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As summer heats up, you might want to pick up some Epsom salt. Beauty experts say it can help brighten your skin before you go out in the sun, soften it afterward and get your feet ready for sandals season.
For beach season, celebrity skin care guru Ole Henriksen says you should exfoliate before going out in the sun to rev up circulation, facilitating the elimination of toxins or impurities that may be trapped in the skin. In addition to detoxification, Henriksen says, exfoliation leaves the skin luminous, smooth and soft in texture, and it removes any excess dead skin, allowing for better absorption and easier application of sunscreen or lotion.
Here’s his recipe for an at-home dermabrasion resurfacing treatment called the “Shower smoothie:”
“Epsom Salt has amazing detoxifying properties and melts into the skin when activated by ingredients in my recipes,” Henriksen says. “The texture of Epsom Salt is firm, yet very smooth to the touch. This makes the exfoliation process comfortable for all skin types.”
After a day outdoors, cosmetologist Linda Ashbrook of the Golden Door Spa suggests soaking in Epsom salt for 20 minutes to relax tired muscles and soften the skin, which can get dry from the sun or sandy beaches. Add a few drops of aromatherapy oil, such as lavender or frankincense, to make it more relaxing, then use a very rich moisturizer afterward to further soften the skin. The Epsom salt – actually magnesium sulfate – helps retain moisture, eliminate toxins and relieve stress, Ashbrook says.
“With our skin being the largest organ, it absorbs and uses nutrients applied topically,” Ashbrook says. “As most people are deficient in magnesium, taking an Epsom salt bath is the easiest way to restore this mineral to the body.”
To soothe summer skin, Ashbrook also advises making a quick and easy facial mask while in the bath. Here’s how:
Here are two other tips for using Epsom salt this summer:
Note: For human use, the Epsom Salt Council recommends only Epsom salt with the USP designation.