People all over TikTok are spraying sea salt water on their face in a bid to banish breakouts.
The concept originates from user @aubyrnjadeart who garnered over four million views for displaying her dramatic skin transformation, which she says she owes to this ultimate beauty hack.
To answer the question you've all been dyyyying to ask ... does sea salt water really help acne-prone skin?
Well, to make things even more interesting, there's a certain celeb who swears by this skincare secret for achieving a clear and blemish-free complexion.
On the other hand, some dermatologists warn that this social media beauty hack could make things worse in the long run.
The sea salt water treatment shown on TikTok inspired many acne-prone users to try it in the quest for clearer skin. But did you know that just a year earlier, Hailey Bieber (aka Hailey Baldwin or Mrs. Justin Bieber) was praising the positive effects of ocean water while vacationing on her road trip.
"My skin is always best when I’ve spent time in the ocean," she wrote on her Instagram stories.
So, what do dermatologists think?
According to skincare expert Dr. Joshua Zeichner, "Ocean water contains high levels of salt, which has a drying and exfoliating effect on the skin. There are anecdotal reports of ocean water clearing up skin conditions like acne. The salt helps remove excess oil from the skin to dry out pimples."
He adds that saltwater may minimize the appearance of pores by helping to remove excess oil from the skin.
What's more, the ocean contains antimicrobial properties, which may also help reduce levels of acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
As effective as sea water can be for treating skin issues, Dr. Zeichner says that the content of water varies from one sea source to another.
He explains, "The Dead Sea is rich in magnesium-based salt which has anti-inflammatory properties and can benefit conditions like eczema and psoriasis."
And it's not only sea water your skin can benefit from. The combination of both ocean water plus sand can act as an exfoliant on the skin.
If you've just taken a trip post-pandemic, and you've noticed that after a dip or two in the ocean, your skin is looking radiant, you can probably thank ocean water for that.
According to Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, water directly from the ocean and sea salt mixed with water at home are two contrasting things.
"No science here yet," she says. "I think there a lot of other options that work better, too."
Shari Marchbein, a New York City board-certified dermatologist encourages you to avoid do-it-yourself solutions altogether.
"Sea salt water at best may help with mild skin inflammation and redness; I certainly do not consider this a viable treatment for acne nor would I recommend it," she warns. "I worry that those who do use this as treatment may end up delaying proper care from a board-certified dermatologist and get additional hyperpigmentation and potentially scarring as a result."
You should also be aware that those claims about pH balance and bacteria control aren't legit. Salt water has an alkaline pH of 8, and acne-prone skin also has an alkaline pH.
In other words, if you want to balance the skin, you need to use acidic pH skincare products like salicylic acid and glycolic acid if you want to treat blackheads and whiteheads.
To sum up, while you may notice visible results from this trending TikTok hack, you could end up worsening your skin in the long run -- especially if you have sensitive skin.
It's far safer to follow an effective skincare routine using the best beauty products to treat acne.
Here are some skincare products you can try at home -- without running the risk of sensitivity, irritation, or redness.
Truly's CBD Jelly Bundle
This is a four-step skincare routine for acne-prone skin.
Inside you'll find a CBD Facial Cleanser, Toner, Serum, and Body Cleanser all formulated with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and retinol to promote a clearer complexion.
You'll also find soothing ingredients in there like CBD, aloe vera, and tea tree oil to calm down any inflammation, and ingredients like watermelon and rose to prevent dryness and offer hydration to the skin.
It's suitable for all skin types, and best used as part of your daily routine to see visible results.
Truly's Super Acne Trio
Zap away zits with hydrocolloid stickers in three different shapes: hearts, stars, and hemp leaves. If you only have a couple of pesky pimples you want to get rid of, this is a much quicker way to clear them away. And you don't have to worry about drying out the rest of your skin!
The acne patches contain ingredients like hydrocolloid to drain the fluid from zits: glycolic acid to cleanse and exfoliate away bacteria; hemp oil to keep blemishes hydrated; and benzoyl peroxide to banish bacteria in any zit.
We've seen celebs, influencers, and makeup artists praising pimple patches for their ability to drive out blemishes without leaving behind a scar. They really are worth the investment!
Truly's Matcha Scrub
If you want to enjoy the benefits of salt without running the risk of irritation, try our Dead Sea salt sugar scrub.
It combines natural sugar and Dead Sea salt granules with antioxidant-loaded green tea for an invigorating scrub.
It's the perfect wellness scrub to keep pimples at bay and your skin looking clearer than ever. For best results, use this scrub 1-2 times per week and follow up with a lightweight moisturizer.
Beauty trends come and go. While we agree with Bieber and Zeichner that bathing in ocean water can improve your skin, we also see Gohara and Marchbein's point that the DIY salt water treatment may be too harsh for most skin types.
By all means, take advantage of the skin-transforming benefits of dips in the ocean, but if you want to clear acne from the comfort of your home, stick to a gentle skincare regimen instead.