3 Reasons Why Epsom Salt Is an Effective Skin Softener
It may seem hard to believe, but salt can actually be a natural skin softening treatment. Not just any salt, though. Epsom salt, which has a different chemical and ionic makeup from table or sea salt, has an incredible moisturizing effect on dry skin, helping you to both exfoliate dead skin cells on top and soften the layers of skin beneath the surface.
1. Skin Penetration
Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is an ideal all-natural moisturizer because it doesn’t just sit on the surface of your skin. It penetrates to the lower layers of skin, creating softness from the inside out. Our epidermis, which is the outermost layer of our skin, acts as a protective barrier that keeps our insides in and everything outside out. However, the epidermis isn’t impenetrable. The pruny fingers and toes we get after swimming or soaking for long enough are proof that some elements can quite literally get under our skin.
Research indicates that Epsom salt is one such substance that can penetrate our skin. A study conducted by Dr. Rosemary Waring of England’s University of Birmingham found that participants’ blood magnesium levels rose to a scientifically significant (but medically safe) degree after soaking in an Epsom salt bath. This proves that Epsom salt’s key component, magnesium, is capable of passing through the epidermis to the dermis or hypodermis, the lower two levels of the skin where our blood vessels start to appear.
2. The Special Benefit of Magnesium
Epsom salt isn’t the kind of salt you want to put on your food, so if you associate salt with dryness, you might be surprised by how hydrating Epsom salt can be. Dr. Valerie Ferdinand, ND, a natural health practitioner in Portland, Oregon, notes that sodium chloride dehydrates because “the water follows the salt.” When you eat a high-sodium meal, for example, moisture in your body gets pulled into your digestive system. This is not the case with magnesium, which, according to Dr. Ferdinand, interacts with water much differently than sodium does.
Magnesium is an essential electrolyte that enhances hydration. It’s actually a key component in rehydration tablets, sports drinks and other concentrated electrolyte supplements. Epsom salt lotions and gels are essentially an electrolyte supplement for the skin. Magnesium sulfate helps the skin retain moisture on a molecular level by maintaining cellular electrolyte balance.
3. Dead Skin Softening for Exfoliation
Some parts of the body, like the heels, elbows and knees, are particularly difficult to keep hydrated due to the body’s natural self-preservation responses. Skin in these areas gets thicker as a way of protecting our sensitive joints and feet, but this often results in flaky dead skin cells that often build up but don’t slough off on their own. Using a topical Epsom salt treatment on these and any other areas of patchy dry skin will not only hydrate the new skin underneath but also soften the layers of dead skin cells on top. This makes it easier to scrub away the dry flaky patches with an exfoliant, leaving refreshed and magnesium-hydrated skin underneath. Once you’ve banished the dead skin cells, keep using Epsom salt as a topical skin softener so you can prevent the buildup of rough dry patches and avoid the need for heavy scrubbing in the future.
Epsom salt benefits the skin by delivering hydration that actually penetrates through the epidermis to the layers of skin beneath. Try PROcure’s Epsom Salt Rub for your daily magnesium sulfate skin hydration routine. With the help of aloe vera, the rub soothes any itchy dry skin you may be experiencing and supports your skin with all-natural hydration.