Can Salt Water Really Cleanse Your Face?


| LAST UPDATE 09/21/2022

By Peral Simons
Sea Salt Spray Skin
@therealmcfly23 via Instagram

Every day it seems we are being told about a new beauty hack - the latest way to cleanse or plump up your skin. This most recent fad has got everyone talking, as it promises to treat acne and other skin conditions. The best part? It won't cost you a dime as it involves two of the most simple ingredients in the home - salt and water. Yes, you heard us right, TikTok beauty influencers everywhere are championing the benefits of spraying salt water on your face. Is there something to it? Here's what the experts are saying...

Pamela Marshall, Clinical Aesthetician and Co-Founder of Mortar & Milk, spoke to Elle about this beauty trend. "I wouldn't look at salt water as the be-all and all to clearing the skin," she said. "Salt water is anti-inflammatory, and it also contains some antibacterial qualities. It contains vitamins and minerals which are in fact beneficial to the skin, but you'll find these types of ingredients in a well-balanced skincare formulation - which will have been sensitivity and stability tested." Marshall emphasizes that salt water in its purest form can negatively impact the skin as it increases its pH and makes it more susceptible to dehydration and fine lines.

Salt Water Spray Cleanser
@tweedlashes via Instagram
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

With this in mind, Elle's Digital Beauty Editor, George Driver, agreed that this approach is not suited for someone with dry skin conditions such as eczema. "Antibacterial at best, the quickest route to super dehydrated skin at worst, spraying your face with salt water is unlikely to treat acne effectively and will actively make eczema worse," she insisted.

@imhannahcho been trying out @leacrylics diy sea salt spray for acne and ive seen such a huge difference!! ill update in a week or two!! #seasalt #acne #skincare ♬ Into The Thick Of It! - The Backyardigans

Dermatologist Dr. Ophelia Veraitch also weighed in on the conversation, agreeing with her fellow experts. "On paper, it could be argued that the anti-bacterial properties of salt water could be used to treat the acne. In practice, we have far better anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory treatments to manage acne," she explained. Veraitch recommended gentle cleansing instead, applying serums with vitamin A and alpha/beta hydroxy acids in them. All in all, this hack seems to be nothing but a misinformed fad. Leave the salt water in the sea and head to a dermatologist instead!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below