Epsom Salt & Acne

Despite the lack of certified case studies, among users, results have been found to be effective in some cases.

Those suffering from acne breakouts are often willing to try anything to heal their problem. This includes shelling out millions of dollars each year on the latest and greatest acne products. Cleansers, moisturizers, and spot treatments line the aisles of any grocery store, and T.V. infomercials are full of celebrities touting their acne treatment breakthroughs as the answer to clear, beautiful skin.

These treatments won’t necessarily work for everyone, and some may even make acne worse, depending on the underlying cause. For instance, many treatments over dry the skin, which can cause oil producing glands to actually create extra oil to compensate.

Luckily, there are natural ways to help heal acne breakouts without spending loads of money. One such treatment is the use of Epsom salt.

What is Epsom Salt?

Epsom salt is not the same substance you use to flavor bland food. It’s actual name is magnesium sulfate, and its health benefits stem from the magnesium. Most of our diets are drastically lower in magnesium than decades past, mostly due to less of it being found in soil to come through in vegetables (and animals who eat vegetables). Supplementation is often recommended, especially for those who don’t eat a healthy diet. This supplementation often comes from Epsom salt.

How Epsom Salt Helps Acne

According to Progressive Health, the actual studies on why Epsom salt may help with acne are lacking. There are theories, though, as to why this remedy may work. For one, salt is a natural exfoliator, which removes dead skin cells and oil. Salt may also remove some oils, and kill bacteria, both risk factors for developing acne. Some also say that Epsom salt helps the body, including the skin, purge toxins and reduce inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties are one reason it is often used as an effective soak for sore muscles.

How to Make an Epsom Salt Mask

Most recipes are fairly simple. Mix Epsom salt and water until it makes a paste, and then apply to the face. Wait ten minutes or so, and then rinse with cool water. Alternately, acne sufferers may add Epsom salt to bath water and apply to the body or face that way.

Does Epsom Salt Work?

The studies haven’t been done quite yet to determine whether Epsom salt really works at prevention or treatment of acne. Anecdotal evidence, however, indicates that this may be a very effective natural method for acne treatment, at least among those with mild to moderate breakouts. Since no trials have been completed, it is up to each user to determine how often or long to do each mask. Since salt can be drying, however, once per day or every other day is probably best.

Despite the lack of formal research, there are no real risks to using Epsom salt. At the very least, it won’t do any harm, and will provide the body with some needed magnesium for the day.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that salt is salt. If applied directly to wounds or sore acne pimples with open lesions, pain will probably be the result. Additionally, it is possible to over exfoliate the skin. If redness or irritation occur, use should be discontinued. Side effects, however, are rare.

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