Remember that trick your mom told you about for sore throats? Gargling with warm salty water; it's gross, but it helps, somehow, right? It helps in the same way that salt water helps fight infection on your skin. When you have a bacterial or viral infection in your throat and you gargle with saltwater, the water drains into your body, but some of the salt stays on the surface of your throat. There, it attaches to the infectious cells and draws out the moisture inside them, effectively dehydrating them until they are dried up and dead. The same thing happens when you put salt water on your skin. As the water evaporates, leaving the salt behind, it attaches to the surface of infectious cells, draws the moisture out, and kills the cells.
Fights Skin Infections
Detoxifies and Stimulates the Skin
Salts also help to draw out toxins, microscopic dirt, and pollutants that get into our skin's pores over time. As it cleanses the skin, it also stimulates skin cells in normal metabolic detoxifying and cleansing processes. The salt in salt water exfoliates the outer surface of the skin, removing dead skin cells and revealing the fresh new cells underneath, which leaves the skin glowing. Therefore, salt water leaves you with skin that is softer and smoother.
Reduces Skin Irritation
Salt is full of minerals that the body needs in all its normal regulatory processes. Magnesium, for example, helps in the metabolism of skin cells and helps the skin to fight allergies. As salts open the pores and draw out toxins, they relieve the irritation and itching caused by skin rashes and insect bites, small cuts and scrapes, and scaly, dry skin. You will probably notice that your skin's outer surface feels dry but clean after a dip in the salt. That is because salt does draw out the moisture, but it also draws out the nasty stuff. It does not disturb the skin's natural barrier, though, and it does help restore overall mineral balance, which helps the skin to maintain proper moisture.
So, the next time you're near the sea and wondering if a swim will do your body good, now you know it will!