Want to get healthier without taking a pharmacy's worth of supplements and pills every morning? Try something a lot more enjoyable: Sink into a bath.
It's time to bring back an old favorite: an Epsom salt bath. It's the most luxurious way to get your necessary vitamins.
Skin is the body’s largest organ, and this protective layer filters toxins and delivers nutrients to the rest of your body. Because skin is so porous, it absorbs whatever we slather onto it, which is why it’s so important to use products on your skin that are free of chemical additives.
So what are Epsom salts, exactly? Made up of magnesium sulfate, salts deliver both magnesium and sulfur to the body. Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals—it helps with over 300 enzymatic processes that help keep you functioning optimally—but eighty percent of Americans are deficient in this magic mineral.
Skin is also a prime pathway for the body to eliminate toxins. If you’ve ever woken up with pimples or agitated skin after a night of binging on junk food or throwing back too many cocktails, you’ve seen your skin "detox" your body firsthand. Kind of gross, but also pretty cool. So use your bath to help the cause!
When you sink into an Epsom salt bath, you’re making it way easier for your body to absorb and utilize the minerals naturally found in the salts. It's a warm, relaxing way to get better skin, to ease achy muscles, and for the best sleep of your life.
For clear, beautiful skin
Beneficial for nearly all skin woes, the powerful due of magnesium and sulfate can help clear up acne, eczema, and skin agitation. Sulfate helps to flush toxins from the body as magnesium increases circulation and wound healing.
Make your bath even more skin-beautifying and hydrating by adding ¼ cup of coconut oil, 1 cup of Epsom salts, and a few drops of tea tree oil into your warm (not hot!) water and enjoy for about 20 minutes.
To recover after an insanely hard workout
You don’t need to be immobilized by your workout to reap the muscular benefits of soaking in a salt bath. The minerals will create a process called reverse osmosis, which pulls salt and toxins from your body while allowing magnesium and sulfates to be absorbed. Buildup of lactic acid and toxins is what makes your muscles sore, so clearing your body in a bath will help you recover much more quickly from that long run or a day spent in heels.
Combine 1 cup of epsom salts, two chamomile tea packets (you can let them steep in the packet or open it up and sprinkle the contents into the water), and a few drops of peppermint oil. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and helps to relieve muscle pain and spasms, low back pain, and pain caused by PMS, and peppermint oil helps relieve muscle spasms.
To catch some seriously deep zzz’s
A quick dip in an salt and lavender infused bath can assist in getting you deeper into your REM sleep cycle more quickly. Magnesium assists in helping you catch a few winks by helping your muscles release and relax, but it can also calm anxiety. If a racing mind is what keeps you up at night, an epsom salt bath can help there, too.
The ultimate deep sleep soak? Two cups of epsom salt, a cup of baking soda, and a few drops of lavender oil will help you slumber uninterrupted. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) helps alkalinize the body as well as increase mineral absorption, and it does a great job of neutralizing any chemicals like chlorine that could be in your bath water (plus, it leaves your tub really clean!).
Make sure you don't add any soap to your bath because it will interact with the healing power of the epsom salts, but feel free to get creative with scents. Rosemary, vanilla, and rose are all incredible botanical additions!
Illustration by Foley Wu