What are the benefits of Epsom salts and how do I use them?

Laura Mulley OK! beauty Editor

By Laura Mulley

Laura is OK!'s beauty editor and covers celebrity beauty news, product launches and beauty hacks.


What are the benefits of Epsom salts and how do I use them?

Athletes and active types swear by them, and celebrities regularly rave about their benefits to the body and mind – but what exactly are Epsom salts, and what do they do?

Otherwise known as magnesium sulphate, Epsom salts dissolve in warm water, allowing these key minerals to be absorbed by the body. This is why Epsom salts are most typically enjoyed by adding to a bath, amplifying the already-relaxing effects of a soak in a hot tub. 

It’s also why we’ve included them inside this month’s OK! Beauty Box, a wonderful wellness edit of caring, comforting beauty products to help you to feel your best this winter. Along with a 350g bag of Westlab Epsom Bath Salts – a favourite with celebs like Madonna and Molly-Mae Hague – you’ll find four other perfect pampering products inside. It’s worth over £95 in total but new subscribers can get their hands on it for just £7.50 here.

To get the most out of your Westlab Epsom salts, simply pour a generous amount into a tub of warm water and soak in the solution for at least 20 minutes. Here are some of the benefits you may get from them…

Sore muscles soothed

It’s what Epsom salts are most famous for, and why they’re so popular with fitness fanatics, hardworking bodies and even professional athletes. Magnesium is an essential mineral in the body’s muscle movement and repair processes, and many people find that soaking in an Epsom salt bath can reduce the onset of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and aid recovery.

A better night’s sleep

Magnesium helps your brain produce neurotransmitters that reduce stress and induce sleep, and it is also thought to boost the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. Plus, a long soak in a warm bath is also a great way to de-stress before bed.

Quicker skin healing

The benefits of Epsom salts were first discovered 400 years ago when a farmer in Epsom in Surrey discovered that water rich in this mineral compound made cuts and rashes heal faster. Nowadays some think that soaking in these salts may help to ease skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and sunburn. 

Smoother skin

You can also use your bath salts as a body scrub. Simply massage straight onto wet skin, or add a splash of water into a handful of them to create a paste-like texture, then rub into limbs. You’ll be left with skin that feels noticeably softer and smoother.

We hope you enjoy your Epsom salts!