acne pimple

Q. I am 34 and have been dealing with acne since my teens. I tried everything to alleviate the problem, but nothing worked.
I finally found a remedy that has helped dramatically–salt water. I mix 2 teaspoons of sea salt into 8 ounces of filtered water and apply it to my face three times a day with a cotton ball. I hope some of your readers can also benefit.
A. Thanks for the suggestion. We have found no scientific studies on this approach, but it fits our criteria for a reasonable home remedy: might help, shouldn’t hurt and doesn’t cost much.

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  1. Awan R.

    Went to the beach last week. The next day I noticed my face was clearer. Googled it and found out sea water does help removing acne scars. Gonna try using this warm salt water solution to my face tonight. Hope it works!

  2. steve
    MA, usa

    I am a 54-yr-old male. I’ve had seborrheic dermatitis since my early 20’s. I’ve been prescribed steroids to deal with this, which cause other skin problems.

    I’ve been washing my face with Sea Salt in warm water, and using the salt to exfoliate periodically. I haven’t had to use the steroids since I started this and all traces of dermatitis are gone. Standard sea salt in grocery store. No iodine added.

  3. Shane
    New Zealand

    hmm I’ve never really had severe acne but some what in between mild and moderate like I dont get a few really big pimples or a lot of small ones but I get like 4..5…6 medium sized ones and aside from that I have marks from previous ones (pigmentation). I only get em on my forehead and nose… sometimes around the side of my hairline.

    It was started when I had recently turned 18 and I’m now 19 and a half. There are times it seems to be getting better then out of nowhere picks up again. One thing I noticed when I went to Hawaii in february this year after all the swimming… the salt water definitely had a good effect on my skin. I’m going to try this salt water remedy today and test it for about a week to see if its for me.

    • Shane


  4. L.M

    hey guys. May I suggest using the pink himalayan salt? It contains 79 of the Earth’s minerals which makes it the most mineral rich salt in the world. I just started but I have cleared up a lot. I heard it also helps with post acne marks because of exfoliating abilities. Wish you all the best. From a still acne troubled 27 year old.

  5. sarahjayne

    Just started this yesterday and its already helping :-D

  6. Chaddy C.

    I do this too, and I didn’t realize that it wasn’t common until I went to high school.
    I add Tea Tree oil to my mix to help add moisture to the mixture since I already have oily skin and without the oil added back in my skin tries to compensate, and the anti-acne properties of tea tree oil really helps with preventing acne that I KNOW IS THERE but really can’t do much about it without inflaming them.

  7. DeannaSenpai

    I started using this a couple of weeks ago and Wow, this worked. I have had really bad acne for a while and it was oily and just gross. I never thought it would work until I came back from the beach and in a couple of days it started to clear up, so I mixed water and salt in a spray bottle and use it twice to three times daily.

    • jamie

      Does it take away the pimples in one day?

      • khalid
        charlotte, NC

        No you have to give at least 3-4 days, but it will clear it off

  8. augustina

    I had big pimples on my face. I tried bathing with sea salt within 1 week the acne disappeared and the spots are almost vanished. I just can’t believe it. Try bathing with warm sea salt, it might help you. I am acne free. I am glowing. Thank you lord

  9. Gaby

    I always suffered from acne throughout the end of elementary, middle and most of high school (a junior in high school at the moment).
    I exercise for an hour and a half twice a day, I drink 8-12 cups of water every day and I eat as healthy as possible. I have many allergies to common ingredients like soy, wheat, eggs, and milk (that’s just a few).
    I have no choice but to have to eat these sometimes because I really can’t avoid all of these at the same time. I usually break out in HORRIBLE blotches that itch like crazy. I felt embarrassed one day because my foundation would wash off in the seawater but I sucked it up.
    The next morning the pimples were gone and my face had never felt so clear. It’s amazing how natural remedies can work faster than a skin peel. Please try this at home!

  10. carren

    I am 28 year old female. I have suffered with rashes on my face and it get terrible day by day. I have tried to use different product for allergy, but it didn’t work. I was so depressed to cure my rashes, coz I haven’t got any pimple/acne then suddenly I got it. Everyday I keep on checking on google what are the home remedies and I’ll see to it that I will apply it the same day.
    One day I found forum about the salt and water, I have tried at home and believe me it really works. I suggest instead of warm water, use the cold water with salt it can help to close your pores as well.

  11. benie

    I just started to have cyst acne on my face and new small pimples, like my face was really messy because of the pimples and not looking clear at all. So I read on the internet that I can also use lukewarm water with salt and some lemon drops in it.
    So I just started yesterday night and watched my face with lukewarm water and salt before I go out, and in that time, I had a really painful pimples coming out on my face. So when I got home today and sleep and woke up in the afternoon, I looked at my face and touched it, it felt so smooth and not messy at all and that new painful pimples just gone away. It just felt really different. So I really recommend u guys to use :)
    God luck

  12. D.E.V.

    I am a 53 year old male. When I turned 50 I developed severe rosacea. I tried everything and nothing helped, even the least bit. I have just returned from the South Pacific Islands for a two week vacation, where I learned to snorkel and scuba dive. I was in the ocean for most of the day, every day and by the time I left all signs of rosacea were completely gone.
    I don’t know why salt water works to clear up the skin but it does. Miraculously!

  13. andre l.

    Along with this salt treatment try other ways to fix your Ph levels like drinking like about 2.0-2.5 liters of water a day which is like 8 cups of water or half a gallon. Drinking water constantly and eating less junk will improve acne and help with skin conditions.
    With my experience when I eat healthy all day and drink like half a gallon of water (constantly peeing throughout the day) I usually never see any new pimples appear the next morning (even without the use of any acne medication). I also had very bad acne on my chest and back area but a huge sign of improvement came after about a week of strict diet (well just not eating a lot of junk I just eat my regular every day meals) and drinking lots of water, which after that the pimples got smaller and more clear spaces were between them which was a good sign that it was clearing up. So with the drinking of water and the loose diet it helped a lot and plus once you add in the saltwater treatment the effects are even greater. By the way my everyday meals are just scraping together what I think is healthy enough I don’t go all out, I get like rice and meat, or a sandwich with like turkey, lettuce and cheese, and like the worst I can go is eat ravioli or a juicy burger. Once your skin clears up you can eat very messy stuff but if you see a pimple you will know what to do again. (I tried my best to cover any questions that someone reading this might have, hope this was helpful because it took me a while to type all of this) thanks for reading and hope it helps you good luck!

  14. hana

    I read many reviews about using warm water with salt as facial cleanser. I got curious and tried it if it really works. Well I’m always using it as part of my routine every morning and even evening before going to bed. As I observed my acne are healing faster today than before. But I cannot say that my pimples were totally gone, because there we’re still new pimples growing on my cheeks, but the thing is the salty water helps this new pimples heal faster than before. You can also try applying tomato juice on your face before going to bed, you can leave it there overnight. Its kinda messy but you can see the difference in the morning:) it help tries up your pimple marks. I swear it’s really effective. I’m using since high school until now:)

  15. jl

    I do the same, so I keep a spray bottle in the restroom with sea salt water for after I wash my face and it does sting bit after a while the sting goes away, but so does my acne :) I also use a cotton ball to spread the water.

  16. TDH

    I use salt water frequently on my face for acne, and I have to say that it does help. I find that it helps to clean the skin and also gets rid of any oil that’s on my face. I think salt water also helps quicken the healing process for acne. I notice too that whenever I go to the ocean to bath my skin I always feel really clean and my skin is really dry(in a good way). I would definitely recommend trying this.

  17. Hashmi

    What will be the negative effects if I have used salt on skin.. are there any adverse affects of salt if apply on face?

  18. sdw

    My son and I both get acne when we eat wheat; we both have Celiacs. Before I figured it out, I was diagnosed with Rosacea and given topical drugs that worked ok. But it totally went away when I quit eating wheat. My son never had acne in high school but when he went away to college, he was miserable with horrible acne. I suggested he might have inherited my condition and chose not to believe me until he came home for a break and it cleared up since I didn’t serve anything with wheat in it.
    Now he is a believer and notices how much he is affected when he slips up on the diet. I notice also when I eat something that I think doesn’t have wheat in it — like sausages then my complexion blooms. I look at the package again and discover that some form of wheat is the last item on the ingredients.

  19. Lori

    This remedy, warm salt water applied to the face on a washcloth morning and evening worked for relieving facial blemishes for my teenagers, as well.
    In addition, applying hot (cooled, boiled) salt water to surface wounds (from skinned knees to an episiotomy) speeds healing and prevents infection. Stings a bit but is better than soap.
    I have also found that soaking mild infections of fingers or feet in hot salt water makes the infection go away.

  20. Lynda

    It makes sense to me…. salt water would change the ph of the skin so infections would be lessened, and since salt would be alkaline, perhaps it would hinder the development of the acne.
    The kelp which is used in spa treatments is rich in mineral salts (the OP mentioned sea salt) and I’m sure if one reads more materials on the effects of kelp/seaweed, I would think it would show stories of it benefiting people with acne problems.
    Why is saline solution used for cleansing wounds if it doesn’t have a benefit? I think the trace minerals in her sea salt (it would be interesting to know where the salt comes from–I prefer the salt from Brittany in France–as all sea salts are not alike.
    A number of years ago we went to a mineral springs in northern California.
    It was quaint, old wooden ‘shacks’ made of plain wood plank walls, the water was heated and poured down a pipe that lead to a huge bathtub in each ‘cabin’. Penciled on the plants were notations from visitors over the years—and a lot of them had written about how it had helped skin conditions. I don’t remember the chemical make-up of the water, but it was called Deer Lick Springs as the deer used to come and lick the minerals that accumulated on the rocks near the spring. There were several smaller springs that one could drink from–all very unimproved condition, but in the middle of a wonderful forest–great experience.

  21. Susan

    Salt water is good for helping heal wounds so it makes sense that salt water helps with blemishes. I can remember riding my bike barefoot about 3 days before we went to Florida. I skinned my big toe down several layers and it bled like crazy. When I went into the ocean the first day, I screamed and ran out… and mom sent me RIGHT back into the water. By the time we went home, it was virtually healed.

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