So what is epsom salt, and why should you use it on your skin? There’s no question that skin care routines can get pretty expensive. Going for a facial to get a microdermabrasion, spending money on the right product that will make your skin perfectly soft, or even finding a solution that will keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free all have one thing in common – money. When searching for the right skin care products, the dollar signs seem to add up! And sometimes, that money is well worth it to give you the skin you want. But finding an affordable solution to some of our skin ailments will certainly help more than just our wallets – it can improve our skin immensely, and help us to create some skin care products in our house, on the fly!
So what is this genius item that can do so much as such a low cost? Does such an item really exist? It sure does. That item is Epsom salt. Sure, you’ve heard about how great it is to help relax your muscles when you’re sore after a long workout, or how it can help relieve the aches and pains of a cold. But it can do so much more, especially for your skin.
Not sure that can be true? We looked into it for you. From understanding what Epsom salt is, to how it benefits your overall health, we dig into what makes Epsom salt that powerful of an ingredient. And then we give you all the dirt about how Epsom salt benefits your skin, and how to actually use it to see results.
What is Epsom Salt?
No, Epsom salt is not your typical salt. It is technically not a salt, but rather a mineral compound. And this mineral compound is made up of sulfate and magnesium. But it looks like salt. Hence the confusion, and the name. Epsom salt has been considered a natural remedy for many years, and can be used in a variety of ways, whether it is for the garden, for cleaning, but most especially, for the body.
What are the health benefits?
Have you ever heard that magnesium is good for your body? How about that our bodies don’t get enough magnesium? Magnesium is a key nutrient for our bodies – it helps the body regulate our internal temperature, form healthy bones and teeth, detox the body, and so much more! But unfortunately, we aren’t getting as much magnesium as we used to. With so many people eating processed and fast foods, over-developing agricultural land, and overusing prescription medications, our bodies just don’t get the amount of magnesium they should be getting. Which is where Epsom salt comes in! Many believe that magnesium can be easily absorbed through the skin, which makes applying Epsom salt to your body an easy way to work on building up those magnesium levels.
But that’s not all it does. It also helps to treat muscle aches and pains, it is an anti-inflammatory, and helps your body absorb other nutrients better. Are you starting to think Epsom salt is too good to be true? It sure sounds like it! But with so many people swearing by it, we had to dig more into why people love using it. And here is what we found:
Helps to relieve stress
You know how you feel when you’re stressed? Your body tightens up, you may feel a little sick to your stomach, you sweat, or a variety of other stress symptoms may appear. Stress, in any form, is not pleasant. Epsom salts help to relieve that stress! While soaking in a hot bathtub relieves stress in general, soaking in a bathtub with Epsom salts helps your body refill the magnesium it is missing, including that magnesium that gets lost when you’re stressed. Once your magnesium levels are back up, you’ll notice your energy is up, and your stress levels are down.
Relieves sore muscles
Are your legs sore after a long run? Or maybe your arms and back feel painfully tight after a weight lifting session? Soaking in Epsom salts may be just the solution you need. Epsom salts are a natural anti-inflammatory, which means they help to relieve any inflammation in your muscles, providing some relief from that workout or other activity that left your muscles worn out.
Helps with the common cold
If you can believe it, Epsom salts can actually delay common colds, and help relieve any symptoms you may be feeling from a cold you already have. Not only will it help relieve any muscle aches you have from the cold, but it actually helps to boost your immune system through a process called vasodilation. This process gets your body to increase your white blood cell production – basically, it boosts your immune system, helping your body to fight a cold even more effectively.
Boosts plants in your garden
Who would have thought Epsom salts could be so versatile? Epsom salts can help boost magnesium in plants, which helps any yellow leaves turn green and prevent leaves from curling. It can also help rose plants produce more blossoms and help your vegetables, such a tomatoes and peppers, produce more flavorful vegetables!
How Does Epsom Salt Help Your Skin?
Clearly, Epsom salts have a lot of benefits. We’re ready to put it in our pantry for just the reasons above. But what are the benefits of epsom salt for your skin? You’ll be happy to know there are a wide variety of proven benefits to your skin. And, since it’s a natural, pure mineral compound, as well as incredibly affordable, using it as part of your skin care routine to keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful sounds like a smart step!
Exfoliation is one of the most effective skin care treatments you can do to keep the signs of aging away. And Epsom salts are just the exfoliation ingredient you're looking for! The rough texture of the salt rubs against your skin, helping to strip off that layer of dead skin, helping your skin rejuvenate faster and leave younger-looking skin.
Body scrubs are popular right now, and for good reason. They keep your skin looking smooth, which keeps it looking young. Also known as polishing, using a body scrub to make our skin look smooth doesn’t have to be an expensive treatment. Epsom salts can do just the trick. Just as with exfoliation, the rough texture of the salt will help your skin have a smooth look after applying. The only different is what you mix with the Epsom salt to make it exfoliate or smooth. Check out this Lavender Epsom Salt Scrub from Karissa's Vegan Kitchen!
Have black heads you can’t seem to get rid of? Epsom salt is perfect solution. Its ability to exfoliate means that you’ll remove all the junk and impurities around the affected area, causing blackheads. The sulfate in Epsom salt will flush out any impurities that may be straggling behind. And the magnesium will help to get that blackhead out of your pores, leaving your skin looking clear and smooth.
Bug bites are the worst. And having to deal with them for days after being bitten, simply because now you can’t stop scratching, makes them even more of a pain. Luckily, Epsom salt can help there too! Epsom salt, when applied to the bit, reduces swelling. And when the swelling on a bite goes down, the itchy feeling starts to lessen.
Summers are the best. Enjoying time in the sun is one of the best ways to unwind. But the sunburns that we just can’t seem to avoid? They’re the worst! Luckily, Epsom salt can provide a little bit of relief. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, when you apply diluted epsom salt to a sunburn, you’ll begin to feel relief almost immediately. To avoid having to do this at all, make sure to use a moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin.
In the winter especially, skin can start to feel pretty dry and flaky. Every time you take a shower your bath, or are just exposed to the air outside, you likely feel your skin tightening up, clearly lacking moisture. But by soaking a bath with Epsom salt, you’ll find the magnesium work wonders on that dry skin, helping your skin feel moisturized and smooth. Just be sure not to stay in there too long – a hot bath that goes too long can try out your skin even more!
DIY Epsom Salt Treatments
Now that you know how Epsom salt can help your skin, you need to know how to actually apply Epsom salt on your skin! Not to worry, we’ve already looked into that for you. Below are treatments you can create yourself with items you already have at home. Give these Epsom salt treatments a try – you’ll be pleasantly surprised and how effective this affordable product can be, and at how easy it is to create these products and incorporate them into your regular skincare routine.
Exfoliate SkinEntire body
For a full body exfoliation, mix one tablespoon of olive oil or bath oil with a handful of Epsom salts. Rub it all over your skin while in the shower. Rinse thoroughly. The dead skin cells will wash away, leaving your skin revived and looking vibrant!
To keep your facial skin looking young, simply combine your favorite face wash with a half teaspoon of Epsom salt. Gently massage on face in circular motion for one minute. Then rinse with cold water. The more you exfoliate, the more you’ll notice any fine lines and wrinkles begin to disappear.
If you’re trying to give your skin that shiny, polished look, try combining your favorite body wash with two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Massage the mixture all over, or focus on rough patches than need some extra care. Rinse thoroughly, and enjoy the youthful, clean look your skin will have all day long.
Ready to kick those blackheads in the butt? Try boiling a half cup of water, then add three drops of iodine and one teaspoon of Epsom salts. Apply to the affected area with a cotton ball once the solution is not hot enough to burn your skin. And then enjoy a clear, fresh face, clear of blackheads!
Relieve Bug Bites
Stop torturing yourself by trying not to scratch the bites but failing miserably. To naturally relieve bug bites, combine one teaspoon of Epsom salt with one cup of hot water. Once the salt dissolves, put the solution in the fridge for 20 minutes. A paste will form. Clean and dry the affected area, and then apply the paste directly to the bug bite. You’ll soon breathe a sigh of relief. The itching will be gone, and you’ll be freed from the curse of the bug bite.
Soothe a Sunburn
Don’t stress about that sunburn you started feeling on the way home from the beach. Fill a spray bottle with one cup of water. Add two tablespoons of Epsom salt, and then shake to dissolve. Spray directly onto the sunburn, and you’ll get relief in no time. Added bonus – you can say goodbye to aloe gel and the stickiness that comes with it!
Moisturize Dry Skin
Hands and feet cracking and in pain? Skin feeling scaly and dry? In a warm bath, add oil (such a coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil) along with two cups of Epsom salt and soak for about 20 minutes. You’ll come out of the bath feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and will find you skin feels supple, and the Epsom salt and oil worked to replenish the moisture so lacking in winter!
Well, we’re convinced to start using Epsom salts. With such a wide variety of ailments it can relieve, and with all of the benefits to our skin, we are kicking ourselves that we didn’t stalk it in our pantry sooner. Whether you are looking to take care of your skin, prevent aging, relieve pain from sunburns, or a variety of other ailments, you’ll find Epsom salt to be effective, powerful, and just the skin care product you were looking for!