View random article

What Are Epsom Salts?

Epsom salts are actually magnesium sulfate (with the chemical formula MgS04-7H2O). It is a mineral that can be found in water. The name “Epsom” refers to a town in England where it was first distilled and marketed as a kind of all-around cure.

Epsom salts are used as a bath salt. Many people will mix about two cups of this substance into the water for a hot and relaxing bath to ease anxiety and make them feel better. It is also used as a form of beauty treatment, since it is believed that it can improve the skin and restore a natural glow. Usually, a small amount of the salt is mixed with water to create a bit of paste. This is then spread over the face and neck, and rubbed. In this way Epsom salts are used as an exfoliant. Some also make an Epsom salt mask (adding lemon juice and an egg as well as some milk) or make a kind of Epsom salt shampoo, which can make unruly hair easier to comb.

Epsom salts are also believed to help with muscle soreness and even swelling. For example, many people will make an Epsom salt foot bath, combining it with hot water and soaking tired feet in the mixture for several minutes. Some may also use it relieve the pain from a sprain or a bruise. However, Epsom salt can only help with relieving tenderness and pain and should not replace medical attention for severe sprains or continuing pain.

Featured in Science