Chances are you have heard of epsom salt, or at least walked by it at some point in the drug store. However, most people have little idea what it actually is and what epsom salt uses are available to try. Once you read this article, however, you’ll probably head straight to the store to stock up on epsom salt!
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is named after Epsom, England, the market town in Surrey. The city has natural hot springs where epsom salt was originally found centuries ago. Although it has the name “salt”, don’t be fooled—this substance is magnesium sulfate which is very different from table salt and Dead Sea salt.
There are also different grades of epsom salt available such as human use or agricultural. Generally, the epsom salt you get in the beauty department at the store is for human use, but it is always a good idea to check and make sure.
3 Side Effects of Using Epsom Salts
Thankfully, the side effects of using epsom salts are few and far between, especially if the salts are used properly. However, there are a few side effects to be cautious of.
- Bloating, diarrhea and upset stomach can occur after ingesting epsom salt for constipation. To get symptom relief, flush your system and drink lots of water
- Because of the high magnesium content in epsom salt, magnesium overdose can occur in very rare cases. This can cause heart failure, coma, paralysis, or death
- Just like every other substance, you could potentially be allergic to epsom salts, although this is rare
11 Health Benefits of Epsom Salts
The most well-known epsom salt uses generally fall under the health category. The thing that makes epsom salt particularly helpful for health is its magnesium content.
Magnesium is an essential mineral, particularly for women. You can up your magnesium intake by utilizing one of the most popular of epsom salt uses—making a bath soak.
The warm water of a bath will open your pores and allow your body to absorb magnesium and sulfate ions through your skin. This provides you with vital minerals that your body typically does not get enough of. The extra magnesium will provide you with multiple health benefits . Epsom salt:
- Provides support for bone health and calcium absorption
- Helps arthritis pain
- Reduces swelling from ingrown toenails
- Reduces pain from fibromyalgia
- Helps with insomnia
- Reduces the itchiness and redness from Psoriasis
- Reduces pain from sunburns
- Helps muscles recover after a workout by reducing soreness
- Helps bruises and sprains heal faster
- Lowers anxiety levels
- Helps manage premenstrual symptoms
Another often overlooked epsom salt uses is for constipation. There are certain risks and side effects associated with ingesting epsom salts, so we won’t go into detail here, but ask your doctor for tips if you struggle with constipation.
9 Beauty Benefits of Epsom Salts
There are dozens of epsom salt uses in the beauty category, too! Here are 9 of our favorites.
- Add epsom salt to your conditioner for extra volume in your hair
- A few epsom salt flakes in a facial wash can help slough away dry skin
- Mix the salt with a few drops of oil to create a paste, and use it to scrub, heal and moisturize dry lips
- Grab a facial brush and wet the end. Dip it into a small handful of epsom salt and make circular motions on your face with the brush to use it as a facial exfoliator
- Use it as a foot scrub to not only sooth but also smooth your feet—this is one of my favorite epsom salt uses!
- Small amounts of epsom salt can be used to lessen the appearance of small skin irritations, such as acne or mosquito bites. Remember to be gentle with extra sensitive skin.
- Use epsom salt in your shampoo or conditioner to add an extra layer of heat protection to your hair if you use a straightener or blow dryer
- If you have some serious waterproof makeup that will not come off your skin, try using a bit of epsom salt to help gently remove it
- Mixed with baby oil, epsom salt creates an excellent hand scrub
8 Household Epsom Salt Uses
You may be surprised to learn there are tons of household epsom salt uses. From washing dishes to making your yard green, epsom salt is excellent for nearly every area of your home.
- Epsom Salt can be used to get the clingy bits of food off particularly stubborn pots and pans
- A fun seasonal trick for Christmas time is to combine epsom salt with water and dab it onto your windows with a sponge to create a frosted window look
- If you have wildlife continually getting into your outdoor trash, sprinkle a generous amount of epsom salt to keep animals like raccoons away
- Use dish soap and epsom salts in a 1:1 ratio to clean kitchen tiles
- Sprinkle epsom salt over your lawn in places where you have brown spots and watch greener grass grow.
- Use it on your lawn as a fertilizer replacement
- Sprinkle epsom salt around your rose bushes to help protect and boost rose blooms
- Make your own DIY laundry softener by adding 1/4 cup of epsom salt to each new load in the dryer
As you can see, the benefits of epsom salt uses far outweigh any side effects. Make sure to only use the epsom salt as directed by your doctor or within the guidelines on the package.