Saltwater for Acne

by Brenda Barron ; Updated August 14, 2017

Saltwater can be effective in treating acne.

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mark Walz

Using harsh chemicals to treat acne whether obtained over-the-counter or by prescription, can sometimes harm your skin more than help. However, natural home remedies such as saltwater can ease your acne lesions and put you on the path toward speedier healing. Even so, it's important to understand the benefits, risks and ways to apply saltwater before you start dabbling with mixtures in your kitchen.


Saltwater has many known uses to easing ailments, but it does show promise in treating acne. In fact, it can kill bacteria and soothe dry skin. By hydrating your skin and reducing irritation, it can prevent excessive oil production, which is often responsible for acne breakouts. Saltwater can also be used as an exfoliator and can generally improve the texture of your skin.

Side Effects

Unfortunately, saltwater isn't the best acne treatment for everyone. Though it's useful in treating infections and killing bacteria, it can cause a layer of salt to build up on your skin, making any cleanser you use unable to produce a lather. This can prevent proper cleansing and might even cause new acne blemishes to form. If you use saltwater too much, you might experience dry skin as well.


Those with dry skin or sensitive skin shouldn't use saltwater as an acne treatment. In fact, this could make your skin look even worse and cause serious irritation. If you notice that your skin is irritated after going to the beach, you should probably avoid using saltwater as an alternative acne treatment.


Preparing a saltwater solution for your acne is fairly simple. Buy a container of sea salt since it contains helpful minerals for the skin. Then, heat up a cup of water until it is warm. Test it before applying it to your face. Finally, add a tablespoon of sea salt to the water and stir thoroughly. This should only take a few minutes to prepare and can be used daily.


Applying the saltwater to your acne is easy. Just soak a cotton pad with the solution then wipe over your entire face, especially those areas effected by acne. Since you're using it as a toner, you don't have to rinse and can follow up with an oil-free moisturizer if desired.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mark Walz

About the Author

Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.