Salt Water For Skin – Benefits, Uses, And Side Effects

Written by Arshiya Syeda

How often have you been told to gargle with warm saline water to relieve an itchy or sore throat? As a matter of fact, this humble ingredient is a long-time favorite of doctors, dentists, and skin care experts alike. Although salt gets an especially bad reputation in diet, it can do wonders for you when used as a solution in water. Here is all you need to know about salt water and the various benefits it provides for your skin.

Is Salt Water Good For Your Skin?

Salt water offers many benefits to your skin and body. What makes salt water even more popular is the ease with which one can prepare it at home or source it from the sea.  Salt water is a healing substance that can rejuvenate and reinvigorate your skin, hair, and nails.

The salt water from the deep sea contains many beneficial minerals, vitamins, and acids. Some commonly found minerals in salt water include potassium, magnesium, and sulfur, among others. Due to these nutrients, many ancient civilizations have used salt water to manage skin conditions.

Salt water benefits the skin, and its healing properties make it a crucial ingredient in many relaxing and skin care treatments like balneotherapy and thalassotherapy.

Saltwater from the sea is also said to have a similar chemical composition to the body’s blood plasma. Therefore, it helps the body cells function well and restores cells that are not performing to their potential. However, there is not much scientific evidence to prove the same.

Benefits Of Salt Water For Your Skin

While salt water is hailed to be great for your skin, it is important to note that not a lot of scientific research or evidence exists to prove these benefits. All of these claims are based on anecdotal evidence. Here is what salt water claims to offer if you add it to your skin care regimen.

1. May Relieve Skin Conditions

Salt water from the sea contains various minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc., all of which are said to have healing effects on dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

People with dry skin must be careful when using salt water as it can dry out their skin even more. The best way to go about using it on dry skin is to follow it up with a moisturizing cream.

2. May Eliminate Acne

Acne is caused by a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. The salt in salt water has antimicrobial properties that may help fight this acne-causing bacteria.
Salt water is said to absorb the bacteria present in your skin, unclog your pores, and shrink them. It is also claimed to help detoxify your skin, reduce acne breakouts, and generally keep your dermis healthy.

3. May Heal Blemishes

Salty water from the sea contains many minerals, including drying agents like sulfur. These minerals are commonly used in anti-blemish skin products. If you have acne and blemishes, taking a dip in the sea may be a good idea. A combination of the sun’s rays with salt water may help heal your blemishes. That said, if you decide to take a dip in the sea for your skin health, do not forget to put on a generous amount of sunscreen.

Apart from taking a dip, you can also bring in some seawater home in a bottle. Use it as a cleanser in your existing skin care routine.

4. May Heal Wounds

Salt water from the deep sea (over 200 m of depth) has been found to heal wounds in a research setting. However, its application in real life for the same is not well-researched.

5. Acts As A Facial Toner

Salt water is an excellent facial toner. Applying salt water on your skin helps shrink your pores and removes oil from them, giving your skin a refreshing feel.

To use salt water as a facial toner, pout it into a bottle with a spray nozzle. The best time to use your salt water toner is after washing your face and before you apply makeup. This will ensure your skin remains oil-free and fresh throughout the day!

How To Use Salt Water For Skin

Salt is easily found in all households, and salt water is easy to prepare. Here are some ways you can use salt water to enjoy skin benefits:

1. Anti-Inflammatory Mask

If you want to reduce the redness and irritation on your face, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Mix a teaspoon of sea salt, few spoons of water, and some honey to create a paste.
  2. Apply this all over your face.
  3. Leave it on for around 15 minutes.
  4. Wash off the paste using warm water and pat your face dry.

2. Exfoliating Scrub

Salt and salt water are both excellent exfoliators that help remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. Salt water from the sea contains minerals that restore your skin’s hydration levels. You can make salt water at home or use salt water from the sea to prepare this scrub:

Mix a quarter cup of salt and some water, or use a cup of seawater.

  1. Add half a cup of olive or coconut oil to the salt water. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.
  2. Apply this solution to your skin and scrub gently in a circular motion.
  3. Wash your face with cool or lukewarm water.

3. Comforting Salt Bath

Using salt water to bathe is a comforting experience. Salt water removes excess oil from the skin, dirt, toxins, and dead skin cells from all over the body. Taking a salt water bath can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated after a tiring day. Just add 2-3 cups of sea salt to a bathtub of water and step in for a relaxing experience.

4. Facial Toner

Toner is an integral part of your daily skin routine. The main goal of toner is to remove any excess oil from the skin, unclog the pores, and tighten them. You can prepare your own salt water-based facial toner at home:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of sea salt in one cup of warm water.
  2. Add a pinch of Epsom salt and dissolve both the salts.
  3. Pour this solution into a bottle with a nozzle spray.

Spray this toner on your face before applying makeup, and wipe the excess away with a clean cotton pad.

5. De-Puffer For Eyes

Your eyes can speak volumes about your mood and health. Unfortunately, puffy eyes and dark circles can add to your existing skin woes. Salt water is claimed to de-puff your eyes with its anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Add one teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Mix the solution till the salt dissolves.
  2. Soak two cotton balls in this solution and lay them on your eyes for a few minutes. This is sure to soothe your eyes and reduce the inflammation around them.

Wondering if there are any side effects of using salt water on the skin? Find out in the next section.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Salt Water On Skin?

As with any other substance, using salt water on the skin has some adverse effects. Though salt water is beneficial for those with dry skin, it can also dry out their skin further. Therefore, it is important that they follow it up with a hydrating product to prevent their skin from drying out excessively.

If you wish to take a dip in the sea for its skin benefits, it is essential to use sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

Salt water can be very abrasive on your skin. Therefore, make sure you wash it off thoroughly and always use a moisturizer after swimming in the sea or taking a salt water bath.


Salt water has been used in traditional medicine to clean the pores, heal blemishes, and control acne. However, not a lot of scientific research has been done on its purported benefits. As long as you take care to not let it dry you out too much, you can use salt water on your skin to experience its benefits.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Does salt water cause disease?

As long as you use clean salt water, it does not cause any diseases. What you need to avoid is getting dirty, contaminated seawater into open wounds as this can cause an infection.

Is salt water good for spot removal?

Salt water cannot remove dark spots. However, putting some salt water paste or just sprinkling salt on a half-cut lemon piece and applying it on your face can act as an exfoliant. This may reduce the spots on your skin after a few applications.

Can you use salt water to wash your hair?

Salt water is said to be good for detoxifying your scalp and hair. You can mix two parts of sea salt with one part of shampoo and apply it to your hair until it creates lather. Rinse it off with cold water and apply a gentle conditioner.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Potential Health Benefits of Deep Sea Water: A Review
  2. The use of balneotherapy in dermatology
  3. Benefits of Thalassotherapy with Sleep Management on the Mood States and Well-being and Cognitive and Physical Capacities in Healthy Workers
  4. Propionibacterium Acnes And Chronic Diseases
  5. Antimicrobial properties of salt (NaCl) used for the preservation of natural casings
  6. Potential Health Benefits of Deep Sea Water: A Review
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).