Epsom bath salts grow ever more popular as a way to make baths as relaxing as possible.
In this article we answer the top questions about Epsom bath salts to give people clarity and the confidence to use them correctly.
1. What are Epsom bath salts made of?
Epsom Salt is the common name of magnesium sulphate, a chemical compound crystalised as heptahydrate. It gets its name from a spring in Epsom, Surrey and was formed as a result of chalk meeting clay.
Epsom was a popular spa town in the Georgian period and the use of the local salt was used for all kinds of beneficial cleansing and health purposes, hence its association with relaxing bathing.
2. Are they safe and do they have health benefits?
While no specific scientific research has officially confirmed the health benefits of Epsom salts, they have been used since Georgian and Victorian times to treat a range of health conditions.
Epsom salts are often used in foot baths as a way of easing sore feet are often claimed to cleanse the skin and treat muscle pain. They are also used in baths to help prevent the wrinkling of the skin that often temporarily occurs when the body is immersed in water.
There are also internal treatments for bronchial infections, though the salts designed for use in baths should not be ingested. Use of Epsom salts for internal purposes should only be done after consulting a professional.
3. Are there situations where you shouldn’t use Epsom salts?
It’s important to only use the amount of Epsom salt recommended on the packaging.
Using too much in the bath can cause your skin to dry out and taking too much orally can lead to an irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure.
Some people have been known to have allergic reactions to Epsom salts, manifesting itself in itchy skin, hives or skin infections. If you do suspect you might be vulnerable to an Epsom salt allergy, try putting some on a small patch of skin first to test it out.
As with anything involving a bath, make sure that your Epsom salt bath isn’t so hot that it scalds your skin.
4. Should you use Epsom salt?
If you are happy that you don’t have an allergy to Epsom salts them they are a great option to consider for your next luxury relaxing bath.
Some believe that the magnesium in the salt gets absorbed through the skin and helps with aches, pains and swelling, as well as being good for the skin.
Warm baths are always relaxing, so even if you don’t notice any physical benefits, you’re bound to feel more mentally and emotionally rejuvenated after having a long soak in an Epsom salt bath.