When it comes to at-home spa treatments, Epsom salt is as close to a wonder product as I can think of. The first thing I had to do once I got my sample of Epsom salt was to better understand how it’s different from regular salt. Epsom salt is actually an entirely different mineral than regular salt – it’s magnesium sulfate. Where as regular salt (sodium chloride) is use for cooking, Epsom salt has many other uses in agriculture, health, and beauty care.
To learn more about Epsom salt, I visited the Epsom Salt Council’s website – www.epsomsaltcouncil.org. On the site, they have tons of information about Epsom salt and its many uses. One thing that I thought was particularly interesting was from their FAQ’s page:
Why is Epsom Salt called Epsom Salt?
One of the earliest discoveries of magnesium sulfate, the scientific name of Epsom Salt, occurred back in Shakespeare’s day in Epsom, England, which explains the first half of the name. The term “salt” probably refers to the specific chemical structure of the compound, although many people mistakenly assume it refers to the crystalline structure of Epsom Salt, which has an appearance similar to that of table salt. (Table salt, of course, consists of sodium chloride, so it’s an entirely different substance than magnesium sulfate.)
With a little bit more knowledge in hand, I embarked on a couple of tests to try out the uses of Epsom salt. Since I’m a big fan of spas and pampering (but can’t stomach paying the prices for either) I focused in on the beauty benefits that Epsom salt can offer. I tried out two of the council’s suggest beauty usage tips.
Beauty Tip #1 – Facial: Mix 1/2 TSP of Epsom Salt into cleansing cream for a deep-pore cleansing. Massage on skin. Rinse with cool water. Pat dry.
Results: I was really wondering what this would be like. Usually when you think “salt” you think of something that dissolves in water. But that’s when we remember that Epsom Salt isn’t actually salt – it’s magnesium sulfate, a pure mineral compound. As you mix the cream and the Epsom salt together, you feel the cream picking up the crystals. After mixing together, I used it to help exfoliate and cleanse my face. I could definitely feel the scrubbing action of the Epsom salt, but it wasn’t too harsh or rough.
Conclusion: This definitely works.
Beauty Tip #2 – For a relaxing soak: Add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water in a standard-sized bathtub; soak for at least 12 minutes, three times weekly. For an extra treat, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil for a refreshing scent.
Results: This was by far one of the best baths I’ve had in a long time. Apparently, both magnesium and sulfates are readily absorbed through the skin, so soaking in a tub with Epsom salt mixed in allows your body to absorb these minerals. Studies suggest that this could improve your mood by helping you feel more relaxed and may even lower your blood pressure. I definitely felt amazing after getting out of the tub, like I had just taken a refreshing nap and was ready to tackle the house cleaning!
Conclusion: Not sure about the science, but I felt great after soaking. I would recommend using the eucalyptus oil since it added another element of relaxation.
The benefits of Epsom salt don’t stop there – it also has many health benefits. According to the Epsom Salt Council Site, “Magnesium – the key component of Epsom Salt — performs more functions in more systems of the human body than virtually any other mineral, including regulating the activity of more than 325 enzymes.” Epsom salt can be used to help ease muscle pain through soaking or compresses or it can help soothe your aching feet through soaking as well. It even acts as a laxative (eek!)
Finally, Epsom salt has many great uses in the garden. Sadly, I don’t have a garden – but I do have some house plants, which will be watered monthly with a Epsom salt water mixture (2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water.) They also recommend using Epsom salt with your tomatoes, roses, shrubs, and other plants to help plants grow bushier and to help produce more flowers.
If you would like to try some of the many uses of Epsom Salt, it is available from most drugstores. You can also win a sample of Epsom Salt, plus a book that has some other useful tips in the WCatDD Epsom Salt Giveaway!
One winner will receive sample of Epsom Salt and a copy of the The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook.
Make sure you follow the directions carefully. All giveaway entries should use the ENTRY FORM. You only need to fill out the ENTRY FORM once, unless you decide to additional earn extra entries at a later time. You can earn up to 11 entries into the WCatDD Epsom Salt Giveaway by doing one, some or all of the following:
Ways to Earn Entries:
Make sure you use this ENTRY FORM for your entries to count!
- THIS ENTRY IS REQUIRED FOR ALL OTHER ENTRIES TO BE VALID (+1): Visit www.epsomsaltcouncil.org and tell me one thing you learned about Epsom Salt.
- Post this giveaway on your blog (+3)
- Tweet about this giveaway using the “retweet” link at the top of this post or by tweeting “A must-have mineral for home spas and gardens. Win Epsom Salt in the @WCatDD Epsom Salt Giveaway! http://bit.ly/6ZkKws” (+1)
- Subscribe to WCatDD (+1)
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One winner will be selected at random for this prize.
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST, January 1, 2010.
Visit our Giveaway Rules page for general giveaway rules that also apply to this giveaway.
Disclaimer: This post consists of my (and/or fellow tester) opinions only. No compensation was given for this review/giveaway. I did receive a sample of Epsom Salt from the manufacturer or their representing PR agency to use and test for the purposes of this review. This did not affect the outcome of this review.