The Beauty of Epsom Salts

Sherry McGuinn

With a multitude of uses, this humble staple deserves to be just that.

I never thought much about Magnesium Sulfate, or, Epsom Salts. Who does, right? It’s just this stuff in bulky bags on the bottom shelves in drug stores. Under the Milk of Magnesia and Fleet Enemas.

Nope. Those days are gone. I’m here to testify that Epsom Salts — the crystalized form of Magnesium Sulfate — make for cheap and easy health and beauty hacks that everyone of any age can benefit from.

I first started thinking about Epsom Salts when my knees went to shit. Mainly, because my workouts include high impact moves like jumping rope. And, since I’m stubborn and sometimes stupid, I rarely take a day off.

In fact, I have a slight tear in the meniscus on my left knee that I treated on my own. I was not ready for surgery, or the determination that, “Hell, we might as well just replace the whole knee.”

“Hell,” is right. Hell, to the no.

So, it was around that time that I started looking into Epsom Salts’ health benefits, most of which is attributed to its magnesium content, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of. The compound also includes sulfur and oxygen.

Epsom Salts resembles table salt but has a completely different molecular structure.

Dissolved in a warm bath, Epsom Salts help to relieve tired, sore muscles as it is thought that magnesium is absorbed through the skin. And, because magnesium can help the body produce melatonin, soaking in a tub with EP can promote sleep and stress reduction.

Several times a week, I soak in an EP bath and I always emerged relaxed, with less muscle pain and swelling — and ready for a cocktail.

On a less sexy note, EP is often used for constipation. According to the guidelines on the packaging, it can be taken orally, with water, like so:

Adults are usually advised to take 2–6 teaspoons (10–30 grams) of Epsom salt at a time, dissolved in at least 8 ounces (237 ml) of water and consumed immediately. You can expect a laxative effect in 30 minutes to 6 hours. You definitely will get the trots, so make sure you have full access to a “facility.” In other words, stay home.

Be advised that taking EP orally can result in bloating and loose or liquid stools.
Okay! Enough about that.

In my quest to find out everything I could about this miraculous mineral, I found that EP’s beauty benefits abound.

Consider me your human guinea pig as I’ve tried many of the following tips from the Epsom Salt Council:

Just like your body, your scalp needs exfoliation, too. Mix EP with your favorite deep conditioner to add volume to your hair. Massage for two minutes and rinse thoroughly. Do this regularly to help slough off dead skin cells that can lead to sebum or hardened oil around the hair follicles. No good. Excess sebum can result in hair thinning, or even hair loss.

For a volumizing hair “mask,” try the following:

  • Combine equal parts warm conditioner and Epsom salt.
  • Work the mixture through your hair and leave for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse.
  • Enjoy a cocktail of your choice.

Want silky smooth skin from one shower?

  • Combine equal parts EP and coconut oil.
  • Massage the mixture all over your body.
  • Rinse.
  • Follow with a cocktail.

Make your own facial cleanser.

  • Mix ½ tsp. of EP with your favorite cleansing cream or lotion, or again, coconut oil.
  • Gently massage onto your skin.
  • Rinse with cool water, pat dry, and follow up with a moisturizer.
  • Mix yourself a stiff one.

Treat cracked heels.

  • Immerse your feet in a tub of EP and hot water.
  • Scrub with a pumice stone and rinse.
  • Slather your feet with a thick moisturizer.
  • Slip into cotton socks and take a nap!
  • Get up. Have a cocktail.

Make your lips pout-worthy.

  • Combine a few tablespoons of EP with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly or coconut oil.
  • Apply the mixture to your lips and gently rub it in.
  • Rinse off and see fuller-looking, healthier lips.
  • Celebrate with a cocktail.

Have I convinced you that Epsom Salts are a “thing?” So much so, in fact, that you can now purchase them infused with coconut oil, lavender essence, shea butter, and more. But, really, you can easily add your own essential oils for a luxe, spa-like treatment that is inexpensive, effective and chemical-free.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this piece. Time for a bath and a cocktail.


© Sherry McGuinn, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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My goal is to educate, entertain, make you laugh, and above all, make you think. I will be running the gamut as far as my articles go because I have a restless mind and I allow it to ramble where and when it wants. I hope you enjoy what I'm looking forward to sharing with you. If so, I'd love for you to follow me. Thanks for reading.

Chicago, IL

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