Experts Share Their Summer Beauty Tips.

Experts Say Epsom Salt is Perfect for Manicures, Pedicures and Relaxing Soaks That Will Brighten Your Skin

As the summer heats up, several beauty experts suggest using Epsom salt to get your feet ready for sandals season, to brighten your skin and to lighten your stress.

“It’s one of the least expensive beauty products on the market,” says Marsha Bialo, an award-winning celebrity manicurist who has worked with the nation’s top photographers and on advertising campaigns for clients such as Bebe, Nordstrom, Estee Lauder, Jessica Simpson and Victoria Secret. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity, or an average person on a budget. Epsom salt has a multitude of uses.”

Bialo recommends bi-weekly pedicures to ease aches and pains, reduce swelling and disinfect blisters or lesions. Her step-by-step suggestions:

  1. Give your feet a comfortable place to rest by folding a bath towel and positioning it at the bottom of a bucket.
  2. Mix half a cup of Epsom salt with some warm, soapy water to soften skin and calluses and dry out the bacteria from blisters.
  3. Next, remove old polish with a cotton pad soaked with nail polish remover, cut nails straight across with clippers then file them square to remove sharp edges.
  4. Soak for five minutes, dip a file into the water and use it to smooth your heels, the balls of your feet and the outer edges of your pinkie toes.
  5. Afterward, Bialo suggests Calcium Gel Fortifier or Ridge Filling Base Coat by China Glaze followed by a bright, summery coat of polish, and then finish with Seche Vite top coat for a lasting shine.

At the Spa at the Intercontinental San Francisco, you can pamper yourself with an ice cream manicure or pedicure that’s made from Epsom salt, a blend of six oils, minerals and fragrances. The treatments are crafted to smell like ice cream — either chocolate, vanilla or pomegranate — and Spa Director Ryan O’Connor says it helps soothe muscles, reduce stress and improve your skin.

“It removes the outer layer of dead skin cells, so your feet and hands look rejuvenated, your skin is going to be more supple and it will look brighter,” O’Connor says. “Relaxing your hands and feet is one of the best things people can do for themselves.”

O’Connor says he also recommends people soak in Epsom salt and essential oils at home, once a week for 20 minutes, as a way to detox and reduce tension in the spine and throughout the body.

“It actually knocks me out, it’s so relaxing,” O’Connor said.

Here are some other tips for using Epson salt to create an at-home spa:

  • Glowing skin exfoliating treatment: Place Epsom salt in your hand, dampen it and massage it into your skin. You can also create a DIY Lavender Coconut Body Scrub, as seen in this video.
  • Microdermabrasion Facial: Mix ½ TSP of Epsom Salt into cleansing cream for a deep-pore cleansing. Massage on skin. Rinse with cool water. Pat dry.
  • Homemade bath crystals: Mix two cups of Epsom Salt with a few drops of fragrance to create a custom bath crystal. Add a few drops of food coloring or ½ TSP of glycerin if you like. Store in an air-tight container.

Note: For human use, the Epsom Salt Council recommends only Epsom salt with the USP designation.