You constantly hear the advice—take an Epsom salt bath to relieve soreness, use Epsom salt to help alleviate PMS, use it to help with sleep, etc. But why? And what exactly is Epsom salt? Read on to find out more.

What is Epsom Salt?

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and is named for its chemical makeup. Epsom is a place in England where it is found naturally in the springs. Water breaks down the chemical compounds of magnesium and sulfate, which are two very important minerals for our bodies. Once broken down, they are thought to absorb into skin to help with various ailments. You can find it in most drugstores or on Amazon.

What Does Epsom Salt Treat?

This natural, relaxing salt treats everything from arthritis and muscle soreness to fighting off colds and more. Here are ten ways you can use Epsom salt for health and beauty.

Reduce Muscle and Joint Soreness

Whether you overdid it in SoulCycle or are just stiff from sitting at a desk (or in the coffee shop) all day, this is the top use for Epsom salt. The magnesium helps your muscles relax. Run a bath at your preferred temperature and dissolve one to two cups of this mineral in the water, as it is filling up. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

Exfoliate Dry Winter Skin

Winter is prime time for dry skin and this coarse salt is perfect for exfoliation. Make your own body scrub by mixing 1 cup of the salt, two cups of non-melted coconut oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. After rinsing, follow with a rich moisturizer. The scrub will last for up to a month in an airtight container.

Deal with Dandruff

Using Epsom salt is a great way to manage scalp build up and you can give yourself a thorough scalp massage, like at the salon. This is also a nice break from any medicated shampoos you may be using. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with your usual amount of shampoo and gently massage your scalp. Be sure to rinse well.

Fight the Flu and Colds

Soaking in a bath with magnesium sulfate may help your blood vessels dilate, which increase white blood cell production. If you even feel a hint of the flu or a cold, hop into an Epsom salt bath to try to knock it out.

Up Your Magnesium Levels

Magnesium deficiency can cause loss of appetite, nausea, sleepiness, weakness, headaches, and may even contribute to low calcium and potassium levels. Taking regular baths with this salt can help the magnesium absorb into the skin.

Boost Sulfur Levels

This works much the same as boosting magnesium. Sulfur is an important mineral and is needed for a healthy metabolism, cells, and organs.

Alleviate PMS

If you struggle with PMS symptoms, low magnesium could be to blame. Taking a bath with this salt will not only help magnesium levels but will help with cramping as well.

Reduce Stress

When you are stressed, your adrenaline increases. This can drain the body of magnesium and an Epsom salt bath is the perfect medicine.

Treat Insect Bites

This salt helps to reduce swelling and itching. Soak a facecloth in one cup of cold water with two tablespoons dissolved salt and then apply to bite.

Get Glowing Skin

Mix two tablespoons of honey with two tablespoons of Epsom salt and apply to face. Honey is naturally moisturizing. Leave on for 20 minutes and follow with a serum or cream.