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Epsom and Magnesium Salt

The Difference Between Epsom and Magnesium Salt

Sinking into a warm bath full of restorative natural salts is the perfect way to relax and wash away the worries of your day. The base for the majority of bath salts is Epsom salt, like in the best-selling AOP Epsom Bath Salt. Epsom salt is a magnesium compound commonly found in naturally occurring springs. 

Magnesium has incredible health benefits when used in bath soaks, which is why Epsom salt is such a popular and sought after bath salt. However, there is another magnesium compound that is used as a bath soak which could be even more restorative than Epsom salt. Cue: magnesium salt flakes.

While both Epsom and magnesium salts are used in and as bath salts, there is some evidence to suggest that magnesium salt flakes may have more profound effects on the body. We’ve done a bit of research on the differences between the two. Why not check it out below and learn about Epsom salt bath benefits versus magnesium salt bath benefits?

The Difference Between Epsom and Magnesium Salt Epsom salt vs magnesium salt

There are a few significant differences between Epsom and magnesium salt, and though both are magnesium compounds, their health benefits may differ slightly.

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt was originally discovered in Epsom, a town in Surrey, England, which is where it gets its name. It is a compound made up of magnesium, sulphur, and oxygen, called magnesium sulphate. 

Though it is described as a salt, Epsom salt contains no actual salt, instead, it is thought it was given the name salt because it looks like table salt. Epsom is usually dissolved in hot water and does not need any other substances to work it's magic.

Epsom salt is commonly used in bath salts, including blended salts that combine herbs and essential oils like these Refresh Byron Bay Murray River Salts. And, along with being combined in fragrant blends, Epsom salt can also be used on its own as a bath soak. 


What is magnesium salt?

Magnesium bath salt flakes differ in size and shape from Epsom salt. While Epsom salt is a compound call magnesium sulphate, magnesium salt flakes are a highly concentrated form of magnesium, called magnesium chloride.  Magnesium salt flakes, like the name suggests, are flakes, differing from the table salt-like form of Epsom salt.

Magnesium salt flakes, or magnesium chloride flakes, contain more magnesium than Epsom salt and are more readily absorbed by the body, meaning they have a greater effect on the body when used as a bath soak.

Magnesium chloride bath salts are thought to be purer than Epsom salt. Magnesium chloride is mined from ancient seabeds and is thought to be less likely to be polluted. When buying any bath salt product, it is best to buy organic and natural to ensure that you avoid any potential pollutants. 

Unlike Epsom salt, magnesium chloride flakes should not be ingested.

What is magnesium?

With both of these bath salts being forms of magnesium, you’re probably wondering what magnesium actually is and how it can benefit your body. 

Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral found in the body. Though it is essential, it cannot be produced by the body and so we must get magnesium from food and other products. Magnesium bath salts allow the element to be absorbed by the body through the skin, providing the body with this essential nutrient.

In the body, magnesium has a few starring roles. It supports muscles and nerve function, as well as energy production and the making of DNA. Magnesium is pretty crucial in the body and so, getting it into your routine will have incredible health benefits for you.

Health benefits of Epsom and magnesium salt bath

Health benefits of Epsom and magnesium salt bath

We’ve mentioned quite a few times how brilliant these salts are, and so listed below are a few benefits of each.

Epsom salt bath benefits

Epsom salt is a widely used remedy for a number of ailments. Used as a bath soak, Epsom salt can ease muscle soreness, soothe joint stiffness, relieve stress, and treat itchy and dry skin.

Though the name suggests otherwise, Epsom salt has none of the drying effects of salt. Instead, it is used in cosmetics and can actually hydrate the skin. The magnesium sulphate salt is commonly found in scrubs, like Jak Organics Epsom Salt and Green Tea Face Scrub.

Magnesium salt bath benefits

Magnesium salt flakes have a much higher concentration of magnesium and are more readily absorbed by the body, this means you get a higher dose of magnesium with this kind of soak. 

Magnesium chloride baths can help to improve circulation, relieve headaches and migraines, soothe dry and itchy skin, ease joint stiffness and muscle soreness, and improve skin hydration.

The benefits of Epsom salt and magnesium salt are very similar, but the thing to bear in mind is that magnesium salts offer a much higher dose of the mineral, making the effects more instantaneous and profound. 

How to take a salt bathHow to take a salt bath

Now we’ve talked for quite a while about these salts, you probably want to know how to use them in your next bath!

Adding these two salts to your bath can help you relax while restoring and reinvigorating the body. Add two cups of whichever salt you choose to a standard size bath and soak for twenty minutes to get the full benefits from your bath.

Products we love

There are tonnes of bath salt products on the market today and many utilise both Epsom and magnesium salts. We’ve rounded up our favourites for each kind. Check them out.

Epsom salts

As mentioned above, with Epsom salt it is always best to find organic and natural products to avoid any contamination.

We absolutely love these Byron Bath Relax Bath Salts, infused with relaxing essential oils for a soothing soak. This is an organic blend of Epsom salts with fragrant and relaxing oils, meaning you can soak without any worry.

Magnesium salt

For magnesium salt, we love these pure salt flakes from Amazing Oils. We also think you should try out the brand’s sleep blend, with lavender and chamomile for a restorative and relaxing soak.


Epsom and magnesium bath salts are both magnesium-based compounds. Epsom salt is a compound called magnesium sulphate which was originally found in Epsom, Surrey. Magnesium salt flakes are a compound called magnesium chloride.

Both bath salts have a whole range of healing properties and can work to restore and soothe the body. Magnesium chloride salt flakes are more readily absorbed by the body, meaning you experience a higher dose of magnesium. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Epsom salt bath actually do?

Epsom salt baths can ease joint and muscle pain, relieve sore feet and treat dry skin and other skin conditions. The salts are usually soaked in for around twenty minutes and can help to relieve stress and relax the body.

What are the dangers of Epsom salt baths?

While there are many benefits of Epsom salt baths, if you have never used Epsom salt before, you may need to do a skin patch test to avoid allergic reactions. Overuse may also lead to itchy skin and skin infections. Using too much Epsom salt in your bath may also lead to nausea, lightheadedness, headaches, and flushed skin. If you experience these issues, stop using them immediately. In rare cases, overuse may lead to more life-threatening conditions. Always use Epsom salts in moderation, using only 2 cups per standard bath.

Can you put too much Epsom salt in a bath?

Always use the amount of Epsom salt recommended on the product you are using to avoid any negative side effects. Overuse of Epsom salts may lead to nausea, headaches, and flushed skin.

What toxins does Epsom salt remove?

Epsom salt may be useful in drawing out toxins that cause inflammation inside the body. Persistent inflammation can be a symptom of a number of common ailments which Epsom salts can help to relieve.

Do Epsom salt baths make you lose weight?

While Epsom salts cannot necessarily help you to lose weight, using them regularly can make you feel more relaxed and help you to lead a healthier lifestyle. The salts can ease muscle and joint soreness, meaning you can recover from exercise more easily helping you to stay fit and active.

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