Don’t believe the hype!
I’m going to start off by doing a bit of beauty industry myth debunking! Has anybody has ever told you a good long soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts will ease your aching muscles?
If they have, they would be telling you a bit of a fib! Now, I’m not saying these people are lying directly to your face! It’s like an old wives tale, nobody ever really knows the truth.
Epsom salts, scientifically known as magnesium sulphate, are said to be useful for all sorts of ailments from soothing painful muscles to detoxifying the body.
However, there is actually no scientific proof that Epsom salts have any benefit for the body whatsoever!
Let’s take a closer look at supposed uses of Epsom salts and quickly explain why the claims should be, taken with a pinch of salt!
See what I did there?!
Myth: Epsom salts help relax tired and aching muscles.
More likely: The hot water of the bath you’re soaking in is doing the trick all by itself as heat is known to relax muscular tension.
Myth: Epsom salts use as a laxative; Supposedly the ingested salt works via something called osmosis (look the word up if you like but its completely irrelevant!) drawing more fluid into the gut.
Scepticism: Aside from the fact there has been very little if any research into the fact ingesting store-bought salts loosens the bowels, it can be highly toxic when taken internally in large doses. Don’t do it! Find a chemist and talk to the pharmacist instead.
Myth: Osmosis (there’s that word again) induces detoxification of the body when you soak yourself in a bath of Epsom salts.
Fact: Skin is waterproof, if it weren’t, we would fill up in the bath just like a sponge. Now if you did look up the word osmosis, you would know about molecules and other smart stuff like that, but this isn’t a science lesson so I won’t bore you with it!
The trace elements of magnesium that MIGHT get through is highly unlikely to have any profound effect on the toxic amount of alcohol you may or may not have consumed last night.
So why should you be using Epsom salt then?
Now we have slated Epsom salts completely; I think we need to give it a chance to redeem itself don’t you?! There are some things for which they are useful.
I should imagine most people know that salt, in any form, can help alleviate and soothe pain.
Have you ever have a toothache or mouth ulcer? I can sincerely recommend half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in lukewarm water. It works just don’t swallow!
Bathing in Epsom salt does have some benefits on your skin on an external level. The salt acts as a drying agent and has a somewhat soothing effect, therefore can be useful for certain types of acne. Although, don’t expect salt to clear up an infection as it’s not antibacterial despite common belief.
If you do suffer from mild or moderate forms of acne anywhere on your body Epsom salts can ease painful spots and speed up healing, due to its drying effect. If you are looking for an antibacterial agent try a few drops of tea tree essential oil as well.
When all said and done Epsom salts are not totally useless. A soak in a nice warm bath filled with some salts and essential oil can have a significant effect on your level of stress. Thus, allowing you to take some time out and just relax.
So there you have it, the real reason WHY you should be using Epsom salts. Who doesn’t need a bit of me time every now and again?
Need more relaxation tips and tricks? Find out how you can manage your stress and be kind to yourself here.