You may have heard a lot about the benefits of Epsom salt.
But do you know that Epsom salt is actually not a salt and is a naturally occurring mineral composed of magnesium and sulfate?
It is named Epsom salt after a bitter saline spring in Epsom, Surrey (England)! It is one of the most beneficial types of mineral and has benefits not only for your skin, but for your hair and overall health too. In this article you will learn all about Epsom Salt, its benefits and how you can incorporate it in your life and reap all the advantages.
What is Epsom Salt?
Even though it is called salt, Epsom salt is actually a naturally occurring substance that is composed of magnesium and sulfate. In fact, its technical name is Magnesium Sulfate! It looks similar to table salt too and has white, colourless crystals.
Magnesium sulfate is beneficial for us because it is easily absorbed by our body. Anti-inflammatory, exfoliating agent and even having healing and therapeutic properties, Epsom salt has become popular with many people now due to all these amazing advantages.
Let’s read about some of the benefits of Epsom Salt for our skin.
Benefits and Uses of Epsom Salt for Skin:
Epsom salt can be made a part of your daily skincare regime. It has various properties that make it a very good cleanser for your face.
Here is how you can use Epsom salt for your face.
1. Face Cleanser
Epsom salt is a great exfoliator and cleanser and can remove dirt and impurities from your skin and since it is not as harsh, you can use it twice in week too. It will give you clear and clean skin.
Things you need: Your favourite cleaning cream and one teaspoon of Epsom salt
- Mix one teaspoon of Epsom salt with your favourite cleaning cream and give your face a nice rub in small, circular motions.
- This will remove the dead cells.
- Then wash off with plain water
Tip: Epsom salt is not as harsh as synthetic exfoliators so you can use it once or even twice a week. But don’t forget to moisturize your face once you have used the salt.
2. Treats Blackheads
Epsom salt can act as a exfoliator to specifically remove blackheads and you will not need to buy those blackhead removing pores anymore.
Things you need: Epsom salt, some hot water and a few drops of iodine
- Mix Epsom salt in hot water and add a few drops of iodine to it.
- Once this solution is on your nose or wherever you have blackheads, you will see that the dead skins loosen up and your pores are cleared.
Tip: Make sure you use very little drops of iodine, too much of it can stain your skin!
3. Skin Exfoliator
Like we mentioned before, Epsom salt granules are not as harsh on your skin as other exfoliators so you can use it as a part of your cleansing routine.
Things you need: Warm water, a teaspoon of Epsom salt
- Mix some Epsom salt and warm water together and rub this semi-paste on your face in gentle, circular motions.
- Wash off with cool water and moisturize your face
Tip: Even though Epsom salt is a very natural and gentle product, you should take care while using it on your skin. Sometimes using it too many times in a week might be harsh on your skin.
4. Itchy Skin or Bug Bites
When you are out trekking or cycling or camping, it is probable that you end up getting bug bites and itchy skin. Epsom Salt can be very good in this case as it prevents your skin from getting irritated and provides relief
Things you need: Plain Epsom salt
- Take some Epsom salt and rub it on the affected area.
- Stop once you see that the inflammation has reduced
Tip: Whenever you are going out in the forest or the woods, keep some Epsom salt handy because it can help you reduce the itching almost immediately
5. Sunburn Relief
If you have mild sunburn, you can easily soothe the area with the help of Epsom salt. The anti-inflammatory properties of Epsom salt make it very easy to soothe itching and burning skin.
Things you need: Epsom Salt and a spray bottle with water
- Mix the Epsom salt and mix it with one cup of water.
- Now use this spray on the affected area
Tip: This only works when your skin is mildly burnt. In case of harsher burns, you will have to consult a doctor.
6. Removes Acne
Epsom salt is a great benefit for those who have a lot of acne on their skin and especially on their face. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties cleanse the skin and at the same time prevent acne from recurring
Things you need: Water and Epsom salt, a few cotton balls
- Mix the Epsom salt in water until it completely dissolves.
- Now dip cotton balls in to the solution and dab this gently on your skin.
- Now rinse your face with warm water followed by cold water.
Tip: For best results follow this regime for about one month. Only then would you be able to see some difference in your skin
7. Treats Dry Lips
As we mentioned above, Epsom salt can be used as a great exfoliator and can help remove dead skin from your lips too.
Things you need: One teaspoon of Epsom salt, petroleum jelly
- Mix Epsom salt and petroleum jelly and gently rub this on your lips for some time in circular motion.
- Now remove it and moisturize your lips with a soothing balm
Tip: Dry lips need a lot of TLC and using Epsom salt on a regular basis to remove the dead skin can work wonders for dry and chapped lips
8. Summer Skin Protection
Experts suggest that using Epsom salt bath or as a cleanser before heading out in the sun can be a great way to clean the pores and as a result sunscreen can be absorbed better.
Things you need: Take some Epsom salt and mix it with water and put the solution in a spray bottle
- For treating mild sunburn, you can use this solution and spray on all the affected areas.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of Epsom salt can easily help alleviate the sunburn
Tip: You have to repeatedly spray the Epsom salt solution at regular intervals for it to work on burnt skin
Benefits and Uses of Epsom Salt for Hair
Not only is Epsom salt great for your skin, but it also have many advantages for your hair. Given below are some of the ways you can use Epsom salt for your hair
1. No more Build Up
Epsom salt can act as a very good cleanser for your hair and remove any product build up that may occur time and again.
Things you need: Epsom salt, lemon juice and water
- Mix water, a few spoons of Epsom salt and lemon juice together.
- Let this mixture sit for 24 hours and then apply it to your hair whenever you feel it is a little greasy.
Tip: Use this mixture frequently if you feel that your hair has too much build-up
2. Hair Volumizer
Epsom salt has two minerals – magnesium and sulfate that lifts and gives volume to your hair. You can easily use this when you feel that your hair is feeling a little limp
Things you need: Epsom Salt and water mixed and put in a spray bottle
- Whenever you feel that your hair is getting a little limp, you can spray some of the solution in your hair to give it a bounce and shine.
- It helps to pump up the volume in your hair
Tip: The spray is also great to give your hair the much needed beachy waves. Instead of splurging on expensive salt sprays, you can make one at home by using Epsom salt
3. Removes Excess Oil from Hair
Things you need: Epsom salt and your favourite shampoo
- Just mix a few spoons of Epsom salt with your favourite shampoo and wash off.
- Use a conditioner after washing it off
Tip: Make sure you use a mild shampoo for this mix otherwise it might end up drying your hair a lot
Benefits and Uses of Epsom Salt for Body:
Just like for your hair, Epsom salt has advantages when it is used during baths. The natural minerals present in Epsom salt can be a great way to relax you and prevent joint pains too. Dip yourself in an Epsom salt bath after a long day at work and see what a difference it can make to your stress.
1. A Detox Bath
A detox bath is a great way to remove stress and also alleviate sores from the body. Gently soak yourself in the Epsom salt bath and see your stress disappear. It is very good to flush out toxins too
Things you need: Epsom salt and a bath tub
- Add some teaspoonful of Epsom salts in your bath tub and mix it well.
- Now soak your body
Tip: Take a detox bath like this every once in a while to relieve yourself from stress and anxiety
This low cost manicure can be done at home and is also great to make your fingers soft and supple. It helps to remove calluses and also soften the skin around your nails
Things you need: Epsom salt and soapy water
- Mix Epsom salt and soapy water together and dip your fingers in this solution.
- Gently rub your fingers together till you feel them getting soft.
- Now wash off with cold water and apply moisturizer to seal in the moisture.
Tip: Do this manicure once every month and see how soft your fingers become
Just like a manicure, you can use Epsom salt as pedicure too. It is cheap and effective and gives you a perfect pedicure every single time!
Things you need: Epsom salt and warm soapy water
- Soak your foot in the solution of Epsom salt and soap water and let it stay for almost half an hour.
- Gently rub on hard and dry spots on your feet to soften them.
- Wash off with cold water and apply cream to moisturize your feet.
Tip: Repeat this pedicure at least once a month for baby soft feet.
4. Remove Splinters
If you are scared of needles and doctors and you have a stubborn splinter stuck on your skin, then the best way to remove this splinter is by the use of Epsom salts. The salt can soften the skin around the splinter and help to remove it easily
Things you need: A bandaid and some Epsom salt
- On the affected area, put a band aid with Epsom salt attached on it.
- The Epsom salt will gently reduce the swelling in the area and reveal the splinter which can then be easily removed
Tip: This is an easy method and is very useful when young kids have splinters on their fingers
5. Treat toenail fungus
Epsom salt has magnesium and sulfate that have excellent anti-fungal properties. A solution of this can help to remove toenail fungus and also prevent it from occurring again and again.
Things you need: White vinegar, Epsom salt and Listerine in equal parts
Mix all the three together and soak your infected toenail in this solution.
The anti-fungal properties of the mixture will help to reduce the swelling and also the fungus infestation
Tip: Be consistent with the process of soaking your infected toenail. This well help to reduce the swelling and help cure it too.
6. Remove foot odor
Most men (and some women too) have feet that smell after a long day of wearing closed shoes. Epsom salt bath is a great way to reduce the foot odor and at the same time some combinations with Epsom salt can give you great smelling feet too.
Things you need: Epsom salt, baby powder
- Mix Epsom salt and baby powder in some warm water and soak your feet in this solution.
- Gently rub all over your feet to remove dry and rough patches.
- Wash off and moisturize your feet.
- Let them air a bit.
Tip: Do this especially after a long day of wearing closed shoes
7. Hand Wash
Epsom Salt can be a great way to make DIY hand wash that is not only cheap, but very effective too.
Things you need: Two teaspoons of Epsom salt, almond oil, liquid soap and essential oil
- Mix all the above ingredients together and put the mixture in a soap dispenser.
- Use this for general hand wash.
Tip: It’s a very cheap but effective hand wash and you can use one for a long time to come.
Benefits and Uses of Epsom Salt for Health:
Now that you have read all the benefits of Epsom salt for your hair and skin, let’s learn how it can work for your health as a whole
1. Relieve Stress
Epsom salt has huge amounts of Magnesium that are very good for the skin. When you take a bath with Epsom salts the magnesium in the salts gets absorbed by the body. This increases the magnesium levels in the skin and helps to increase the feeling of calmness.
Things you need: Epsom salt and some warm water to take a bath
Directions: Mix Epsom salt in a bathtub with warm water and take a nice long bath in it.
Tip: If you are recently not getting much sleep, treat yourself to an Epsom bath. It will help you sleep better and increase your concentration too.
2. No more pain
If you have a lot of stress and your joints are paining due to this, you should take an Epsom salt soak. It not only relieves aches and pains, but also helps remove stress
Things you need: Epsom salt and warm water in a bowl to dip the affected area
- You could either take a warm bath as suggested above or you could take a bowl and have a warm Epsom salt water in it.
- Soak the affected area in this bowl to remove pain.
Tip: You have to repeat the process a number of times to actually get rid of all the pain
3. Regulates Blood Sugar
Things you need: Epsom salt and some warm water
Directions: Soak your feet in Epsom salt and warm water for your bloodstream to absorb the magnesium present in the salt.
Tip: It is important to know that people with diabetes should avoid such Epsom salt baths.
4. Relieves constipation
The presence of magnesium in Epsom salt is again a very good way to relive constipation
Things you need: Epsom salt and warm water in a bathtub
- Take an Epsom salt bath and relax for at least half an hour.
- As the magnesium gets absorbed by the skin, the stool softens and it is easier on your constipation
Tip: You may need to take laxatives too to ease your stool in conjunction with the Epsom salt bath
5. Athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot, commonly known as tinea pedis is a foot fungus that can cause your feet to smell and if not treated they could even lead to bacterial infections over time
Things you need: Epsom salt mixed in some warm water
- Soak your feet in Epsom salt bath and let it soak for at least 15 minutes.
- Use this soak for at least twice if you have athlete’s foot to reduce the infection and fungus
Tip: The anti-fungal properties of Epsom salt can help reduce the infection and also prevent it from recurring.
6. Soothe sprains and bruises
Epsom salt can reduce pains and swelling that may happen due to any sprains and bruises
Things you need: Epsom Salt in a warm bath
Directions: The most popular way to soothe any kinds of pains associated with sprains and bruises can be cured by using a warm bath of Epsom salt and dipping the effected area in it.
Tip: Make sure that the water is lukewarm and not too hot, otherwise you may end up burning your skin!
7. Ease discomfort of gout
Epsom salt has the ability to help relive the pain from gout because of the properties that allow it to relax the muscles and reduce the swelling.
Things you need: Warm bath with Epsom salt
- The remedy for curing the pains associated with gout are also similar and all you need is a warm bath mixed with Epsom salt.
- Just dip in your feet and relax
Tip: The affected area should be warmed in an Epsom salt for about half an hour to 45 minutes for best results.
8. Headache relief
As mentioned earlier, Epsom salt baths are a great way to reduce inflammation. So in case you are prone to migraine attacks, a warm Epsom salt bath for your feet might just be the right trigger to cure it.
Things you need: A few drops of essential oil, Epsom salt and a warm bath of water
- Dip your feet in the warm bath that had Epsom salt and relax for about an hour.
- It will provide you long time relief from migraine attacks
Tip: Even though Epsom salt will provide you relief from migraines, these might take a serious turn and hence it is best to get the migraine attacks checked and if needed start medication to cure them
9. Eye health
Epsom salt can be used as an effective eye wash that can help curing several eye ailments including styes, conjunctivitis and even cataracts
Things you need: Epsom salt, warm water and a clean washcloth
- Mix some Epsom salt in a glass of warm water and dip the clean washcloth in it.
- Now wring the excess water and place it gently over the affected eye.
Tip: Repeat this process at regular intervals for relief from the above mentioned eye problems
10. Improves Your Bone Health
One of the most common bone problems that people face is arthritis and Epsom salt is in face a saviour when it comes to providing relief from joint pains. It helps to reduce the inflammation in the joints and promotes better bone health.
Things you need: A few spoons of Epsom salt and warm water in a tub
Directions: Mix the Epsom salt thoroughly and dip your affected feet in it for relaxation and joint pain relief
Tip: Arthritis pains can be very excruciating in several cases and hence it is advisable to seek medical help when the pains are unbearable.
11. Improves Arterial Health
Epsom salt is also great for the health of your arteries because it prevents inflammation and also maintains their elasticity.
Things you need: Epsom salt mixed in your bathing water
- Instead of taking baths in cold water every day, once in a while take a bath in warm water mixed with Epsom salt.
- This will increase the amount of magnesium in your body and as a result help in making your arteries healthier
Tip: Buy regular Epsom salt from the market and stock it up in your bathroom for quick access and use
12. Sleep aid
Epsom salt has a high level of magnesium which when absorbed by the body increases the feeling of relaxation and calmness and helps sleep better. If you are regularly pestered by sleep problems, dip your feet in Epsom salt water bath before sleeping to help aid your sleep
Things you need: A few teaspoons of Epsom salt, a bath tub full of warm water and some essential oil according to your preference (This is not a necessary step and you may or may not add essential oil)
- Before retiring to bed, take a warm and relaxing bath in the tub full of Epsom salt and essential oils.
- This will not only ease any pains associated to your joints but it will also help induce a feeling of calmness and relaxation in your body.
- This will definitely help you sleep better
Tip: Even if taking a bath may not be possible, just dipping your feet in a bath with Epsom salts can induce a calming effect.
Phew! So that’s the whole list of benefits that you can get from something as simple and easily available as Epsom Salt. So stock up on it! And make sure you have some in your bathroom readily available for a quick bath or a feet soak.
Epsom salt is a very valuable and readily available item that has benefits not only for your overall health, but for your skin and hair too. It is cheap and effective and makes an amazing item to have in your bathroom for many common ailments.