What’s that old saying? Happy feet, happy life? Okay, maybe no one’s actually said that, but they should. Our feet have to be two of the most under-appreciated body parts.
Whether you’re on your feet all day chasing after kiddos or just standing around the water cooler at work, your feet take a lickin’ and hardly ever get any TLC in return. But an Epsom salt foot soak is the perfect way to relax those babies after a long day.
A hot soak helps soothe muscles, hydrate skin, and can relieve aches and pains due to standing for hours or walking in uncomfortable shoes. Plus, Epsom salt can help reduce swelling and keep bacteria and blisters away.
Epsom Salt Foot Soak
Epsom salt isn’t actually a salt at all. It’s a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Because it’s chock full of beneficial minerals, it’s a staple in a lot of beauty, household and gardening recipes. But it’s really Epsom salt’s health benefits that standout the most.
The combination of magnesium and sulfate is a highly effective tonic for all sorts of ailments. And simply soaking your feet in it can have full-body benefits ranging from improved sleep to less pain—and everything in between.
4 Benefits of an Epsom Salt Foot Soak
Prevents magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is essential for health, but things like drinking too much alcohol, having an upset stomach or taking too much calcium can deplete stores. And, unfortunately, conventional farming methods have depleted the soil so there is a deficiency of magnesium in the food you eat.
Just one Epsom salt foot soak can drastically increase magnesium levels and improve bodily functions, such as muscle control, energy and the ability to eliminate toxins. If you’ve ever had muscle cramps or a spasm in your eyelid, that is a good sign that you are magnesium deficient.
Reduces pain and inflammation
Soaking in warm water is one of the oldest forms of natural medicine. Add Epsom salt and you’ve got a highly therapeutic remedy for pain and inflammation as well. Magnesium relaxes muscles while the warm water increases circulation and confuses pain receptors in the skin.
Everyone knows that stress and insomnia go hand in hand. Not only does Epsom salt help relax muscles but it also helps relax the mind and relieve stress. And since a magnesium deficiency can make stress worse, boosting magnesium intake can have a profound impact on stress levels and sleep quality.
Draws out toxins
We’re all being exposed to toxins practically all the time. And, when overwhelmed, our bodies may have a hard time eliminating them. Epsom salt is a natural way to draw out toxins and replenish low mineral stores – minerals that are needed in thousands of metabolic processes to function optimally.
The feet are said to have some of the largest pores (in both size and quantity) of anywhere on the body. So, detoxing through the feet can be just as effective and efficient at clearing toxins as taking a full-body bath.
How to Do an Epsom Salt Foot Soak
Obviously the main ingredient in this foot bath recipe is Epsom salt, but I like to add other purifying and relaxing ingredients to make my soak more beneficial.
I’m a little obsessed with dried chamomile and I use it in practically everything. Chamomile is a relaxing botanical that helps reduce puffiness and inflammation. It’s also antiseptic, which helps keep feet clean and fungus-free.
Bentonite clay is a swelling clay. As it swells, it traps toxins like a sponge and carries them out of the body. It’s also full of beneficial minerals that can help nourish the body.
Besides adding an aromatherapy aspect, essential oils can help get rid of bacteria, relax muscles and soften rough skin. Here are a few of my favorites:
Cedarwood oil is an antiseptic and antifungal.
Cypress oil is an antiseptic and natural deodorant, making it perfect for foot odors.
Lavender oil is a favorite for relaxation. It’s also said to help reduce pain and soothe sore muscles and joints.
Thyme oil helps soothe tired muscles and has antiseptic properties.
Add it all together and you’ve got yourself an amazing foot soak that also provides full body benefits.
- 1 1/2 cups Epsom salt
- 1/4 cup bentonite clay
- 1/4 cup dried chamomile
- 1/4 cup baking soda optional, but great from a little extra relaxation
- 5-10 drops essential oils of your choosing
1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Fill a basin with warm water until it’s deep enough to cover feet, then add 1/2 cup of the Epsom salt mixture to the water.
3. Soak your feet for 30 to 60 minutes while you sit back, relax and read a good book or enjoy a glass of wine. The Epsom salt will take care of the rest.
Foot Soak FAQ
Will a foot soak help with toenail fungus?
It really depends on the fungus and how bad the infection is. But Epsom salt combined with an antibacterial, antifungal essential oil, like tea tree oil, can work wonders.
Try soaking your toes once a day for 15 minutes to see if it works. Just make sure to dry your feet off really well when you’re done, because fungus feeds on moisture!
Can I add vinegar to my foot soak?
Sure! Apple cider vinegar, in particular, makes a great foot soak because it’s chock full of beneficial bacteria and it helps remove toxins.
Does foot soak remove dead skin?
A foot soak can help soften dry, dead skin cells, making them easier to remove. After soaking your feet for 30 minutes, use a dry brush or pumice stone to gently get rid of dry skin. Then slather with jojoba oil or a nourishing body cream to lock in moisture.
If I have dry, cracked feet, can I still do a foot soak?
Foot soaks can help speed up healing and replenish moisture if you have dry, cracked feet. Make sure to use cool water, since hot water can strip moisture from the skin. Only soak 1-2 times a week and always use a heavy duty moisturizer to lock in moisture when you’re done.
Epsom Salt Foot Soak
- Tub or large bowl
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Fill a basin with warm water until it’s deep enough to cover feet, then add 1/2 cup of the Epsom salt mixture to the water.
- Soak your feet for 30 to 60 minutes.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.112