Review: Cosmo’s New Ways to Use Epsom Salts

One of the things I love testing is household DIY beauty tricks; things like do-it-yourself hair masks, body scrubs, etc. It’s also resulted in some of the more ridiculous things I’ve tried (note: putting ketchup on your hair to get chlorine out is really just best for making your hair smell like ketchup. Yep, I really tried that–yuck!). I don’t know if it’s the thrill of potentially “saving money” by making things yourself, or the possibility of discovering some magical, secret beauty fix. But I get a kick out of it.

With that being said, you can imagine my interest in Cosmopolitan’s “Shameless Beauty Tricks” section. I decided to try out their suggestions on my blog, this being the first from a recent issue (Vol 251, No. 5, pg. 86). 4 fun, do-it-yourself ways to use epsom salts! In the past I haven’t really paid much attention to epsom salts, and I guess I subconsciously associated it with older people…like a Grandma using it to soak her feet. But I’m always open, so I decided to try these tips out.

I got my epsom salt at CVS for about $5, but you can get it practically anywhere (your local drugstore, grocery store, Target, Walmart, etc). The Cosmo article didn’t specify which kind of epsom salt to use, and I noticed there were two options. Regular, and Scented. My girlie side chose the lavender scent because I figured if these tips didn’t work, I could at least re-purpose it as a relaxing bath soak.


1.) Use as a Body Scrub 

As most body scrubs are either sugar or salt based, mixing this grainy salt with body wash wasn’t exactly a new idea to me. To be honest, I was surprised they didn’t suggest mixing it with a body oil instead of body wash, which would help moisturize better (on top of exfoliating), but thought maybe this would help better for the exfoliating purpose.

When I tried it, I thought this epsom salt concoction just wasn’t grainy enough for really exfoliating. It was just okay. I’m not sure if it was the type I chose (maybe the scented kind is more finely ground?), but it felt too gentle for me. I’m sure it was lightly exfoliating, but when I’m in the mood to really exfoliate as I thought this would (like before spray tanning), I prefer something stronger like a hard loofah or grittier scrub. If you prefer a light exfoliation, then this could work for you.

2.) Use to Get Beachy Waves

They suggested putting 1 tsp of salt, a few drops of olive oil, and 1/4 cup of water in a spritzer water bottle, then spritzing on damp hair. This one seemed to work okay for me, but I do want to share that my hair has a natural wave to it. I’m not sure how this would work on stick straight hair, but if your hair curls up at all when air drying, then this may be something for you to try.

I put a VERY small amount of olive oil (because my hair is fine), and to be honest you could probably nix that part all together if your hair is oily. But I thought the salt part helped bring out the natural wave in my hair. It reminded me of being at the beach, with the heavy, damp salt air making my hair naturally curl up. The lavender scent also made my hair smell good!

I suggest spraying this on your hair after it’s been towel dried but still very damp, and staying away from the roots. Instead, I used a mousse on my roots to give it some lift, and sprayed the salt everywhere else. I let it air dry for a bit, but then flipped my head upside down and scrunched the rest while using a hair dryer on low to give it bounce. I still used other hair products to finish it off, like a flexible hair spray, but I do think the salt helped the wave part.

3.) Use as A Hair Clarifer

They suggested putting 1 cup of salt and lemon juice with a gallon of water, letting it sit overnight. Then pouring over your hair before you shampoo.

I don’t normally use a hair clarifier, but I did feel a difference after doing this. My hair just seemed to feel lighter and bouncier when I finished and dried it. My logic tells me the acidic lemon juice is probably the main contributor here, but the mixture seemed to work just fine. You probably don’t want to do this too often (I’m thinking once a month), and I’m not sure how color-safe it is. So that may be something to think about if you color your hair.

4.) Use to Fade Bruises–Fast

They suggested putting 2 cups into a bath, then soaking. I was most excited to try this, because I so conveniently had a good size bruise on my arm from a clumsy misadventure a few days earlier. I couldn’t wait for it to fade, but at the same time was skeptical of how this would work…until I actually purchased the epsom salt and saw that it was clearly advertised as a solution for fading bruises. I ended up putting more than 2 cups of salt into the bath, because I really wanted this to work. I even put a blob of wet salt directly on the bruise and let it sit there for awhile. I then relaxed in the salt-soak for at least 30 minutes, even longer than suggested, but I still didn’t see any changes. Two, three, four days later…the bruise was still there.

In theory, maybe it did help the bruise fade faster than it would have without the epsom salt, but I didn’t see quick to notice results. So overall, I would say this didn’t really work for fading bruises. Weird, especially since it’s advertised as a solution directly on the package.

Will you try any of these or do you have an alternative use for epsom salt? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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