Should You Add Salt Water To Your Skin-Care Routine?

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Is Salt Water Good For Your Skin?

Salt water has antimicrobial properties which help it disinfect skin and clean minor wounds. It can exfoliate skin as well. Salt water works well as a natural deodorizer due to its antimicrobial properties. Dead sea saltwater, which is rich in magnesium salts, can improve atopic dry skin. Having a saltwater bath prior to phototherapy can help treat psoriasis more effectively. A dab of saltwater followed by tea tree oil may also help tackle pimples.

Salt has managed to earn a somewhat dubious reputation in recent years. While dietary salt is now seen as a dangerous instigator of high blood pressure, salt water, applied topically, may actually be good for your skin. Let’s take a look at how this simple remedy can help your skin.

1. Exfoliate Skin With Salt Water

Remember to wash off salt water after you apply it to the skin as it can soak up moisture and dry out your skin.1

Regular exfoliation removes dead skin cells and improves the appearance of your skin. And the good news is that you don’t need expensive skin scrubs for this. Rinsing your skin with plain old salt water will do. But remember, how often you need to exfoliate depends on your skin type. If you have oily, thick skin, it may help to exfoliate frequently, while those with dry or sensitive should probably stick to exfoliating once or twice a week.2 3

2. Disinfect Skin And Clean Cuts And Scrapes

Minor cuts and scrapes are an inescapable part of life. A simple salt water solution works well as a disinfectant since it has antimicrobial properties. Prepare a salt water solution by mixing 2 teaspoons of table salt in 4 cups of warm water. You can either bathe small wounds in this solution or apply a clean washcloth soaked in it for about 20 minutes thrice daily. This will help clean your wound and keep nasty infections at bay.4

3. Make Your Own Natural Deodorant

Body odor is caused by bacteria which break down sweat and raise a stink. Salt has antibacterial properties and can neutralize them. Try mixing sea salt with vegetable oil and a few drops of a fragrant essential oil like lavender oil or rose oil. Use this as a scrub while you shower to leave your skin fragrant. At a pinch, you can even soak a tissue in plain salt water solution and use it as a wipe on sweaty armpits.5

4. Tackle Acne With A Salt Water–Tea Tree Oil Skin Routine

Salt water can be your ally against those annoying zits. It helps tackle acne because it is drying and can also reduce skin bacteria. Soak a cotton pad in sea salt water and apply it on pimples.6 Follow up with a dab of antimicrobial tea tree oil which works against bacteria associated with acne.7

5. Use Magnesium-Rich Dead Sea Salt Water To Improve Atopic Dry Skin

Dead sea water, which is rich in magnesium salts, is widely known to be good for your skin. One study found that when people with atopic dry skin submerged their forearm in a solution containing 5% dead sea salts, it significantly improved skin barrier function, moisturized skin, and decreased signs of inflammation such as skin roughness and redness.

The favorable effects of dead sea salt solution are likely due to the presence of magnesium salts. These have beneficial properties such as the ability to bind water and influence the proliferation of skin cells.8 Remember, regular salt will only absorb water and dry out your skin instead of moisturizing it. The protective properties of dead sea salts come from magnesium, not sodium chloride. So, do remember to check the ingredient list for this mineral when you buy dead sea salt.9

6. Try A Salt Water Bath Before Phototherapy To Tackle Psoriasis

Salt water baths are often combined with phototherapy to treat psoriasis. UVB rays used in phototherapy can help clear psoriasis by slowing down the growth of skin cells that are affected.10 And how is salt water useful? One study found that exposing skin to salt water before UVB radiation increased skin reddening. So salt water may increase the efficacy of UVB phototherapy as it can sensitize your skin to the effects of UVB radiation. However, do keep in mind that this increased sensitization also comes with a higher risk of sunburn! 11

References   [ + ]

1.What Effect Does a Summer Swim Have on Your Skin?. The International Dermal Institute.
2.Evaluate before you exfoliate. American Academy of Dermatology.
3.Narins, Rhoda, and Paul Frank. Turn Back the Clock Without Losing Time: A Complete Guide to Quick and Easy Cosmetic Rejuvenation. Crown Archetype, 2007.
4, 5.Editors at Reader’s Digest. Doctors’ Favorite Natural Remedies: The Safest and Most Effective Natural Ways to Treat More Than 85 Everyday Ailments. Simon and Schuster, 2016.
6.Cox, Lauren, Janice Cox. EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, Rinses, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony, 2011.
7.Raman, A., U. Weir, and S. F. Bloomfield. “Antimicrobial effects of tea‐tree oil and its major components on Staphylococcus aureus, Staph. epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes.” Letters in Applied Microbiology 21, no. 4 (1995): 242-245.
8.Proksch, Ehrhardt, Hans‐Peter Nissen, Markus Bremgartner, and Colin Urquhart. “Bathing in a magnesium‐rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin.” International journal of dermatology 44, no. 2 (2005): 151-157.
9.What Effect Does a Summer Swim Have on Your Skin?. The International Dermal Institute.
10.Phototherapy. National Psoriasis Foundation.
11.Schempp, Christoph M., Knut Müller, Jürgen Schulte‐Mönting, Erwin Schöpf, and Jan C. Simon. “Salt water bathing prior to UVB irradiation leads to a decrease of the minimal erythema dose and an increased erythema index without affecting skin pigmentation.” Photochemistry and photobiology 69, no. 3 (1999): 341-344.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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