Benefits: Not actually salts but magnesium sulfate, they’ve long been used as a bath additive to help soothe sore muscles, relieve cramps and loosen stiff joints.
Risks: People with diabetes shouldn’t use Epsom salts as they can dry out the feet, causing cracks that can become infected. Soaking feet in general isn’t recommended for diabetics.
Benefits: Besides being relaxing, many of the soaps that create bubbles can help to moisturise and soothe the skin. A lukewarm bath with gentle fragrance-free oils can help with conditions like eczema.
Risks: Some fragrances can include parabens (endocrine disruptors) and phthalates (possible carcinogens). Read the labels to avoid these ingredients.
Salt and sugar scrubs
Benefits: Both are skin exfoliants: salt helps balance oil production and cleanse pores; sugar, a natural humectant, draws moisture into the skin, helping hydration.
Risks: If used too often or too roughly, salt and sugar can irritate dry or cracked skin and worsen abrasions.
© Prevention AustraliaFirst published: 10 Jul 2018