Photo: Glendalough Co Wicklow
We’ve been doing some painting and decorating here at the Clean and Green testing centre. After the physical strain of decorating there is nothing better than to have a long soak in a hot bath to ease away the aches and pains. There are some bath salts on the market that claim to relax you. Their main ingredient is Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), which comes from a rock substance called Dolomite, and it really does work. We went down to the local chemist to get our hands on the natural form, it cost us 80 cent for a 100gram container. It does get cheaper the bigger the container, but this amount was enough for a bath and a few experiments
Relaxing bath: For a relaxing and sedative bath soak in a warm bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts.
Verdict: The Epsom salts actually draws toxins out of the body. It also sedates the nervous system and relaxes the muscles. A long soak leaves you feeling refreshed. Try using ¼ cup of cider vinegar in the bath too this will leave your skin soft and silky.
It feels good but as with washing dishes we do miss the bubbles!
Homemade skin mask:
Apply the mask to dry skin. For normal to oily skin, mix 1 tablespoon of cognac (or drink it instead), 1 egg, 1/4 cup of non-fat dry milk, the juice of 1 lemon and half teaspoons full of Epsom salt. For normal to dry skin mix ¼ cup of grated carrot, 1½ teaspoons full of mayonnaise and half teaspoon full of Epsom salt.
We tried the latter mixture, which was easier to put together. We found the mix quite awkward to put on the face. We left it on for about ten minutes then washed it off. The skin did feel clean and refreshed, but it might still be a bit harsh on sensitive skin.
Some other uses for Epsom salt:
At one time Epsom salt was the most used medicine in certain countries. It has literally thousands of uses ranging from being a plant fertiliser to soothing arthritis. Here are a few of the more common uses.
To clean your face at night, mix ½ teaspoon full of Epsom salt with your regular cleansing cream. Massage into the skin and rinse with cold water.
Insect stings: Mix with a little water and apply to the sting to relieve the pain.
Sprains and bruises: Epsom salts will reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises. Best to jump in the bath again.
Splinters: Soak in the salt solution and this draws the splinter out.
One for the kids: Dissolve 2 cups of Epsom salt in a little water then pour into a tray with a dark coloured card in the bottom. When the water has evaporated the salt will have crystallized leaving some very interesting shapes.