How Epsom salt compares to other salts

Epsom salt is unique, because it’s made of magnesium and sulfate. Those nutrients are not found in other salts, so there is no substitute for Epsom salt. Its unique formula also means it has unique uses and benefits not found with other salts. One of the earliest discoveries of magnesium sulfate occurred back in Shakespeare’s day in Epsom, England. This explains the first half of the name Epsom salt.

The difference between Epsom salt and table salt

The term “salt” probably refers to the specific chemical structure of the compound, although many people mistakenly assume it refers to the crystalline structure of Epsom salt, which has an appearance similar to that of table salt. Table salt, of course, consists of sodium chloride, so it’s an entirely different substance than magnesium sulfate.

The difference between Epsom salt and sea salt

Some people compare Epsom salt to other salts. They wonder, for instance, if Epsom salt dries your skin and leaves a residue the way sea salt does? The answer: no. In fact, Epsom salt is widely reported to soften skin, and it rinses away completely. While we don’t yet understand precisely why Epsom salt has a softening effect, the results have been widely reported for hundreds of years.

The difference between Epsom salt and bath salts

Others ask about the difference between Epsom salt and bath salts. The formula for Epsom salt contains nothing but the naturally occurring minerals magnesium and sulfate. While bath salts may contain other ingredients as part of a proprietary blend, Epsom salt itself does not. Experts say there are health benefits to soaking in Epsom salt, because it boosts your body’s magnesium levels.

You may have seen media reports about dangerous “bath salts,” but those are not real bath salts at all. They are concentrated mixtures of toxic chemicals sold for high profit by unscrupulous manufacturers, usually at mini-marts or “smoke shops,” and used as designer drugs. These designer “bath salts” are not at all related to real bath salts or Epsom salt which are found at reasonable prices in reputable pharmacies, retail stores or bath products stores.

Recipe for using Epsom salt to make safe, at-home bath salt

  • Mix two cups of Epsom salt with a few drops of your favorite fragrance to create a custom bath crystal.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring or 1/2 TSP of glycerin if you like.
  • Mix thoroughly and store in an air-tight container.

Enjoy a relaxing soak with this Epsom salt recipe

  • Add two cups of Epsom salt to the water in a standard-sized bathtub.
  • Soak for at least 12 minutes, three times weekly.
  • For an extra treat, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil for a refreshing scent.