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One of America’s leading natural beauty experts recommends Epsom salt recipes to help relieve stress, soothe sore muscles, improve sleep, fight colds, exfoliate skin and prepare for pedicures.
“Epsom salt used to just sit in the bathroom cupboard, but now, it’s so popular, it’s out on the countertop,” says Janice Cox.
Cox is widely quoted in magazines such as Woman’s World and Woman’s Day. She has also written four books: Natural Beauty for All Seasons, Natural Beauty from the Garden, EcoBeauty and the bestseller Natural Beauty at Home.
Bath salts are one of her favorite uses for Epsom salt, which she calls “the gateway to natural beauty.”
Here are seven of her favorite recipes:
Soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath will make you feel calmer, reduce stress and soothe sore muscles and stiff joints, Cox says. This relaxing soak is ideal before bedtime, helping treat your tired body and help you sleep.
Pour the salts under running water as you fill your bath. Allow the salts to dissolve. Doctors have said this helps boost your circulation, reducing inflammation and relaxing your muscles. Afterward, if you have dry skin, use a natural oil or body lotion.
This is a popular recipe in England to reduce stress, relieve sore muscles and improve sleep. Try a bath or foot soak. The mustard’s warmth opens your pores, allowing you to sweat out impurities, Cox says. She also uses this recipe to help her sleep when she feels a cold starting, an idea doctors have recommended.
Add a quarter cup to the bath under running water.
For a footbath: Add 1 tablespoon of the bath powder to a basin of hot water, then soak your feet for 15 minutes.
Lavender has a relaxing scent, and oatmeal calms the skin, even for people with sensitive and dry skin. Combined with Epsom salt, the bath is naturally refreshing, cleansing and soothing for both your body and mind, Cox says.
Add half a cup to your bath as you fill the tub. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
These make great gifts. Mix Epsom salt with two or three drops of natural food colors and place in pretty jars. You can also layer the colors for a striped effect.
Bring lavender and peppermint essential oil when you travel. For energy, add a few drops of the peppermint to an Epsom salt bath. To help with sleep, use the lavender oil.
Before a home pedicure, soak in a footbath with a couple tablespoons of Epsom salt and white vinegar. This mixture softens rough skin and gets feet clean and smooth.
To exfoliate, mix ½ cup Epsom salt with a ½ cup natural oil, such as almond or coconut. It’s a deep cleanse to help your skin look healthier.
“People think of soaks as more of a luxury, because it sounds like it will take a long time,” Cox said. “It’s only 15 or 20 minutes. Take that time for yourself without any distractions and focus on relaxing.”