If you have no idea what Epsom salts are actually good for, join the club. Because while lots of folks have a vague idea of what they are, far fewer have any idea what this multi-tasking mineral compound (a mix of magnesium and sulfate) can do for them.
But once you discover just a few of the many uses for these hardworking, incredibly affordable “salts,” we bet you’ll be tossing a bag into your shopping cart in no time.
1. Restore happy feet:
Epsom salts can be your feet’s best friend. Dissolve one half of a cup of the salts in a bowl of warm water, and soak for 20 minutes.
Those soothing 20 minutes can…
- Ease the ache from being on your feet all day
- Calm the itchy, fiery burn of athlete’s foot
- Relieve the pain of gout
- Combat foot odor
- Relieve swelling
Experts say an Epsom salt soak may even help combat toenail fungus by helping to make your tootsies an unfriendly place to live.
2. Relax sore muscles:
Stiff neck? Achy back? Sore legs and feet from walking all day? Epsom salts can help with all those aches and pains, and more.
The classic method for soothing stiff muscles is to make an Epsom salt bath. Simply dissolve two cups of salts into a warm bath (as hot as is comfortable, but be careful to not overdo it and burn yourself) and soak for at least 15 minutes.
You can also make a relaxing muscle rub from Epsom salts. Dissolve one tablespoon of the salts into one cup of hot water. Cool in the fridge for 20 minutes until it turns into a paste. Massage the Epsom paste into your sore spots for quick and lasting relief.
3. Remove dry skin:
Nothing beats a good exfoliation to get an all-over glow, and Epsom salts are the perfect tool. Combine a handful of the salts with a carrier oil—our favorite is coconut—and store it in the bath. (Hint: You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender or orange, to give your scrub a delicious scent.)
When you’re in the shower, gently massage wet skin with the mix, then rinse well. The Epsom scrub will leave your arms, legs and feet super soft and smooth. Bonus benefit, you can use this same combination to keep your lips soft, too!
4. Soothe a sunburn
Obviously you want to avoid sunburns, but in the real world we sometimes stay out in the sunshine a bit too long. So when they do happen reach for the Epsom salts.
The salts will naturally drive down inflammation, so they can help take the burn out of mild sunburns. Plus they will help relieve the itch as your skin starts to heal. Dissolve two teaspoons of Epsom salts in one cup of water and spray on the affected area. Just be sure to never use the mix on serious burns, or broken skin.
5. Turn up the volume:
Believe it or not you can give your hair a beautiful bounce with Epsom salts. The salts gently remove the excess built up oil and product residues that can weigh your hair down.
Mix together equal parts Epsom salts and your favorite deep conditioner. Gently work the mixture into your damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse well, and air dry for the most impressive results.
6. Sleep better:
Take an Epsom salt bath right before bed and you’ll sleep sounder all night long. A warm water soak can be soothing alone, but the addition of Epsom salts turns it into a recipe for an excellent night’s sleep.
Stress and anxiety cause you to lose magnesium throughout the day. But soaking in an Epsom salt bath can help restore your levels. The magnesium from the salts gets absorbed through your skin as you soak, and your body then uses it to produce calming serotonin.
Meanwhile the soothing warmth helps melt away tension making you feel even more relaxed and ready to sleep. For best results, add several drops of pure lavender oil.
Grandma always kept a box of Epsom salts in the pantry, and we bet the hard-working mineral has just earned a spot in yours too. Toss a bag into your cart on your next shopping trip.