Why does salt work?
First and foremost, it's helpful to understand that every body is different! While there is no universal aftercare solution that will work for every single person in every situation, salt soaks are one of the most common and effective ways to treat a piercing.
When your skin is wounded, salt deposits in your body help to activate cells that fight off infection. Soaking your fresh piercing in saline will deliver therapeutic amounts of salt to the wound, which helps aid in the overall healing process. These soaks can flush out any discharge or debris that may be slowing down the healing process. A warm salt soak can help to soothe the pesky itches and irritations that come along with a fresh piercing. It also helps to promote much-needed circulation to the wound.
What kind of salt should I use?
When searching for salt, aim for a non-iodized sea salt. Sea salt often contains extra (and natural) minerals that can aid with the overall healing process.
When selecting salt for your solution, be sure to avoid regular table salts or Epsom salts. While the salt you use in your kitchen can also be effective, these varieties often contain chemicals that can irritate or even prolong the healing process. Because of this, when creating your salt soak solution, non-iodized sea salt is always going to be the safest and healthiest option.
For situations where soaking isn't an option (like work, school, or traveling), pre-made solutions (made by companies like H2Ocean) come in piercing aftercare sprays or mouth rinses. H2Ocean specifically is specially formulated with purified water, sea salt, lysozyme and sodium benzoate; these are all chemicals that are naturally found in the body's own metabolism.