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It turns out that a trip to the beach might give you more than just a healthy glow and a relaxing day out, it could literally solve all your beauty problems too. You know when you have a cut or a graze, a new piercing or a mouth ulcer, you’re always told to clean or gargle with salt water? Well, the practice isn’t just an old wives’ tale, there’s magic in the water… more specifically the sea water. If you’re a beach baby through and through, chances are your skin is pretty gorgeous, because bathing in the sea is amazing for your skin. Obviously, don’t forget the sun cream!

Take this fact, for example, sea water and blood plasma have almost identical chemical compositions of mineral and trace elements. They’re the only two environments that are similar enough that if white blood cells were removed from your body and placed in sterile, diluted sea water, they could function as usual – pretty incredible!

Just some of the ahhhmazing benefits that sea salt can have on your skin include closing up open pores, soaking up excess oil, killing acne-causing bacteria, diminishing scars, healing wounds, and reducing inflammation. Here’s the magic…

It’s packed with skin-healing minerals: Rich in magnesium, calcium, and potassium, sea salt absorbs toxins in the body and on the skin to encourage the healing process. That’s why it can be a miracle cure for acne and infections. The sulfur in the water is a natural antiseptic drying agent, used in a ton of blemish treatments, while magnesium is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial to add to the acne curing list.

Yes, it can dry your skin… in a good way: Salt naturally reduces moisture, and that means it can be amazing in regulating the overproduction of oil, which could otherwise lead to clogged pores. Salt water will not only balance sebum production but thanks to its exfoliating properties it can also help to clean your pores and effectively suck out extra moisture. But yes, you can have too much of a good thing, and we’ve all noticed a slightly lackluster appearance to our skin after a day on the beach, so keep your swim shorter rather than longer.

Sea salt is a natural exfoliant: The salt also has an exfoliating effect that helps to slough away dead-skin cells and promote healthy skin production. The minerals in the sea water open pores to clean extra deep, and also encourage blood-flow so that your skin is better able to absorb moisturizer and serums. Make an exfoliating scrub for your hands and body with 1 cup of coarse sea salt, half a cup of coconut oil, and five drops of your fav essential oil, like grapefruit, chamomile, or lemon. Mix the ingredients, and stir until they’re well combined (it helps if you use soft coconut oil), then store in a jar and use once or twice a week.

You don’t need to go to the beach! You can use sea salt and purified water to mix up your own sea spa at home. Just combine two tablespoons of sea salt (it must be sea salt!) and 500ml of water (you can just boil tap water or use mineral water) in a bottle and shake, keep it stored in the bottle and use as needed. You can use this daily as a toner with a cotton pad to wipe over your face, and it will do wonders for oil and acne. If your skin tends to be dry, use this less often and depending on how it effects your skin you can increase or decrease use. When you go to the beach, swim in the water but be sure to rinse properly with a foaming cleanser when you’re home. You can also chill out and beautify at the same time by taking a bath with Dead Sea salt, which is so rich in magnesium it helps to improve the skin barrier function, reduce inflammation of the skin, and hydrate.