How to Look Like You Live at the Beach When You're Nowhere Near It

Sure, lying out at the beach (with SPF on, of course) is pretty much the most relaxing thing ever. But the sand and ocean also have some surprising beauty benefits, too. (Salt water in particular, is great for the skin, says S. Manjula Jegasothy, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.) Here's why the beach works wonders for your skin, body, and hair—and how to reap those benefits even when you're miles from the waves.

beauty benefits of going to the beach
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Soothes Skin Irritation

“A very small amount of sun exposure, i.e. five to 10 minutes with an SPF of 30 on your face, can actually be anti-inflammatory to a variety of skin conditions and improve rosacea and acne temporarily,” says Jegasothy.

Meanwhile, salt water contains magnesium, calcium, and other minerals that help retain moisture. Plus, those minerals can be soothing to issues like psoriasis, eczema, and acne. One study, published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereolgy, found that bathing in the Dead Sea—or even common salt—could help lessen the effects of irritating psoriasis lesions. (The researchers do point out that the Dead Sea is significantly more healing, since it’s 10 times as salty as the ocean.)

RELATED: 9 Ways to Use Salt for Gorgeous Skin, Hair, Teeth, and Nails

beauty benefits of going to the beach
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Exfoliates Your Scalp

If you have a naturally oily scalp or deal with dandruff, then ocean water might be your saving grace. Salt gets rid of build-up from hair products and also acts as a natural exfoliant to help scrub away any dead skin you have up there. “Salt water can reduce inflammation on the scalp and improve scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, a.k.a. bad dandruff," says Jegasothy. "In fact, salt water can improve almost all degrees of dandruff.” 

beauty benefits of going to the beach
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Those Beachy Waves

The salt in ocean water adds lots of volume and texture to hair, too. (Duh, beachy waves.) “The humidity mixed with salty air gives you those fantastic tousled beachy hair waves that are so on trend right now,” says Jegasothy. Still, you want to make sure that it doesn’t dry it out too much. We recommend applying a leave-in conditioner before you take a dip, just for a layer of protection.

RELATED: How to Get the Softest and Shiniest Beachy Waves Ever

beauty benefits of going to the beach
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No Beach by You?

These products will make you feel just like you’ve got sand between your toes.

beauty benefits of going to the beach
5/8 Photograph courtesy of Dr. Teal's
Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution

Epsom salt has been used for centuries, thanks to its high mineral content. Soak in the tub with it for softer skin, to soothe sore muscles, and even to temporarily reduce bloat. This version contains lavender, which helps relax the mind.

Buy it: $11, amazon.com

beauty benefits of going to the beach
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John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray

Despite the name, you don’t have to be a blonde to use this styling product. Spray it all over damp or dry strands, twist sections to create ropes of hair, and run your fingers through for loose waves.

Buy it: $9, amazon.com

RELATED: Get the Look: Beachy Waves for Every Hair Type

beauty benefits of going to the beach
7/8 Photograph courtesy of Ahava
Ahava Eucalyptus Bath Salt

This soak contains actual salts from the Dead Sea to help alleviate skin aggravation. Dissolve a cup of it in warm bath water and sit for 20 minutes.

Buy it: $18, ahava.com

beauty benefits of going to the beach
8/8 Photograph courtesy of Bath & Body Works
Bath & Body Works Forever Beach Days Body Lotion

If you’re craving a day at the beach but can't get there, slather on this lotion to carry the scent of sun, ocean, and sand with you all day long.

Buy it: $13, bathandbodyworks.com

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