7 Reasons to Ditch Chlorine and Switch to a Saltwater Pool

Your mind, body, and wallet will thank you for avoiding the extra chemicals.

Saltwater pools are a happy medium between swimming in the ocean and drawing yourself a salt bath at home. Not only are saltwater pools easier to maintain, but they also offer tons of health and beauty benefits. You'll get all the exercise you need from swimming—sans sharks, fish, and other ocean life—while still benefiting from the revitalizing physical and mental qualities that saltwater offers. Not to mention, you'll be saving yourself the extra money associated with owning a chlorinated pool. (You can ditch all those chlorine tablets and switch to one or two salt bags per season.) If you're still not convinced, here are seven benefits of saltwater pools and why you should make the switch.

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1. It helps promote healthy breathing and reduce allergy issues.

According to the American Lung Association, inhaling fine salt particles is very beneficial for promoting healthy breathing and reducing allergies. As it turns out, all those fine salt particles draw water into our lung airways, which thins any mucus that might be there. Fun fact: There's a therapeutical treatment called halotherapy that solely focuses on breathing in salt particles via methods like halogenerators and bathing in saltwater.

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2. It can act as a gentle exfoliating agent.

People with sensitive skin know how difficult it is to find non-irritating exfoliants. Fortunately, salt water's gentle, yet effective, exfoliating properties can benefit various skin types and conditions, like scaling psoriatic skin, eczema, and acne. "Salt water naturally draws out impurities and toxins," says Rhonda Klein, MD, MPH, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Modern Dermatology in Westport, Connecticut. "The sulfur in salt water has a keratolytic effect—it softens and helps remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores."

RELATED: Exfoliation Is the Secret to Glowing Skin—But Only If You're Doing It Right

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3. It's gentler on your eyes and skin.

If you get red, burning eyes or itchy hives from traditional pools, it might be even more reason to switch to saltwater. Instead of exposing your body to the chemicals in traditionally chlorinated pools, salt periodically produces chlorine, which acts as a natural disinfectant, meaning it isn't as harsh on your eyes or skin.

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4. It can reduce stress and anxiety.

There's a reason why saltwater therapy is so popular. Saltwater isn't just great for your physical body, but it's also beneficial for your mind by helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that its calming and detoxifying effects can promote feelings of ease and relaxation.

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5. It helps maintain the body's natural moisture balance.

According to Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Westport, Connecticut, the minerals found in salt water, such as magnesium and potassium, can help balance oil production and support the skin's barrier so it retains hydration. "The purifying benefits open pores and shed impurities, enabling your skin to absorb moisture from topicals applied afterward."

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6. It can help relieve sore muscles and joints.

If you've ever heard of Epsom salt baths or bath bombs, you've probably also heard of how beneficial saltwater is for your muscles. According to Tom Casey, vice president of Anthony & Sylvan Pools, salt's pain-reducing benefits can be attributed to bromine, which "...can help people suffering from arthritis or injuries by treating muscle and joint aches, pains, and soreness."

RELATED: 10 Bath Soaks That Are Both Relaxing and Good for Your Skin

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7. It's better for the environment.

Your health isn't the only thing benefiting from opting for a saltwater pool: They're better for the environment, too. The strong chlorine smell that traditional pools give off is the result of chloramines. Although these bind to dirt and sweat to keep the pool clean, they also emit gas from the water into the air, according to the CDC. Saltwater pools do have a small amount of chlorine, but when the water evaporates, it isn't nearly as detrimental to the environment as traditionally chlorinated water.

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