Salt dissolved in water is a simple, easy-to-make and easy-to-use tool for extra deep cleansing and removing excess oil from the skin . At the same time, the salt has a calming and even disinfecting , antibacterial effect.
A therapeutic effect has been proven from a salt content of 1.5 percent (15 grams of salt per 1 liter of water). In some thermal pools, however, up to 30 percent salt solutions are also used for full-body baths. For inexperienced users and people with sensitive skin, it is advisable to slowly approach the individually correct concentration.
In addition to salt baths, salt peelings , saline face masks or saline solutions for inhalation are used and sold commercially. Sea salt, particularly from the Dead Sea, is popular for most uses.
How does salt affect the skin?
For most skin types, salt or a saline solution has a very positive effect because salt has a calming, disinfecting effect and helps to remove dead skin cells and excess oil from the skin .
Various brine baths made from mineral or sea salt are therefore becoming increasingly popular, especially among people with difficult skin types who tend to excessive sebum production and pimples . Salt scrubs can intensify the cleaning and disinfecting effects mentioned and are particularly effective in loosening and removing calluses on the skin . However, they should be used carefully and not too often in order not to damage the skin (therefore no coarse salt crystals should be used).
Salt baths with different dosages can have a beneficial effect on almost all skin types. Only people with dry skin should be careful when using salt and salt baths.
The sea water and different skin types
Seawater contains an average of 3.5 percent salt , in the Dead Sea it is even 30 percent. A bath in sea water has a positive effect on most skin types. A dip in the sea can clearly clear up the complexion , refine the skin pores and gently rinse off excess oil . After bathing in the sea, you should usually take a shower with fresh water to remove the salt adhering to the body.
This is particularly important for skin that is prone to dryness . It can also benefit from the soothing and disinfecting effects of seawater, but should be treated with moisturizing creams or lotions .
Many positive effects
A bath in salt or sea water softens the skin, opens the pores and cleanses thoroughly , without any additives that can unbalance the skin. Individual salt particles also have a peeling effect , which can be used to loosen and remove dead skin cells and cornifications.
The disinfecting effect of the salt can also have a calming effect on irritated skin , relieve inflammation and support wound healing . If you have (larger) open wounds, however, you should avoid bathing in salt water, if only because it can be very painful.
For more information and inspiration for taking care of your facial skin, check out our DIY Face Masks article.
Watch out for dry skin
In general, salt dries out the skin and dry skin is more prone to small cuts and cracks, which is why people with this skin type should use salt or saline solutions less often and in smaller doses.
But dry skin can also benefit from the revitalizing effect of the salt water. It penetrates deep into the upper layers of the skin and supplies the entire skin with important minerals .
So, a salt water bath can be good for your skin health on all skin types. Strong negative reactions are extremely rare, but a slight, uncomfortable itching or burning sensation should encourage caution.
People with dry skin in particular should counteract the drying or fat-absorbing effect of salt with moisturizing care .
Salt can also help with illnesses
The variable and easy-to-dosage baths with salt water can have a beneficial and regenerative effect for people with sensitive skin or those with a tendency to dryness. Depending on the skin type, however, other dosages should be selected and the frequency of application and skin care adjusted accordingly.
Due to the good tolerability and the numerous positive effects, salt baths (both brine baths with mineral salt and those with sea salt) are even suitable for the supportive treatment of various skin diseases . These include neurodermatitis (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis (psoriasis) or acne . The frequency of use, the dosage and the general suitability should always be clarified with the dermatologist for people with skin diseases
Salt bath for the respiratory tract
When the airways become swollen from a cold or from allergies such as hay fever, the mucous membranes become inflamed and mucus cannot drain properly, saline solutions can be heated, vaporized, and inhaled to loosen the mucus, soothe the mucous membranes, and help reduce swelling . Here you should not exceed a concentration of about 9 grams of salt per liter of water (0.9 percent solution).
A saline solution can also be applied directly to the nasopharynx. Saline solutions are a popular ingredient in traditional nasal sprays and can even be used to flush the nose with a jug or similar. Also use a 0.9 percent salt solution (isotonic solution; has a salt content similar to that of human cells) and some body-warm water ( if you put your finger in the solution and you don’t feel any difference in temperature, you have chosen a good temperature) . Overdosing (hypertonic saline) and water that is too warm can cause severe burning, while water that is too cold or too little salt can also be uncomfortable.
If the airways are too swollen to inhale or clear the nose, a nasal spray can be used to prepare.
If you are interested, you can also read our blog post on face cream during pregnancy .
Are sensitive skin and salt water compatible?
Basically, a bath in salt water with a small dosage is suitable for all skin types . The revitalizing and anti-inflammatory effects can improve the skin health of everyone. Only the degreasing effect can be too strong for a dry skin type . However, it can be counteracted with moisturizing skin care that is as sensitive as possible.
However, particularly sensitive skin can also react to small doses with irritation and redness . Ultimately, only the user can decide whether a saltwater bath is beneficial or whether the unwanted side effects outweigh it.
If the water is too hot or the dosage too high , even 'normal' skin will react with itching and burning . In such cases, for the next bath you should simply reduce the salt concentration or lower the bath temperature.
The complexion improves
A brine or sea salt bath softens the skin, opens the pores and penetrates deep into the upper skin layer. There it can supply the skin with important minerals (e.g. iodine, magnesium and calcium) and support skin renewal. The opened skin pores are cleaned particularly thoroughly and the skin is degreased. The peeling effect of individual salt particles also helps loosen and remove old, dead skin cells or scales.
The antibacterial effect also helps with wound healing and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Overall, these positive effects on the skin can contribute to a clearer complexion and a younger appearance of the skin .
Also promotes relaxation
Not only the sun on the beach and the sound of the sea, but also a bath in the bathtub at home can promote relaxation of body and soul. Essential oils as a bath additive, candlelight or other warm light and relaxing music can intensify this effect. A bath in salt water can be a beneficial weekly highlight for recovering from stress and work with beneficial effects on skin health.
Some frequently asked questions are briefly answered below.
Is salt water good for pimples?
Yes, salt water is good for treating pimples. Salt water opens the pores of the skin and therefore penetrates deeper into the skin, where it can unfold its cleansing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects particularly well. Since salt absorbs fat particularly well, the pimples are also deprived of the breeding ground on which bacteria, viruses and fungi can multiply.
Don't expect miracles here and don't necessarily react to a lack of effect by increasing the salt concentration or the frequency of salt baths, as this can dry out the skin too much and irritate it. Here it is important to gather experience and observe your own skin closely. Salt baths can be an effective element of comprehensive skin care and help to eliminate blemishes and pimples.
Is salt good for the face?
Basically, in small amounts, salt is good for the skin, which is cleaned, disinfected and degreased. Salt scrubs are particularly popular on the face. These not only open the pores and cleanse the skin of fat and dirt, but also loosen calloused skin and dead skin, which can be one of the causes of pimples and impurities.
However, facial skin is often particularly sensitive and can react with redness and burning. Coarse salt crystals can also injure the skin. Therefore, use caution when exfoliating your facial skin and consider using exfoliants with added oils if your facial skin is prone to dryness.
Should you wash off with salt water?
Yes, it is recommended to rinse the skin with fresh water after a bath in salt water to remove excess salt. Salt residues on the skin continue to have a fat-absorbing effect and therefore further dry out the skin. Even people with an oily skin type should not dry out their skin with salt for several hours, but rather wash it off.
People with a dry skin type should also use a moisturizing skin care product to rehydrate their skin while still enjoying the positive effects of a bath in salt water.
Is salt water good for hair?
Salt water dries out hair and salt crystals combined with sunlight cause hair to fade. So if you suffer from dry, brittle and dull hair, salt water is not recommended for your hair.
If your scalp and hair are oily, washing your hair with salt water can be a temporary alternative to shampooing. A greasy scalp in particular benefits from the effects of the salt water, but the hair can also be revitalized by the minerals contained in the salt water.
Does salt water have a healing effect?
Salt water has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect, has antibacterial and disinfecting properties, has a degreasing effect, cleans deep into the pores and helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells and cornifications. With the right use and the right dosage, salt water has a healing effect and can even be used to support the treatment of skin diseases.
Salt water has numerous positive effects, especially on oily skin prone to pimples. Especially in connection with hot bath water, the pores are opened and excess fat can be effectively removed without having to resort to soap or chemicals. Its remineralizing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects can make it an important part of a comprehensive skin care routine and even have beneficial effects in the treatment of certain skin conditions.
A saline solution made from mineral or sea salt is easy to make at home. Salt scrubs and face masks with salt are also commercially available and have enjoyed great popularity for years. The all-rounder can even be used for rinsing or inhalation for diseases of the respiratory tract and to soothe and decongest the mucous membranes.