If you’ve ever seen a surfer or anyone who lives close to the ocean, you’ll notice their skin is usually acne and blemish free, besides the odd bit of sunburn. Although the research behind the link between sea salt for acne treatment is thin to nonexistent there are anecdotal connections between sea salt treating acne.
Since the times of the Romans, it has been known that immersing oneself in Thermo-mineral water has been good for the mind, body, and soul. Other popular spots around the world include the Dead Sea in Jordan and the blue lagoon in Iceland but are not limited to just those locations.
It’s been well documented that Dead Sea minerals have been shown to improve the symptoms of a whole array of skin conditions including dermatitis, rosacea, vitiligo and even acne. But how do they even work?
Studies have been done on dead sea salts and the health benefits they bring. This is however geared toward other skin conditions which don’t necessarily include acne treatments. One particular study stated that Dead sea salts did improve the skin barrier function which was also linked to better hydration of the skin treated. This also had the effect of reducing inflammation.
The mineral composition of regular sea water varies enormously depending on the area where samples can be collected which makes a lot of sense as ocean currents and waves erode rocks and other sedimentary deposits containing minerals at different rates. In addition to this, evaporation and precipitation within in the local region can raise or decrease the concentration of minerals. However in the case of the Dead sea or an enclosed location like the blue lagoon the mineral composition is constant due to the site being one body of water.
How do Sea Salts work to combat acne?
We know that sea salts are great for acne through lots of anecdotal evidence but how do they work? What components in sea salts actually help treat acne?
The three ways that sea salts work to help combat acne include:
Sea Salt face washes feel rough to the touch and once used on the skin they help remove old layers of dead skin on the surface to help unclog pores and help expose the fresh healthy skin. By mechanical action.
Anti Inflammatory Effects
The minerals within both sea salts and dead sea salts help the skin reduce redness and localized inflammation on the surface of the skin. The particular minerals that are responsible for this are Magnesium which has been clinically shown to reduce the redness and soreness that inflammation brings by blocking enzymes which cause it.
The anti bacterial effects of salt and aqueous salt solutions have been known for centuries and acne prone skin can be affected for the better. Skin microbiomes include both acne fighting and acne causing bacteria, through the use of sea salt scrubs the skin can be purged of bacteria.
Sea Salt Vs Dead Sea Salt For Acne
Both sea salts and dead sea salts for acne seem to be evenly matched and have similar properties, but which is better and more effective at combating acne?
We can see that dead sea water contains a significant amount more Magnesium than regular ocean water as well as other mineral compositions. Luckily significant research has been conducted on the effect of topical Magnesium ions, (in aqueous solution) anti inflammatory effects on human skin with conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
The various other minerals within dead sea salts and their health benefits are likely too deep to unravel here but needless to say they do improve skin texture, suppleness, and hydration. Dead sea salts are great, aren’t they?
The larger concentration of Magnesium within dead sea salts is likely what contributes to the large anti inflammatory effects on the skin. From a chemical standpoint, it seems that dead sea salts may be superior to sea salt scrubs for acne in addition to the many other minerals within dead sea salts.
Generally speaking, dead sea salts have a more “exclusive” element to them which also adds to the cost of washes and scrubs that have dead sea salts within them
Sea Salt for Back Acne?
One of the reasons why sea salts can be so helpful for back acne treatment is because the skin can soak in a bathtub for a period of time maximising the benefits of the anti inflammatory and anti microbial effects of sea salts. In combination with adding in an effective sea salt exfoliation routine for the back with a properly designed luffa or body brush, it’s no wonder why this an effective solution to properly treating back acne.
Additionally, the bath tub method doesn’t need to be just for back acne, anybody acne is also treated.
I would love to see more research on the direct effects of sea salts or dead sea salts for acne but there is clear evidence of the positive effects of some of the components of sea salts on acne prone skin.
- Sea Salts in general work for acne prone skin by reducing inflammation, having an anti bacterial effect and if done correctly exfoliate the dead skin off to prevent pores clogging
- Sea salts can be an effective natural alternative to harsh skin washes which can be drying
- The cost of dead sea salts in cosmetics can be higher than normal sea salt scrubs. There is no doubt the dead sea salts are superior however with the cost taken into account compared to normal sea salts many people would be happy to forgo the additional benefits.
- Dead sea salts, in particular, can be excellent moisturizers for acne prone skin which may be worth the cost considering we can effectively get an all in one product.