Can Epsom Salt be Useful for Acne Treatment?

Acne vulgaris is one of the most common skin disorder affecting millions of people globally.

It is characterized by the outbreak of pimple, whitehead and blackheads along with inflammation of the skin and scarring.

There might be other causes which can add to the frequency and severity of acne breakouts in a person which includes exposure to local pollution, stress, naturally occurring oily skin among others.

However, a lot of new medications and methods have been devised over time to prevent, if not completely cure acne breakouts.

In this article, we shall discuss the use and effectiveness of Epsom salt towards the treatment of acne.

What is Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is an inorganic compound constituting magnesium, sulfur and oxygen and is chemically known as Magnesium Sulfate.

It is a compound that is highly soluble in water.

Both its components are known to affect a betterment of bodily health in various ways.

Whereas magnesium is effective in the regulation of 325 enzymes in the body along with reduction of inflammation, helping nerve and muscle function and preventing the hardening of arteries, sulfate flushes the toxins out of the body and works as an analgesic, reducing pain.

How does Epsom salt treat acne

Various properties have been attributed to Epsom salt which makes it effective towards healing acne breakouts.

Magnesium has been known to exhibit anti inflammatory properties which helps in the reduction of acne inflammations, probably because of the enzymes whose activities magnesium regulates.

These regulated enzymes also help in the ventilation of toxins from our body and is therefore able o drive off the acne causing bacteria and microbes, clearing the pores.

It can also be used as an effective exfoliating agent and unclog the pores clearing it of the dead skin cells.

The presence of salt makes it possible to affect the process of osmosis which takes all the moisture from the bacteria out thereby alienating them of a suitable environment to survive in.

In general, magnesium has the ability to improve skin and body health.

It can be used either orally or topically.

There are numerous ways in which magnesium salt can be used topically for the health of the skin.

Some of them are enlisted below:

  • Epsom salt bath:  This simply involves mixing one to two cups of Epsom salt in the bath and waiting for it to dissolve completely after which one can soak the body in it for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse of any left residue with water. In case it needs special application only to the affected area, a cotton swab can be used.
  • Epsom salt mask: The mask can be prepared with a number of ingredients. One most commonly made involves mixing Epsom salt with one tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon honey and a few drops of lemon. This can be made into a paste and applied on the affected area and left to rest for 15 minutes before washing it off.

You can also mix one egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4th cup on milk and ½ tablespoon Epsom salt to make a uniform consistent mixture.

This can be applied on the skin and left for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water.

When taken orally, you need to follow the correct dosage in order to avoid the dangers of over dosing. You should dissolve one dose in 8 ounces of water and then drink it.

Benefits of using Epsom salt

There are various ways in which both magnesium and sulfate of Epsom salt can help or improve our skin or health in general. Some of the benefits of using it are:

  • Magnesium helps in the production of serotonin which is a mood elevating chemical which helps in creating calm and reducing stress
  • It has been known to heal cuts and relieve sores from childbirth
  • Epsom salt is also effective in reducing pain, cramps, etc and therefore helps with migraines and headache
  • It regulates electrolytes which ensures proper functioning of the nerves
  • It improves blood circulation and reduces blood clots
  • Magnesium sulfate increases the efficacy of insulin in your body , making diabetes less probable
  • It is effective in colon cleansing when ingested orally and therefore helps with constipation
  • Sulfate helps in the elimination of toxins from the body

Possible side effects and issues with taking Epsom salt

The side effects of its topical use are particularly rare. However, it might cause severe risk when ingested.

  • Taking Epsom salt in conditions of diabetes or any kidney disease might worsen the condition. You must consult a doctor before doing so.
  • After ingesting Epsom salt if you have signs of rectal bleeding or if you do not experience a bowel movement in some time, you must inform the doctor and stop the medication immediately. Under normal condition, magnesium sulfate should be able to induce a bowel movement in a short time

Precautions while using Epsom salt:

Though Epsom salt, when used topically, rarely has any severe side effects, there are certain precautions that you must maintain before or while using it:

  • In case of pregnancy, you must consult a doctor before using Epsom salt for treating acne.
  • You must seek the advice of a doctor before its use if you have had recurrent digestion problems in the past
  • Its use shall always be done in a diluted form either with water or some base oil, preferably olive oil
  • It might cause irritation if it gets in your eyes
  • It can be very painful if it comes in contact with an open wound
  • It might interact with certain drugs and so you must consult a doctor regarding all the prescriptive and non-prescriptive drugs you are using so as to make sure that neither magnesium nor sulfate reacts with any of the other medications.
  • Drug interaction:
  • Epsom salt makes it difficult for the body to absorb other medications specifically antibiotics and it is therefore important to maintain a certain time interval while using this and ingesting other medicines.
  • Magnesium and sulfate are known to react majorly with antibiotics.

What users say about epsom salt for acne

A survey of online consumer review was done in order to see the popularity and effectiveness of Epsom salt that people have felt and experienced.

On the basis of this survey, here is a summary outlining what the liked and disliked about it:

What they liked about it:

Melts: Many consumers were happy with the fact that unlike other salts it did not cause any roughness or create ant friction with the skin but was very smooth and easily melted on the skin.

Skin texture: It not only healed the acne breakouts but also improved the texture of the skin as a whole. Reduction in redness was also seen. A lot of consumers experienced an improvement in their complexion.

Time effective: Epsom salt was seen to be very time effective. For most consumers, it only took one use to show results. 3 days was the most it took in majority of cases to show any results.

What they did not like about it:

Initial purges: Probably the most disturbing thing about using Epsom salt was that it caused initial purges, breakouts and itching.

It tends to worsen the situation before starting to heal it. However, it should no de-motivate the user as it is only a sign of its efficacy.

It brings all the underlying inflammations on the surface and then starts to heal.


Epsom salt is one of the most readily available compounds. It is also inexpensive and you do not have to worry about the cost of its treatment.

It is effective not only over acne but also towards the betterment of the health of the skin and body as a whole.

It is a quick-fix for your acne troubles and will also spare you of the dryness and roughness that other treatments might cause.

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