Who knew Epsom salt packed such a wallop of health benefits? Also known as hydrated magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is a powerful source of magnesium, an element the National Academy of Sciences says most Americans are deficient in, resulting in high rates of ailments such as heart disease, stroke, migraines, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, and chronic fatigue.

Magnesium sulfate, absorbed through the skin, not only increases magnesium levels in the body, but also acts a sedative for the nervous system, reducing swelling and relaxing muscles, as any consummate foot-soaker will tell you. We've listed some of the ways you can use Epsom salt in your beauty regimen, according to the Epsom Salt Industry Council. Tip: Check with your doctor first if you're pregnant or have any health concerns. 1. For a relaxing soak: Add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water in a standard-size bathtub; soak for at least 12 minutes, three times weekly. For an extra treat, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil for a refreshing scent.

2. To exfoliate: After showering, massage handfuls of Epsom Salt over wet skin to exfoliate the body.

3. Facial: Mix 1/2 tsp of Epsom Salt into cleansing cream for a deep-pore cleansing. Massage on skin. Rinse with cool water. Pat dry.

4. Bath salts: Mix two cups of Epsom Salt with a few drops of your favorite dried herbs and essential oils to create custom bath salts.

[Via ::Care2]

Difficulty level: Easy