1. Your cycle
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Hygiene and beauty

Flo Fact-Checking Standards

Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

Beauty Effects of Epsom Salt: Myth or Reality

Epsom salt is a mineral compound believed to carry certain health and beauty benefits. Below, Flo reveals whether Epsom salt is really everything it’s cracked up to be.

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is a pure mineral compound present in crystal form, which helps to gently exfoliate your skin and smooth rough patches. Although it’s a popular product among the rich and famous, its widespread availability and affordable price make it an accessible beauty tool for women everywhere.

Even though there are various methods of producing and packaging Epsom salt, its chemical formula always remains the same. Any Epsom salt product featuring a “USP” label, along with a drug facts box, is considered safe for human use.

It essentially means it’s been tested and certified to meet the strict regulatory standards of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In 2017, a review of various published studies looked at evidence-based data and current literature on the application of transdermal magnesium. Since your skin is unable to absorb significant amounts of magnesium, there’s no conclusive scientific proof of it having any positive beauty effects. As such, scientists do not recommend the application of Epsom salt transdermally.

But despite the lack of evidence, some beauty experts still recommend Epsom salt for acne and hair, as well as in other types of beauty procedures.

It’s safe to use Epsom salt for acne in the following ways:

As a facial wash:

  • Mix half a teaspoon of Epsom salt with cleansing cream to create a deep-pore cleanser. Gently massage the mixture onto your skin for a few minutes. Rinse it off with cool water, and pat dry with a soft towel.

As a facial exfoliator:

  • What’s another possible application of Epsom salt for acne? Place 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in the palms of your hands. Dampen it with a couple drops of water and then massage it gently onto your face for a few minutes. Rinse it off with cool water, and pat dry with a soft towel.  

As a body scrub: 

  • Mix 2 cups of coconut oil, 1 cup of Epsom salt, and 1 tablespoon of lavender oil (or another essential oil of your choice) thoroughly. Keep the mixture in an airtight jar and use as a body scrub to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and moisturize. It works best when your skin is wet.

As a spot treatment:

  • Mix 2 to 3 teaspoons of Epsom salt into 1 to 2 cups of lukewarm water. Dip a clean washcloth into this solution and apply it to any areas of your body where you have an acne outbreak. Rinse it off with cool water, and pat dry with a soft towel.  

As a salt compress:

  • Another way to use Epsom salt for acne is by mixing 2 tablespoons of it into a cup of cold water. Soak a cotton washcloth in this solution and apply directly to affected skin. Keep it on for a few minutes before removing, then rinse off the area with cool water, and pat dry with a soft towel.
  • Mix a couple of drops of your favorite fragrance with 2 to 3 cups of Epsom salt to form custom bath crystals. You can even add in half a teaspoon of glycerin or drops of food coloring to jazz things up! Thoroughly mix the bath crystals and store in an airtight container.
  • During your next bath, pour 1 cup of homemade bath crystals into a tub of warm water. Soak in it for about 20 to 25 minutes. Rinse using mild soap and lukewarm water.
  • For a little extra volume, mix equal parts Epsom salt and warm conditioner. Apply the mixture to your hair, covering strands thoroughly. Leave on for about 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water. 

Even though research to support the advantages of adding Epsom salt to your daily regimen is lacking, beauty experts continue to tout its many benefits. 

Consider trying the above applications of Epsom salt for hair and acne, to help reduce stress levels, or pamper yourself from time to time. 

Read this next