Seawater delivers just the right refreshing blast of cool you need after running across hot sand and feeling the sun on your skin. There are other reasons to make a run for sea besides cooling down though. Seawater also provides an excellent dose of skin-loving minerals – it’s packed with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iodine, sodium and iron. So when you take a dip into the ocean, it truly is a mineral bath for your skin.
Sea water is packed with skin-healing minerals. Magnesium, calcium, and potassium help to absorb toxins in the body and promote healing.
While the magnesium content in seawater encourages good skin health it can also be extremely beneficial to people with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema. It calms skin irritation and reduces inflammation, which is why swimming in the sea and soaking in mineral baths is recommended for sufferers of eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.
Additionally, you may be familiar with the drying effect of ocean water on skin. Salt water helps soak up excess oil in the skin and has a regenerative effect, which is why people with oily and acne-prone skin can attest to clearer skin after a day at the beach, assuming they’re protected properly.
It’s interesting to note that sea water and blood plasma have almost identical chemical compositions of mineral and trace elements.
If white blood cells were to be removed from the body and placed in sterile, diluted seawater, they could pretty much function as usual. Blood plasma and seawater are the only two environments similar enough for this to happen, which is pretty incredible! This is what gives it the power to soak up excess oils, diminish scars, fight off acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Benefits of the Beach
As if we needed a reminder, the beach has more benefits to offer than just those of seawater: a trip to the beach is remarkably beneficial both physically and mentally. Here are just some ways a beach day can change your health for the better.
You may not even realise it, but the beach has a way of getting you moving. Whether you’re swimming in the ocean, walking along the shore, or playing volleyball in the sand, you’re bound to get in some physical activity at the beach.
Sunshine is known for being a potent source of beneficial vitamin D (although not the only one), but the benefits don’t end there. Sunlight can release chemicals like serotonin into your system. Nicknamed the ‘happy hormone’, serotonin is thought to regulate your mood and may even reduce anxiety and depression.
Have you ever noticed your feet feel softer after taking a walk on the beach? The sand at the beach is a fine abrasive, which can gently exfoliate the skin on your feet. This helps get rid of dead skin cells, smoothing and rejuvenating your outermost layer.
Being out in nature is important for mental health. Interactions with nature have even been used as part of some therapies. The beach is an especially calming environment, which can have a positive effect on your mind.
While happy hormones like serotonin increase at the beach, stress hormones like cortisol decrease. Each time the tide goes back out, it’s thought it takes some of your stress with it. Stress management is important for overall well-being, so a visit to your local beach may be just what you need.
Sulphur in sea water is a natural antiseptic – that’s why many acne masks today contain this active ingredient.
And if you can’t get to the sea, bring the benefits of the sea to you…