Seawater is beneficial for skin health

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Woman in the sea (photo:courtesy of Katii Bishop)

Summer presents the opportunity for visits to the beach which offers seawater that has many benefits for the skin. According to Stanford University, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iodine, are some minerals that are found in seawater in high concentrations. These minerals renew the skin, enable faster healing of wounds, regulate bacterial infections, and alleviate acne. Seawater also cleans enlarged pores, removes excess oil, and reduces inflammatory processes.

While seaweed gently exfoliates the skin and accelerates the replacement of dead cells from the surface of the skin with new ones. Peripheral circulation is accelerated and, all together, it contributes to the better absorption of lotions and nourishing creams applied after bathing. The combination of sun, iodine, zinc, iron, selenium from seawater increases the level of serotonin (pleasure hormone) and reduces the level of cortisol (stress hormone). People with hypersensitive skin prone to eczema and psoriasis receive great benefits from this mineral bath.

People prone to dandruff enter a calmer phase up to three months after their visit to the sea. The combination of seawater and solar radiation reduces the amount of fungi on our skin and at the same time increases the circulation and thus controls seborrheic dermatitis. Sea salt stimulates hair growth, it acts as a natural shampoo, opens up pores on the scalp and allows for better penetration of nourishing masks.

Going to the sea also renews the nervous system, increases physical activity, lowers blood pressure.

But, spending prolonged time at the beach and in the seawater can be detrimental to skin health. A high index of UV radiation during hot days combined with the refraction of the sun rays on wet skin is a great risk for the skin that can burn easily, having long-term consequences. The use of UVA and UVB sunscreens with a SPF 30 or higher is essential. Staying in the shade wearing T-shirts with sunscreen applied will protect us quite nicely and enable a longer stay on a beach. Wide-brimmed hats are additional protection for the face from the sun, but also for the head and ears.

Drying out the skin with a combination of seawater and sun requires additional hydration especially if the skin is normally dry. The degree of pollution of seawater in populated tourist settlements can annul the benefits that nature has given it.  Additionally, due to the high temperature of the sea in shallow waters and the waste materials of the hotel, it is possible to develop bacteria that are not common inhabitants of the sea. Therefore, it is recommended to take a good shower after each swim, as well as to dry the ears. Also, facial cleansing from sunscreens after use is needed as it can provoke the formation of blackheads or various rashes.

But, with proper care and observance of precautionary measures, sea water benefits can be useful to skin health.

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