Summer holidays are around the corner and most of us can’t resist heading for a beach vacation. We all tend to feel super relaxed during a walk on those tiny grains of sand or when the saltwater touches our feet. The sea breeze and beautiful sunsets – what’s not to love? But, did you know beach benefits don’t end up with just happiness? In fact, beaches do not only offer the feel-good factor, they have some great exfoliation and skin care benefits to offer too.
But, why is exfoliation important?
Well ladies, the human skin sheds around 50,000 skin cells every minute. So exfoliating it is highly essential because if these cells stay attached to your body, they can clog your pores and cause skin woes like blackheads and acne.
Albeit, we all need to be careful as exposure to salt water and beach sand has a two-fold impact on our hair and skin, which means it can be both a boon and a bane.
How to use beach sand for exfoliation?
Wet sand actually is a natural exfoliant and it peels dead skin cells from your feet, or from anywhere else on your body. Your skin instantly feels renewed and feels much softer once you wash off that sand from your body parts after going to the beach. But, that doesn’t mean one picks up a fistful of sand and starts rubbing it aggressively on your body and face.
Just bathing in the sea water and indulging in fun activities around the beach is enough to exfoliate away and regenerate new skin cells. Make sure beach sand is used only on hands and feet and not on the face. People with sensitive skin should avoid spending too much time in contact with the sea water or sand.
HealthShots spoke to Dr Rashmi Sharma, Dermatologist, Madhukar Rainbow Hospital, who rolls out some care tips while one is on the beach.
Dr Sharma says, “Beach sand is a harsh exfoliating agent. So whenever it comes to skin exfoliation, it is recommended to use gentle cleansers and exfoliants. While I suggest that anything that is readily available or any over-the-counter products shouldn’t be used on the skin directly. In the same way, beach sand is not one of those gentle scrubs,”
Salt water has its own beach benefits on skin and hair
If you really wish to take advantage of the beach for your skin and hair, your ideal pick should be salty beach water. The awesome benefits of ‘bathing in the samunder’ will make your beach vacay worth it! Don’t believe us? Dr Anupriya Goel, dermatologist and medical director of Berkowits Chain of Clinics, backs it.
Benefits of salt water for skin:
“Salt water can balance oil and sebum production. It also has a slight exfoliating effect, which increases the turnover of the outer skin layers,” says Dr Goel.
However, one must bathe in the ocean with caution as prolonged usage can also lead to damage.
“On skin, it can lead to dehydration, redness and irritation if long hours are spent in salt water as it can compromise your skin barrier. Exposure to beach sun can also lead to potential photo damage. So don’t forget to apply and reapply your sunscreen on the beach,” she added.
Benefits of salt water for hair:
Beach water can also add volume and fullness to your hair because sea salt has a texturising effect on hair. It will give your that effortless beach waves and fuller looking locks. At the same time, long exposure to the high salt content in it can dehydrate your hair, making them dry and brittle, while coating your hair with salt crystals.
“Chemically treated hair might get more affected as it is already devoid of moisture. Thus to prevent your hair from drying, try using natural hair oil or leave-in conditioner before taking a dive,” Dr Goel added.
Sand and saltwater aren’t the only skin and hair winners of the ocean. In recent years, ‘marine’ cosmetics containing kelp, algae, caviar and other sea-harvested ingredients have appeared on shelves, and people across the world swear by their effects on skin.
So, go splash in those waves and return from your beach vacay with a fresh off the beach and sun-kissed look!