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There are many ways to unwind at the end of a long day—a glass of wine, a good Netflix show, the latter—but arguably the most popular is taking a relaxing bath to let go of all our everyday stressors. On particularly challenging days, we love upgrading that experience by adding in some Epsom salts.
Although it may look like table salt, Epsom salts are intended to be dissolved in water and used to help with different conditions. Made with magnesium sulfate (or sometimes sea salt), one scoop of Epsom salts may help with problems like decreasing stress, helping you sleep better, and relieving muscle soreness. Some say it’s also beneficial in reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.
However, the best part about Epsom salt is how easy it is to gain the benefits. Simply soak in a tub with the salts and await the benefits—it’s truly as easy as that.
What to Look for in Epsom Salts
While the common ingredient is magnesium sulfate, other alternatives work even better. “Some experts suggest looking for magnesium chloride rather than magnesium sulfate because it may be better absorbed, says Dr. Hadley King, an NYC-based dermatologist.
Avoid Essential Oils
"I would suggest avoiding essential oils within the Epsom salts, especially if you are sensitized or have a history of eczema or sensitive skin," explains King.
Ahead, the best Epsom salts to help upgrade bathtime.
Best Overall: LATHER Muscle Ease Bath Salts
This product, a combination of Epsom salt, sea salt, and Himalayan pink sea salt, instantly helps evaporate pain in tired and sore muscles. The best part? The aromatic essential oils within them will also help soothe your mind to leave you pain and worry-free. Add 2 heaping tablespoons to your warm water bath to experience all the benefits.
Best Budget: Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Epsom Salt, Coconut Lime
Priced at under $10, this Tree Hut Epsom salt is affordable without sacrificing quality. Composed of a combination of Epsom salt, natural shea butter, and coconut extract, it’ll moisturize and soothe parched skin in seconds. And we’d be remiss to mention its delicious coconut lime smell, which will transport you to an island far, far away with each use.
Best Drugstore: Dove Renewing Care Peony and Rose Scent Bath Salts
To target areas where you feel tired and sore, mix a bit of this bath salt into your tub. Scented with a delicate mix of roses, peonies, and jasmine petals, it’ll leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Want to upgrade the experience even more? Mix it with your favorite bubble bath.
Best for Pain: Solimo Epsom Salt Soak
If you’re feeling under the weather or recently took a nasty spill, these Solimo Epsom salts may just be the solution you need. Known to target areas where you feel pain, this salt soak should be mixed directly with your shower gel and applied to the affected areas to achieve the best results.
Best Value: Epsoak Epsom Salt
Arriving at a whooping 19-pounds, this bag promises countless baths and ample opportunity to experience all its benefits. When added to your bath, the grain size of these salts instantly dissolves, so there’s no need to freeze in your robe before hopping in (better yet, you won’t have to worry about your bath becoming freezing cold either).
Best for Relaxing: HomeBody Full Spectrum of Possibilities
Picture this: You just got home from a super stressful day and decide to run a bath with some Epsom salts to relax. Which ones do you choose? This one from Homebody, of course! They’ll help your mind and body relax by melting away all the tension and stress from your muscles, thanks to their helpful inclusion of CBD.
What Our Editors Say
"Homebody's bath soaks are the whole package. They calm my mind, muscles, and even my skin. Food-grade, biodegradable glitter also makes for a beautiful bathing experience!" — Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director
Best for Sore Muscles: Saje Muscle Melt
Struggling with sore muscles? Use this Saje bath salt asap. Created with a combination of Epsom salt and sea salt, just 2 to 5 tablespoons is all you need to decompress and restore your hard-working muscles—especially after a grueling workout. For best results, soak in them for 20 to 30 minutes and close the door so you can truly relax sans kids, noise, or distractions.
Best for Pre-Bed: OSEA for Parachute Sleep Time Bath Salt
If the bath itself doesn’t make you sleepy, these bath salts certainly will. Crafted with a blend of lavender and essential oils, this natural sleep aid will have you curling up under the covers and catching zzz’s asap.
Best Aromatherapy: Dr. Teal's Soothe & Sleep Foaming Bath with Pure Epsom Salt
Created in a bubble bath form, this aromatic Epsom salt soak will instantly reinvigorate your mind and body. Pour a generous amount under warm water for a cozy, renewing bath that’ll evaporate all your everyday stressors and worries.
Best for Detox: Elemis Cellutox Herbal Bath Synergy
This bag of bath salts merges algae, juniper, lemon, and more and leaves your skin soft, smooth, and refreshed from toxins and pollutants. You’ll revive your mind and body and leave feeling refreshed and renewed to take on tomorrow’s challenges. Reviewers throughout the site share huge transformation stories after using this salt once or twice a week.
Best for Achy Joints: Astura Muscle & Joint Relief Bath Salts
In addition to evaporating muscle aches, this salt with eucalyptus, peppermint, and sage essential oils eases achy joints. Just soak for 20 minutes and wait for your muscle and joint pain to fade away. You’ll feel the difference immediately and save yourself money on a fancy in-spa massage.
Best for Expecting Moms: The Honest Company Me Moment Soaking Salts
The ones who can benefit most from Epsom salts are moms, so it makes sense that a brand would finally create one. Created just for moms, this bag of mineral-rich Dead Sea salts is safe for current moms and moms-to-be to use. Just make sure your water isn’t too hot, and you’re good to go.
Epsom salts not only upgrade your bath experience, but also provide you with a whole slew of benefits—like reduction of pain, muscle soreness, and more. Composed of Epsom salt, sea salt, and Himalayan pink sea salt, Lather Muscle Ease Bath Salts (view at Lather) are our overall favorite as they relieve sore muscles and leave your mind worry-free post usage. Looking for a natural sleep remedy? OSEA for Parachute, Sleep Time Bath Salt (view at Parachute) is your best bet. Its blend of relaxing lavender and essential oils will have you sleeping like a baby in no time. If you’re looking to spend a little less, Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Epsom Salt, Coconut Lime (view at Amazon) lives up to its hype—and smells like you just arrived on a tropical vacation.
What is Epsom salt?
What does Epsom salt do?
Epsom salts can have inflammatory effects and can be used for exfoliation (remember to be gentle), explains King. “Magnesium is necessary for muscle contractions, as well as for the function of nerves, some enzymes, and production of proteins and ATP (a cellular source of energy).”
How long should you soak in Epsom salt?
Make sure you follow Epsom salts with a moisturizer, says King. They can be extremely drying on the skin if overused or not used properly.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Rachel Dube has written for some of the biggest digital beauty publications. During her career, she has tested hundreds (if not thousands) of products and remedies to everyday problems. While searching for ways to naturally relieve muscle and joint pain, she came across Epsom salts and has since been using them weekly.