While table salt (sodium chloride) might cause dry and irritated skin, epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) works differently. Epsom salt has been known to be gentle to the skin and perfect for a soak lasting 10-20 minutes.
Does Epsom Salt Dry Out Your Skin?
Coarse table salt and epsom salt may look similar, but their chemical compositions are quite different. Epsom salt is known for its soothing properties, and this is the main reason why bath we don’t experience the same drying discomfort in an epsom salt bath that one may expect from coming into contact with table salt.
The Best Way To Soak
While epsom salt may not be known to dry out or irritate the skin, bathing in and of itself can. Your skin needs protective oils to stay comfortable and hydrated, and it’s not the salt but the water that can mess up your natural balance while in the bath. In warm or hot baths especially, the hot water can rinse away the oils that protect the skin’s barrier, which could leave you feeling dry or itchy if you soak for too long.
In order to get the maximum benefit from your bath and your bath salt blend without stripping your skin of comforting oils, it pays to find a good mid-point for bathing time. When it comes to soaking, you should aim for around 15-20 minutes per soak, so that you allow your body to receive the comforting and soothing benefits of your bath but without drying yourself out. This is your perfect balance so you can experience the beauty of the bath experience without the stuff you don’t want.
During your 15 to 20 minute soak, you’ll also want to start slow with your bath salts if you’re not too experienced using them yet. For your first handful of uses, start with half a cup of epsom salts in your bath and see how your skin reacts to the salt before adding more.
If the product works well for you, increase the amount up to 1/2 or 1 cup of salt until you find your perfect amount. While some might find they experience best benefits from ½ cup, others might find their sweet spot is ¾ cup or 1 full cup. This may go from bath to bath as well, depending on the experience you wish to have.
Epsom Salt Blends For Skin Soothing
If you’re looking to take a skin soothing bath, there are a number of blends you can choose from that really work to soothe and comfort the skin. Some of these blends include:
- Muscle Soak – Muscle Soak uses USP grade epsom salts, fractionated MCT coconut oil, Vitamin E oil, Vitamin C crystals, and a blend of essential oils that include eucalyptus and peppermint. The combination of eucalyptus and peppermint creates a cooling and soothing effect that feels refreshing on the skin.
- Deep Relaxation – Deep Relaxation is a simple blend that combines fractionated MCT coconut oil, Vitamin E oil, Vitamin C crystals, USP grade epsom salt and pure all-natural lavender essential oil. Lavender doesn’t just work to relax the mind, it also helps to relax the body including the skin. This brilliantly soothing salt blend is perfect for a pre-bedtime soak.
- Stress Relief Bath Salt – Stress Relief is a soothing and cooling soak much like Muscle Soak, but with essential oils of eucalyptus and spearmint. While peppermint is a bit cooler, spearmint still keeps that soothing cooling sensation but with the addition of sweetness brought on by all-natural spearmint.
- Back Soothing Bath Salt – Back Soothing doesn’t just soothe the muscles in the back, it also helps to soothe the skin. Cooling peppermint, zingy grapefruit, relaxing lavender, and refreshing eucalyptus essential oils all work together in this USP grade epsom salt blend to provide a completely balanced and comforting experience.
- Runner’s Bath Salt – Cooling peppermint, warming frankincense, uplifting lemon, earthy lemongrass, and soothing tea tree all work hand in hand to create a nourishing blend with USP grade epsom salts in Runner’s salt. Runner’s isn’t just great for full-body baths, but it’s a popular choice for foot baths as well.
Soaking in epsom salt isn’t the only way to use this type of salt to benefit your skin. Epsom salt blends can also be used to revitalize the skin through exfoliation.
Simply taking a small palm-full of epsom salt and gently rubbing in a circular motion can help to soften, smooth, and revitalize the skin of the body or scalp. To use on the scalp, mix a bit of epsom salt into a favorite shampoo and gently massage into the skin to enjoy softer, shinier, and more voluminous hair.
To use on the body, you can rub the salt on damp skin or mix with a favorite body wash and rinse.