Why this old-school gem deserves a spot in your bedtime routine
Epsom salt has been around for yonks. And while you may have written it off before (it probably makes you think of a painful post-run soak), this old-school product *actually* works wonders, and it’s full of glorious benefits for your mind and body.
Not only is it super affordable (it’s a total steal - you can usually pick up a bag from your local chemist for under $10), but Epsom salt is also being hailed as a miracle fix from everything from lack of sleep to stress relief and dull winter skin.
What is Epsom salt?
Thanks to the world of Instagram and Pinterest, Epsom salt has made it back on our radar, and tbh we’re totally on board with anything that promises to make us less stressed, tired and sluggish during winter/always. But what exactly is Epsom salt? Is it just a fancy table salt?
Well, we hate to make it weird, but Epsom salt doesn’t actually contain salt (we know - LIES!).
Epsom salt essentially looks like little white crystals and they’re comprised of magnesium sulfate – a mineral compound with dozens of uses, and a whole range of different health benefits. Yep, your magnesium levels are actually *super* important, guys.
How can Epsom salt help me sleep?
There’s a good chance that your sleep struggles are related to your stress levels, and magnesium (AKA Epson salts) is a natural remedy that can help with both. You see, stress actually drains the body of magnesium, which we need to reduce inflammation and support nerve and muscle function. The side effects? A lack of magnesium has a negative impact on our sleeping routine, causing insufficient shut-eye, which can then cause even further stress and can contribute to health problems like anxiety, depression and high blood pressure.
Sheesh – it’s a bit of a catch 22, right?
While we all know that taking a long soak in warm water can have an instant calming effect on both the mind and body, you may not know that an Epsom salt bath can offer other serious additional benefits like relieving tension, easing muscle aches, and alleviating pain. When you sit in warm bath with dissolved Epsom salt, you absorb some of the magnesium through you skin, which releases the tension from your tired, sore muscles; the magnesium helps reduce irritability and improves your sleep and concentration, too.
Sylvia Lechowicz, Brand Manager for Dr Teal’s in Australia, says that incorporating Epsom salt products into your bedtime routine can help us fall asleep faster and deeper.
“Making Epsom Salts Soaks a part of [your] regular wellness regimen can help with relaxation and sleep quality. A warm, relaxing bath is the ideal opportunity to quiet the mind and de-stress,” she says. "Studies show that mediation and relaxation improve mental health, attitude, performance and sleep quality.”
How to use Epsom salt
Incorporating Epsom salt into your beauty routine is actually super simple. Lechowicz says to simply pour it into warm bath water, lie back, and soak up all the goodness. “Add two cups of Epsom salt to a bathtub of hot water and soak for 15 - 20 minutes to revitalise and replenish your body’s minerals and revive tired, aching muscles. Treat yourself to a soak three times weekly for best results.”
To maximise your chances of a better sleep, you can also try using Epsom salt products that have essential oils added in. Scents like lavender and peppermint have soothing properties and are known to reduce cortisol levels (a hormone associated with stress).
Here are some of our favourite Epson salt products:
Dr Teal’s Soothe & Sleep Pure Epsom Salt Soak with Lavender
Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt is a classic, and this lavender-infused version is a real goodie for those who really struggle to fall asleep every night. This combination of soothing lavender essential oils and Epsom salt will help to relax your mind and body and prepare you for a full, restorative night of shut-eye.
Hunter Pinot Grape Skin Bath Soak
Vinotherapy? Yes please! Hunter’s Pinot Grape Skin Bath Soak is bursting with antioxidant-rich grape skins, seeds and oils, and cranberry extract, which all provide anti-inflammatory benefits and help exfoliate dead skin. Combined with Epsom and rock salts to help soothe muscles and improve circulation, you’ve got yourself a relaxing night in.
Endota Spa Mint & Macadamia Recovery Bath
Containing peppermint oil, eucalyptus, healing arnica, and muscle-relaxing magnesium, this ultra-calming bath solution works to ease tension and help you soak away fatigue after a long, hard day. Plus, it’ll make your whole bathroom smell amazing.
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.