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Here’s How to Harness The Skin-Saving Powers of Epsom Salt

Get the spa treatment at home.


Salt seems to improve almost everything it touches. Obviously, it makes food taste better — but it has beauty benefits, too. If you’ve ever spent a day at the beach and noticed that your hair has a breezy, beautiful texture, you can thank the salty seaside air. Or perhaps you’ve used a salt scrub that made your skin glow and left you feeling refreshed. No matter the type of salt, there’s one common thread: It has a multitude of benefits. Epsom salt, especially, is great for your skin, but fancy treatments from the spa can be expensive. Good news: You can harness the power of salt at home without breaking the bank. See how this soon-to-be staple could be a boon for your beauty routine.

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt, also called bath salts or magnesium sulfate, originated from the waters of Epsom, a town in England. It’s full of magnesium, which a lot of humans are deficient in, and is said to improve a variety of ailments and skin conditions; it’s good for stress relief, reducing inflammation, exfoliating skin, and more. While it’s safe to consume, Epsom isn’t intended for seasoning like other salts, and is most commonly used in baths and skincare.

How can it help my skin?

Epsom salt has several benefits for your skin. It’s also easy to find at grocery stores or online at reasonable prices; try Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt (Buy from Amazon, $5.87). Here are five ways Epsom salt can help you.

It smooths rough patches. Try an Epsom salt and coconut oil scrub. Gritty salt can lift dry, dead skin cells, while antioxidants in coconut oil may repair skin’s barrier and moisturize. To do: Mix ½ cup of Epsom salts with ¼ cup of coconut oil. Rub on damp skin for 1 minute; rinse.

It softens callused feet. Opt for an Epsom salt and lemon soak. Epsom salt can smooth out rough skin, and lemon’s citric acid may help exfoliate. To do: Add ½ cup of Epsom salts and 4 lemon slices to a basin of warm water. Soak feet for 15 minutes; pat dry.

It heals chapped lips. Choose an Epsom salt and petroleum jelly mask. Salt granules whisk away flakes, while jelly’s petrolatum hydrates. To do: Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts and 1 teaspoon of petroleum jelly. Dab on and rub lips together for 30 seconds. Let sit 5 minutes; wipe.

It helps heal itchy, scaly skin. The magnesium in Epsom salt may help dry, itchy skin absorb water for more effective moisturizing, and it can also lessen irritating inflammation. To do: Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes. Moisturize skin immediately after drying. (Click through to our sister site to see how an Epsom salt soak soothes hemorrhoid itching.)

It clarifies clogged pores. The chemical compounds and texture of Epsom salt may help get the gunk out of clogged pores and give you glowy skin. To do: Dissolve 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt in 2 cups of warm water. Soak a clean cloth in the water, and wring out until no longer dripping. Gently lay it on your face until the washcloth is no longer warm, and then rinse face with warm water. Be careful around your eyes!

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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