Here are three reasons to add epsom salt to your beauty routine

Do you love natural solutions to seemingly difficult yet common problems? You can buy a new product to solve a specific skin or hair issue, but then you can also simply add something affordable, organic, and easy-to-find instead.

We're talking about epsom salt. It's a favorite DIY ingredient that has got the likes of Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow as fans! Pretty solid celebrity endorsement, yeah? We're more familiar with it as a way to pull out splinters from the skin, but it has a lot of beautifying properties as we've found out.

Named after the town where it was first discovered, epsom salt is actually a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfates. It's not a salt at all, but is called such because it looks like your everyday table salt. So no, they aren't substitutes for each other.

Locally, you can find epsom salt in Healthy Options (last time we got one, it was in a huge carton for roughly P200+) and in Rustan's supermarkets. Here are its beauty applications!

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Scrub your lips, face, and body

Compared to regular salt, epsom salt has a milder abrasive texture that makes it ideal for scrub use even on the more sensitive parts of the body like the face and lips. Mixed with a cup or so of carrier oil (olive, sunflower, or other vegetable-based oil) and a drop or two of essential oils (lavender, chamomile, or similar oils) for a bit of aromatherapy goodness, your handful of epsom salt is ready to exfoliate your skin! 

There are also other scrub recipes that include egg, mayonnaise, lemon, honey, or oatmeal depending on your skin concerns but the base recipe of salt + oil is enough to work wonders. You can even add some epsom salt to your favorite facial cleanser to give an exfoliating component to your skin care routine without having to switch products.

The compound's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make these DIY scrubs especially good for treating acne. You can use it thrice a week. Just check prior that you are not allergic, and consult with a doctor if you're pregnant.

If DIY is not your thing though Z by Zenutrients, the premium sub-brand of the local organic line, has an Epsom Salt Scrub in Relaxing Lavender, Olive and Olive.

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Get your hair clean and full-bodied

Greasy hair often looks limp because it gets weighed down by all the oil. Epsom salt can help your hair get squeaky-clean and revive its bounciness without drying out your strands! Simply mix in equal parts with your conditioner and warm it up on the stove to dissolve the salt. Let it cool to a comfortable warm temperature, apply all over, and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing. The combination of epsom salt and conditioner creates a unique cleansing and moisturizing effect, and the warmth makes it feel like you're treating yourself to a hot oil!

For removing hair product build-up, you’ll need one cup each of lemon juice and epsom salt. Dissolve both dissolve in a gallon of water and allow the solution to sit for 24 hours before you can apply on dry hair. Leave on for 20 minutes, allowing it to soak in your scalp, then shampoo as you normally do.

Treat yourself to a foot or full bath soak

The most commonly known use for epsom salt is adding it to bath water for soothing muscle pains and softening skin. If you're an active person or simply plain stressed out, this is a better way to relax instead of taking the usual bubble bath! Just be careful not to accidentally swallow the bathwater since epsom salt has laxative properties.

  • For the skin: An epsom salt soak is also good for keeping skin soft; it works against dry skin, mild sunburn, and psoriasis. You can also carry the solution in a spritz bottle and spray as needed.
  • For the belly: Epsom salt it also said to have a detoxifying effect on the body when you soak in it. It supposedly pulls out excess water and toxins from the body, which reduces bloated stomachs and leads to flatter bellies (hurray!).
  • For the feet: For women who love wearing heels, a 10-20 minute foot soak at the end of a long day will wonders for tired feet! Epsom salt helps soothe any inflammation caused by a build up of uric acid in the foot joints. Added plus: it'll keep your toes looking nice and smooth! 

Have you tried using epsom salt? How do you incorporate it into your beauty routine?