Can treat certain skin conditions
Thanks to its plethora of healing minerals, swimming in the sea may help reduce painful rashes and improve skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema.
#3. Replenishes skin
A hot day at the beach is no match for a refreshing dip in the ocean. Seawater contains electrolytes, which replenish lost minerals created through sweat.
#4. Fortifies dry skin
Magnesium-rich seawater may improve moisture retention in the skin, making it less prone to dryness and sensitivity.
As a natural exfoliant, saltwater effectively sloughs off dead skin cells and draws out impurities for clearer, smoother skin.
#6. Tones the complexion
The ocean contains elements that can help to shrink pores, remove excessive facial oil, and regulate the skin’s pH.
Saltwater aids in skin cell turnover, making skin feel softer and smoother while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Ocean water contains many skin-loving vitamins that are essential for healthy cell activity and turnover. The skin’s barrier is left stronger and firmer.
Can Salt Water Negatively Affect Your Skin?
As with anything, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing – and using ocean water for skin is no exception. Saltwater in moderation is not bad – and may even be beneficial – for your skin. But overexposure can be irritating and drying, especially for those with preexisting dry skin conditions.
To stay protected from ocean bacteria, avoid swimming with open wounds. The same goes with the salt’s exfoliating effect, which can tip over into redness and irritation, along with potential outdoor photodamage that can also contribute to dehydration and irritation.
Keep yourself safe from skin irritation by taking precautions. Take frequent breaks from swimming, to avoid drying out your skin or further exasperating other skin issues. Once you’re done, locate the public showers and rinse off ocean water as soon as you can. Be sure to apply a moisturizer to replenish and keep your skin from getting too dry. Finally: always wear adequate SPF before going outside, and reapply after swimming or sweating!
Sara was born and raised in the Czech Republic. In 2012, she moved to the US and worked many jobs but never felt fulfilled, which lead her to share her story and her passion for fitness (former fitness professional), nutrition tips (vegan) and makeup. She is also a new mom. Sara and her husband welcomed their baby boy in June 2020.
Sara is a makeup junkie at heart and decided to start her own business to help women look and feel their best. She loves supporting other business moms feel beautiful inside and out as they work to create their own destinies. You could find out more about her HERE.
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