For many, a relaxing bath is the perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate your tired muscles. That’s why for a lot of people, soaking in the tub almost feels like a healing experience—and with the addition of a little Epsom salts, it actually can be.
Epsom salts are a source of magnesium sulfate, a compound that plays many important roles inside your body and is essential for aging well. While you might understand the importance of other minerals like calcium and zinc, many people don’t realize that magnesium is actually number two on the list of the most abundant elements found in human cells. Magnesium promotes aging well by helping to regulate the activity of over 325 enzymes in your body, and also helps to control many key bodily functions, such as energy production, muscle control, and the purging of harmful toxins from the body—these are all key characteristics of aging well.
Along with magnesium, Epsom salts also contains sulfate. Sulfate is necessary for aging well because it aids in the formation of joints and brain tissue. Sulfate is also used as a strengthening agent in the digestive tract, and optimal digestive health is an important part of aging well.
Given its importance in aging well and orchestrating many key processes in the body, you would likely assume that most Americans would ensure that they’re getting enough levels of magnesium. But in reality, over half are deficient in the essential mineral, which can be dangerous. Being chronically low in magnesium significantly decreases your changes of aging well by increasing your risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, chronic fatigue, and stress-related illnesses.
Boosting Magnesium for Aging Well
You can definitely encourage aging well by eating foods that are high in magnesium to naturally boost your levels, but magnesium levels have slowly and steadily dropped in foods over the past 100 years due to changes in the way crops are grown, harvested, and sold in stores. And speaking of magnesium and food, when your anti-aging diet is high in fat, sugar, salt, and animal protein, you can unwittingly deplete your magnesium reserves.
Taking magnesium anti-aging supplements won’t necessarily help, either. Researchers have discovered that it isn’t easy for the body to absorb magnesium through the digestive tract. This lack of absorption can be exacerbated if you are taking pharmaceutical drugs to treat another medical condition, thus further impeding your changes of aging well.
How to Use Epsom Salt for Aging Well
An Epsom salt bath is an excellent way to up your intake of magnesium and sulfate. These two minerals are absorbed through your skin when you soak in Epsom salts. Run a bath three times per week and you’ll significantly increase the amount of both magnesium and sulfate available for use by your body, therefore improving your chances of aging well over the long-term.
Other Anti-Aging Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath encourages aging well by improving your circulation—which is always beneficial for the skin—and improving your body’s uptake and use of insulin. Insulin is what balances your body’s blood sugar levels. Epsom salt baths are also great for removing toxins, which are some of the biggest obstacles to aging well, including how healthy your skin looks, since toxins contribute to dry skin, rashes, blemishes, and acne.
One of the biggest points of aging well is reducing the visibility of wrinkles. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath hydrates and softens your skin. If you moisturize right after your bath when your skin is still damp, you’re locking in that hydration, making your skin less prone to wrinkles.
Furthermore, because Epsom salt baths can help to relieve stress, there’s also an indirect beneficial effect on your skin; stress has been shown to upset the natural balance of nutrients in the skin, leading to skin problems. Stress has an indirect effect on aging well—excessive stress can trigger everything from hair loss and thinning, to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.