I’m a big fan of natural sea salt and magnesium. Not only is salt important in food but salt water is an increasingly popular ingredient in skincare products for healthier skin. This recipe combines magnesium with a saltwater solution to create a skin-nourishing sea salt spray.
Sea Salt and salt water have a long history of use in various beauty recipes and skin therapies. It even has its own name: thalassotherapy (aka the therapeutic use of salt water). Whether you have sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, or dry skin, salt water for your skin may help.
Skin Benefits of Salt Water
Many people seem to notice less acne, a clearer complexion, and improved skin texture after using salt on their skin. Salt scrubs or a salt bath are some popular ways to include this in your skincare routine. I also like this gentle sea salt spray because it stays on the skin to continually nourish it.
So what makes ocean water so great for the skin? Since saltwater is naturally antimicrobial it can help with acne-causing bacteria. It’s also a rich source of naturally occurring trace minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. And if we’re talking about salt from the Dead Sea, that has a much higher proportion of various chloride and bromide salts and other minerals.
I mentioned before that salt scrubs are one popular way to get sea salt’s skin benefits. These help exfoliate dead skin cells, boost collagen, and can help with blackheads. Salt scrubs are often too harsh for the face though so I like to reserve these for body scrubs. You can still get many of the same exfoliating benefits from a saltwater skin spray.
Salt Water For Different Skin Types
Salt water may be trending when it comes to skincare but it’s not the perfect fit for everyone. If you have dryness or certain skin conditions you may find it irritating. Many people though find that the salt’s healing minerals help with irritated skin. If you’re unsure you could try a test patch before rubbing it all over your face.
Some dermatologists recommend against washing your face with salt water, but I think that’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Cultures have used saltwater therapeutically for thousands of years. Studies have examined it’s benefits for musculoskeletal issues like arthritis and skin problems like psoriasis.
A 2005 clinical trial looked at the benefits of bathing in the Dead Sea on psoriasis lesions. Researchers reported a nearly 76% improvement in psoriasis symptoms. In a similar 2007 study psoriasis patients saw over 95% improvement in symptoms. Even more impressive, the results after treatment lasted for about 23 weeks with lingering positive effects for about 33 weeks.
Other studies have looked at saltwater for eczema. These studies report improved inflammation and less skin cracking for eczema patients.
Some people report good results for dandruff and reducing scalp buildup too.
Another study looked at using saltwater baths for EB, a rare but painful skin disorder that causes blisters. EB patients reported having 91% less pain and saw huge improvements in skin odor and discharge. While most of us won’t have to deal with this disease, it just goes to show how powerful saltwater for skin can be!
How Saltwater Benefits Oily Skin
One of the most popular ways to use saltwater washes is for oily skin. When our skin starts producing excess oil this can lead to pimples and breakouts. Because saltwater is drying and healing this makes it perfect for oily skin types. Plus it’s antimicrobial to fight pathogenic bacteria on the skin.
How to Use Salt Water for Skin
You don’t want to use too much saltwater though, especially if you have normal to dry skin types. Try following up your saltwater spray with a moisturizer for extra hydration. Some sources recommend starting out using a saltwater cleanser or toner just a few times a week.
Many people simply mix together tap water and table salt for a DIY version. This is not the same as getting the benefits of bathing in sea salt! I don’t eat table salt and it’s not my first choice for a salt spray either. This spray combines filtered or distilled water (or herbal tea) with mineral-rich sea salt or Himalayan salt. Something that’s finely ground dissolves more easily.
Don’t Forget the Magnesium
I also add Epsom salts or magnesium flakes to my salt spray. These are both great sources of magnesium and wonderful for the skin. While sea salt does have trace amounts of magnesium, adding magnesium really boosts the skin benefits.
Aside from its beauty benefits, this sea spray leaves skin feeling refreshed and light. It can serve as a facial toner or as an all-over skin nourishing spray. If you’ve never tried salt on the skin, I’d encourage you to try this simple and inexpensive recipe!
Sea Salt Spray for Healthy Skin
- Add salt and Epsom salt or magnesium flakes to some water in a small pot. Heat gently and stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
- Allow to cool and add essential oils if using.
- Store in a glass spray bottle in a cool place.
Add More Herbal Benefits to Your Spray
Soothing herbs like calendula, lavender, and chamomile are nice additions. You can make a tea with them, then strain and add your salt. This will last for about 1-2 weeks in the fridge. For a more shelf-stable version try adding some hydrosols. Simply dissolve the salt in 3/4 cup hot water, then add 1/4 cup hydrosol once the mixture has cooled.
Do you use salt water for skin health? Share your experience below!