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Health Benefits of Ocean & Sea Water: Skin, Immune system, Circulation, Mental Well-Being

Updated on July 20, 2015


water and sea water are “good for you.” When ever we went to the beach, even if the water was freezing I was told to go in and least for one dip. I never believed my mom and dad or took them that seriously, but I in fact realized that salt water has many benefits which we can get while having fun at the beach. In fact, going to the beach itself provides countless health benefits. Going to the beach can help with skin issues such as acne or dryness, overall health, hair health, exercising your body and more.


People have known for thousands of years that the sea has beneficial benefits for human beings. The sea was an essential part in many ancient peoples' lives, perhaps most notably the Greeks. First named by Hippocrates, Thalassotherapy has been around for thousands of years. The sea was so revered by the Greeks that Thalassa was a goddess dedicated to the personification of the sea. Hippocrates was the first to use seawater for healing.

The words Thalassotherapy to describe the medical benefits of sea water was introduced by Hippocrates in 4th century B.C. "Thalassa" is the Greek word for "sea."


Improving Hydration

Seawater contains magnesium along with salt. While salt can sometimes be drying for your skin, magnesium is hydrating and helps with irritation and redness. According to the International Journal of Dermatology (Feb 2005), a salt and magnesium solution improved skin hydration and redness/dryness on the surface of skin as compared to tap water. The magnesium and salt water reduced roughness and inflammation on skin, i.e. going to the beach might be a skin treatment for you.

Cleansing Skin

Salt water increases the moisture retention of your skin and leaves it feeling great. It has natural detoxifying properties. Finally, salt water also promotes cellular regeneration. It's kind of like swimming in a natural cleanser for your skin.

Heals Cuts and Sores

Salt water can also help to heal your cuts and sores. This is because salt water is used to clean cuts and helps remove foreign materials from the cuts allowing them to more freely heal. That's why we are told to use salt water on mouth sores because or after we brush our teeth. These antiseptic properties are due to sodium and potassium chloride found in seawater.


The salt in sea water also acts as a natural exfoliant, helping to get rid of dead skin cells and revealing your new, smooth, healthy skin.


Seawater helps improve skin elasticity, texture, appearance, and alleviate discomfort.

Did you know?

All 84 vital elements found in the periodic table which are present in the human body can be found in seawater.

Beautiful beach
Beautiful beach

Immune System

Seawater contains sea life, plants, animals, rocks, bacteria, and so on. What does this all create? A melting pot of vitamins, trace elements, mineral salts, and amino acids. These, like human blood plasma, are easily absorbed by the human body when you are in seawater. So while you're swimming, you body is absorbing some of these important substances and boosting your immune system. Swimming in sea water also seems to open your pores allowing your body to self-clean, i.e. dispel toxins, and better absorb sea minerals.

Antioxidants in Sea Air

Furthermore, when you are at the beach, you are breathing in sea air that contains sea mist. Well, sea air contains negatively charged hydrogen ions, which attach to your lungs, and help to improve your immune system. The ions are a powerful antioxidant and can help all the cells in our body and our organs.

Antiseptic Properties of Iodine

Seawater also contains iodine which boosts thyroid and immune system functioning. It increases our body's ability to fight infection and furthermore helps to kill bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

Fighting Flu, Cold, and Bronchitis

Seawater can help to alleviate cold and flue symptoms as well as helping with bronchitis and sinusitis. The air at the sea contains salt, or sodium chloride, which helps to loosen music built up in lungs and throat. It can also help with pulmonary problems.

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Beautiful sea or ocean water
Beautiful sea or ocean water

Exercise and Circulation

Swimming in seawater provides you better exercise than swimming in a pool or still pond. THe sea has waves and currants, and having to face this resistance can be a great way to exercise your muscles. Furthermore, swimming uses muscles that we almost never use in any other times in our lives. Swimming can give you long, lean muscles, and improve heart health.

Furthermore, swimming in seawater seems to improve circulation. Circulation is your heart pumping oxygenated blood to and from body parts. Swimming in seawater seems to restore depleted minerals, which may have been depleted by stress or poor diet, back to your body which helps your circulatory system. This is called Thalassotherapy.

Mental Well-being and Calmness

Natural Healing Mechanisms

Swimming in the sea also seems to activate the body’s healing mechanisms. This can help to combat conditions such as arthritis, bronchitis, asthma, and inflammatory diseases, in addition to common aches and pains.

Stress and Mood

Negatively charged ions found in sea air also seem to improve moods and can thus help with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.

Being ocean-side also seems to reduce stress, although exact mechanism by which this affect is created remain unclear. It seems to have to do with seawater and sun working together. This can help with depression, nervousness, apathy ,and anxiety.

Calming Affects

Sea water contains magnesium, lithium, and bromine which are fantastic for increasing calmness. These minerals helps to stabilize and maintain proper neurotransmitter levels in the brain, neurotransmitter which include serotonin, melatonin and tryptamine. These are essential for mood and calmness regulation.

Sleep and Insomnia

Finally, the minerals in seawater, especially magnesium, help to relax muscles as well as nerves, which helps with sleep disorders, especially insomnia. Thus, you may sleep more deeply or wake up less after spending a day at the beach,.

Benefits of Seawater

Improves hydration, elasticity, texture, removes toxins, exfoliates and cleanses.
Immune System
Increases body's ability to fight illness, reduces cold and flu symptoms, allows body to absorb much-needed minerals.
Exercise and Circulation
Sea water helps to create better circulation in your body and can be a great way to exercise muscles which are often ignored.
Mental well-being
Reduces stress, helps to treat mood disorders, increases calmness


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    • hubsy profile image

      hubsy 2 years ago

      Thanks Cris and Catherine!!! Cris, it just shows how parents really are always right!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I grew up with a very sensitive lungs and I remember well, my dad used to take me often to the seas side just before dawn. We'd walk and enjoy the smell and sights of the sea. Said, it was good for those with breathing problems and true enough it is.

      Nature's healing indeed! Good, refreshing images you have.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I need to take a trip to the beach. It would definitely be good for me.