Some folks swear Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate) can send acne packing. But TBH, not all dermatologists would agree.

Epsom salt is commonly used to relieve sore muscles, promote sleep and relax stiff joints. But is it worth using to treat blemishes?

Is Epsom salt really good for acne?

It’s important to remember that the majority of research on Epsom salt for acne treatment is anecdotal. More concrete evidence is needed to prove its efficacy.

That said, Epsom salt might help for:

  • Soothe sunburn
  • Use exfoliant to unclog pores
  • Reduce stress and anxiety – common acne triggers
  • Ease symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne

Here are the facts about Epsom salt and its use for treating acne.

Fact or fiction? Using Epsom salt for acne

white stones on persons hand

Legend says Epsom salt works, but science doesn’t.

Here’s what we do know

  • Mineral magic. Your body needs magnesium for lots of vital functions (like bone health and nerve function). Research suggests magnesium can also help reduce inflammation. So there’s a chance Epsom salt could reduce the effects of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
  • You can sulfurize it. Epsom salt that contains sulfur may be your best option. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, sulfur can be used to treat acne.
  • Exfoliation. Epsom salt can be used to slough away dead skin cells and unclog pores. Be gentle when you scrub. You can cause skin irritation and worsen acne if you scrub your loofah too often.

These are the things that need more research

  • Is it actually effective?
  • How much magnesium does your skin soak up? Some small studies suggest magnesium can be absorbed through your skin. This is a more complicated issue than the amount you can get from food and supplements. More research is needed.

How to use Epsom Salt for Acne

Non-inflammatory and inflammatory are the main types of acne. Both can be caused by blocked pores.

You can usually treat noninflammatory acne (e.g., blackheads or whiteheads) at home. But next-level zits like – cysts, nodules, papules, or pustules – may need medical attention.

Still wanna give Epsom salt a shot? This is how to use it

Be aware before you scrub!

Use any kind of exfoliator on your skin with care. They can cause microtears on your skin, and further irritation to open wounds.

Before applying a new product to a large area, always do a “patch test”.

Epsom salt soak

A bomb Epsom salt facial can be enjoyed at home.

  1. In 2 cups of warm water, dissolve 2 to 3 teaspoons Epsom Salt.
  2. Use a clean, dry washcloth to soak in the solution.
  3. You can wring the cloth to make sure it is damp but not dripping.
  4. Keep the washcloth on your face until it cools.
  5. Warm water is sufficient to rinse your face.

Pro tip: Avoid your eyes to ensure a stingless treatment

Epsom salt spot treatment

This is a quick and effective solution to those annoying pop-up pimples.

  1. In 2 cups of warm water, dissolve 2 to 3 teaspoons Epsom salt.
  2. Use a cotton ball or washcloth to soak in the solution.
  3. Do it in the zit zone.
  4. Allow to sit for 30 seconds.
  5. Use warm water to rinse.

Epsom salt scrub

Exfoliating is an essential part of any skin care regimen.

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon Epsom salt with 1 tablespoon oil (olive and coconut oils are top-notch choices).
  2. Mix until you get a paste.
  3. Use light circular movements to apply the paste to your skin.
  4. Allow to sit for several minutes.
  5. Use warm water to rinse.

Pro tip: Do not use exfoliating products to open sores and wounds. Exfoliating more often than three times per week can cause irritation.

All except the kitchen sink masks

Lots of face masks that claim to be natural contain added chemicals. These acne-fighting masks are pure gold.

Avocado salt mash

This soothing mask is ideal for moisturizing and cleansing.

  1. Mash a ripe avocado until smooth.
  2. Mix in the Epsom salt until you have a thick paste.
  3. Apply a thin layer of sunscreen to your face.
  4. Allow to sit for between 20 and 30 minutes.
  5. Use warm water to rinse.

Banana mask

This antimicrobial face mask can give you a natural glow.

  1. Mash a ripe banana.
  2. 1 tablespoon Epsom Salt and 1 teaspoon Honey.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Apply the mixture to your face.
  5. Allow to sit for between 20 and 30 minutes.
  6. Use warm water to rinse.

Golden berry bump blaster

This mask has amazing antioxidant potential.

  1. Mash 1/2 cup strawberries.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons Epsom Salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric.
  3. Mix until you get a paste.
  4. Apply a thin layer of sunscreen to your face.
  5. Allow to sit for between 20 and 30 minutes.
  6. Use warm water to rinse.

Pro tip: Add a little water to thin the paste.

Take your back acne and soak it away

Back acne is not something to be ashamed. It can be irritating, however. This bath soak might help.

  1. In a warm tub, add 1 cup Epsom salt
  2. It is best to soak it for between 20 and 30 minutes.
  3. Use mild soap and warm water to rinse it off.

Pro tip: Use a few drops from your favorite essential oil to create a relaxing spa atmosphere.

Can Epsom salt help acne scars too?

Acne can be a serious problem. It’s not just painful. Unfortunately, Epsom salt is not scientifically proven to reduce acne scarring.

Good news! A dermatologist can offer lots of bomb treatments to reduce the appearance of acne scars, including:

  • Fillers
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser treatments
  • Minor skin surgeries

These are some ways to avoid future acne scarring:

  • Do not pick or poke your pimples.
  • Avoid harsh scrubs or chemicals.
  • Don’t use too many skin care products at once.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful rays.

Safety first

Epsom salt can be used topically in general. There are some things you should keep in mind.

  • To prevent dry skin, rinse it off after each soak.
  • You won’t feel the burn if you apply it to open cuts and rashes.
  • Don’t drink it! It can cause a major case of the trots, thanks to its laxative powers.
  • Epsom salt and diabetes are NOT a good mix. Foot issues like sores or open wounds can be a symptom of diabetes. Epsom salt could make matters worse.

Alert for allergy symptoms

It is possible to become allergic to Epsom salt, although it is rare. If you have an allergy, stop using Epsom salt immediately.

  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Mouth swelling
  • Trouble breathing

There are other natural methods to get rid of acne at home

Here are some natural ingredients for skin care that you can add to your beauty kit if you prefer a more natural approach.

  • Tea tree oil. It has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that can help zap zits.
  • Activated charcoal. From whiter teeth to clearer complexions, activated charcoal is all the rage. It might draw out bacteria trapped in your pores due to its antibacterial and porous qualities.
  • Aloe vera. Super soothing and antimicrobial, aloe vera gel is fab for all skin types. Bonus: It is great for sunburn.


Epsom salt is cheap, safe and can be very relaxing. However, there isn’t much evidence that Epsom salt can reduce acne. It might be worth trying! If it doesn’t work, contact a dermatologist. They will help you to create a great treatment plan.

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