As winter continues its cold and dreary trudge, celebrity skincare expert Ole Henriksen says you should pick up some Epsom salts to help brighten and soften the skin after all those sun-soaked afternoons.
But what exactly are Epsom salts?
Named after a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, this inexpensive and easily available ingredient is actually not a “salt” at all. Rather, it’s a pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate – both of which are readily absorbed through the skin. This gives Epsom salts a huge variety of health and beauty benefits, including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function, preventing hardening of arteries, improving the absorption of nutrients and flushing out toxins.
However, most of us simply associate Epsom salts with long, leisurely baths. So, what’s someone without a bathtub to do? Plenty, says Henriksen, who believes this versatile ingredient can be used in a number of other ways as well. For instance, his DIY Epsom treatment exfoliates the skin, leaving it luminous, soft and smooth. It also helps removes dead skin, flushes out toxins, and allows for better absorption of skincare products.
- Mix the Epsom salts and coffee grounds in a bowl
- Add the oils and stir thoroughly to create a smooth paste
- When in the shower, vigorously scrub your body with this paste for several minutes, from neck to feet
- Rinse and glow!
Looking for more non-bathtub centric uses of Epsom salts? Try these.
Epsom salts recipe #2: Facial scrub
Boost the magnesium in your skin (which increases energy levels, relieves stress, increasing serotonin levels and lowers blood pressure) while exfoliating and deep cleansing by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salts with a cleansing cream. Massage, rinse with cool water and pat dry.
Epsom salts recipe #3: Splinter remover
Epsom salts increase osmotic pressure on the skin, which draws foreign bodies toward the surface. Dissolve one cup of Epsom salts in a tub of water and soak the affected area for 15-20 minutes; repeat as often as necessary.
Epsom salts recipe #4: Foot soak
Soothe aches, remove odours and soften rough skin with this foot soak: Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts to a pan of warm water. Soak feet for as long as it feels right. Rinse and dry.
Make a compress by soaking a washcloth in cold water mixed with Epsom salt (two tablespoons per cup) and apply to the skin.
Epsom salts recipe #5: Hair volumiser
For big, bouncy hair, mix one part hair conditioner to one part Epsom salts and work the mixture through your locks. Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse and style as usual.
Have you ever used Epsom salts? What’s your favourite Epsom salt recipe?