Epsom salt is a pure mineral compound of magnesium sulfate in crystal form that gently exfoliates skin, softens rough patches and volumizes hair. Due to its affordability and easy drugstore accessibility, this cult classic is a popular natural choice for DIY beauty.
Using Epsom salt, you can recreate your favorite spa treatments at home:
- Mix it with your favorite deep conditioner to add body to your hair
- Slough away dry patches in the winter and heal dry lips
- Brighten your skin before going out in the sun, soften it afterward and get your feet ready for sandal season
Note: For human use, the Epsom Salt Council recommends only Epsom salt with the USP designation.
DIY bath soaks with Epsom salt
Natural beauty expert Janice Cox calls Epsom salt “the gateway to natural beauty” because she says it can be used to help relieve stress, soothe sore muscles, improve sleep, fight colds, exfoliate skin and prepare for pedicures.
Here is the recipe for her Relaxing Lavender Oatmeal Bath, which she says is good for people with sensitive and dry skin because it is calming and soothing:
- Place ¼ cup dried lavender flowers and ½ cup oatmeal (whole oats) in a food processor or blender and process on high until you have a fine mixture that resembles whole grain flour.
- In a bowl, stir the lavender-oatmeal mixture with 1 cup Epsom salt, and pour into a clean, dry container.
- Add ½ cup to your bathwater as you fill the tub.
- Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Kristin Fraser Cotte, CEO and founder of The Grapeseed Company, recommends this Grapes of Bath Champagne Soak to help detoxify, constrict pores and tone skin:
- Combine ½ cup Epsom salt and 1 cup powdered milk in a bowl
- Add 1 cup champagne
- Warm 1 tsp. honey in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add it to the mixture
- Pour into running bath water
- When the tub is full, add rose petals, then hop in and relax
Find more Epsom salt bath recipes.
DIY mani/pedi with Epsom salt
Marsha Bialo, an award-winning celebrity manicurist, calls Epsom salt “one of the least expensive beauty products on the market.” To help ease aches and pains, reduce swelling and disinfect blisters or lesions, she recommends bi-weekly DIY pedicures.
Here are her step-by-step directions:
- Give your feet a comfortable place to rest by folding a bath towel and positioning it at the bottom of a bucket.
- Mix ½ cup of Epsom salt in warm, soapy water and soak feet to soften skin and calluses and dry out the bacteria from blisters.
- Remove old nail polish with a cotton pad soaked with nail polish remover, cut nails straight across with clippers, and then file them square to remove sharp edges.
- Soak feet for another 5 minutes, then 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.
- Dry your feet and then top them off with the nail polish of your choice.
One of the models with TRUE Model Management recommends this cuticle softener soak to help revive dry skin and cuticles:
- Mix ½ cup warm water, 1 tbsp. Epsom salt, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, and 1-3 drops of the essential oil of your choice in a shallow bowl.
- Submerge your fingers or toes into the mixture and soak for 5-10 minutes.
- After soaking, cuticles should be soft and moisturized, and easier to cut and/or push back.
Learn more about DIY mani/pedis with Epsom salt.
Natural skin care with Epsom salt
According to doctors and beauty experts, Epsom salt baths and compresses can be used to help relieve the symptoms of mild sunburn, bug bites, poison ivy, eczema, psoriasis and acne. In addition, Epsom salt makes a great natural exfoliant.
Epsom salt body scrub
Natural beauty expert Janice Cox recommends this DIY Epsom salt scrub for your arms, legs and back:
- Mix ½ cup Epsom salt with a ½ cup natural oil, such as almond or coconut.
- Scrub your body to deep clean and help your skin look healthier.
Gently exfoliate face
- Mix ½ tsp. of Epsom salt into cleansing cream for deep-pore cleansing
- Massage on skin
- Rinse with cool water and pat dry
DIY facial mask
Cosmetologist Linda Ashbrook of the of the Golden Door Spa suggests the following DIY facial mask to soothe and soften skin after being out in the sun. She says Epsom salt helps retain moisture, eliminate toxins and relieve stress. Here is the recipe:
- Mix 1 tbsp. Epsom salt, 1 tbsp. honey, 1 tbsp. olive oil and 3 drops of lemon juice.
- Apply to face and leave on for 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse in a warm shower to wash away any impurities that have been drawn out from the Epsom salt.
- Moisturize with lotion and enjoy soothed, smooth skin.
Learn more about Epsom salt for skin care.
Add volume to hair with Epsom salt
- Combine equal parts warm conditioner and Epsom salt
- Work the mixture through your hair and leave for 20 minutes