Does a 9p hangover cure, bruise banisher and skin ...

Does a 9p hangover cure, bruise banisher and skin exfoliator really work? Our seven day challenge tests the claims…

One of the perks of being a beauty writer means I get to test products that amaze and fascinate me, with today being no exception. So what am I trying out? A new lipstick? An innovative skin cream? Something pretty, bright and bold for my nails? No. I’m talking about Epsom Salts. Yep. You know that tub your grandma has had in the bathroom cabinet for about ten years? The very same. You can buy the salts for around £2.89, and you’ll get enough for 30 treatments, making it a thrifty 9p for each.

Now I’ll admit when I was given the task of testing some of the claims I was very, VERY, sceptical. I mean, can salt (and not even the good stuff you put on chips… *drool*) really transform my pins, give me healthier skin, and cure my hangover? Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. But it turns out I was wrong about these bad boys.

So, here are a few of the claims:
Bloating beater
Hangover cure
Bouncy hair
Lush looking legs
Foot soother
Jet-lag cure
Skin exfoliator
Inner cleanse for detoxers

Should have guessed really that Epsom Salts would be, as rap stars say, ‘the bomb’. With a little research I discovered they’re famously used by Elle Macpherson and Victoria Beckham (not just us old folk then) for keeping their legs in check. With this new-found confidence and knowledge, I braved the challenge. Others weren’t convinced. The boy helpfully said, ‘You’re going to be sticky!’ and my family gave me lashings of laugher and general eye rolls when I admitted what I was planning to do. So here goes!

First challenge: Hair

Day One. Epsom Salts claims to give bouncier hair. Well good luck with that, I thought. My hair can be flatter than a witch’s tit, especially in this weather. So I was less than positive when trying this theory out. I mixed a fifty pence piece worth of salt into my shampoo, rubbed together and worked it into the hair. The first thing I noticed is that it took the smell of my shampoo away (herbal essence in case you were wondering) and it felt grainy. I worked it into my hair for a good three minutes then rinsed. When I got out of the shower I avoided other hair products (being faithful to trying this out you know) and just blow dried as normal. Well stone me it did actually make my hair presentable with volume and bounce!
Day Seven – I freaking love this for my hair! My hair is full of life and I’m avoiding using harsh chemicals. Win win.

This works amazingly. I’d definitely recommend.

Second Challenge: Face Exfoliator

Day One – When it comes to skincare my motto is the less the better. I don’t like to faff around and spend hours perfecting routine. I also have sensitive skin, so I was a little worried the salts would irritate it. You just mix a small amount of salt in with your moisturiser. Seems simple enough right? Well I did just this, however it didn’t dissolve, it just ‘sat’. Then came the hard part, applying it. Obviously it is unpleasant – it was very grainy, didn’t work into my skin easily and bits came flying off. I would suggest having a hand towel nearby  to wipe excess salt off. After getting through the hard part I removed all the salt and rinsed my face. My skin actually felt really soft! I then got into bed, cuddled up to the boy and he proclaimed I ‘had a really smooth face’ and asked if I’d cheekily bought a new moisturiser.
Day Seven – I now use this treatment once a day and miraculously it’s kept my skin clear and congestion-free – I haven’t had one single spot since using it!

If you can get over the salty bits it’s totally worth investing your time in doing this. At 9p a treatment it’s so much cheaper than using expensive scrubs, and it’s perfect for sensitive skin.

Third Challenge – Bloating

Day One – Epsom Salts are known for their, er, unblocking abilities shall we say, but they can also be used for bloating. This is something I suffer from (I am 100% convinced I have IBS) so I was really quite thrilled to try this claim. Just mix one teaspoon of the salts in a glass of warm water and chug.
Day Three – I only got to day three of this. OMG I only had one teaspoon of salt mixed with water and it made me go to the loo (and not in a good way) all the time. It also gave me really bad stomach pains.

Definitely one to miss. Unless you love cramps and sitting on the loo for hours on end.

Fourth Challenge – Blemish-free legs

Day One – If it’s good enough for Elle and Vicky it’s good enough for little old me. It’s the same sort of process as the face moisturiser – you put a fifty pence piece worth into your body moisturizer or oil, mix, then lather onto the body really working into the skin. This works as a body buffer, removing dead skin and any other little imperfections. A massive claim to make, in my opinion.
Day Seven – Fantastic! My body has never looked better, it’s practically glowing and looks healthy. It has helped me that much it’s given me the confidence to wear dresses, start tanning (well use fake tan). This comes from a girl who hates showing off her legs, but you can’t stop me now!

It’s brilliant. Use every other day to keep your skin looking great, and especially before applying fake tan. No more streaky, blotchy knee and ankle marks!

Fifth Challenge – Hangovers

One Day Challenge: Apparently, sulphates in Epsom salts help flush out toxins and ease muscle pain. In the name of research I had a few tipples, got very drunk and ended up sleeping (talk about being a party girl eh?) only to wake up with a headache to rival a volcano. Avoiding a good ol’ cuppa and a fry up, I headed straight for the Epsom Salts, downed two tea spoons in a little water and waited. 30 minutes later, my hangover was fading, I felt much better, and my brain actually started to function. Yes, this theory has worked. Plus, it was for science!

Well I have to hold my hands up. Despite being a sceptic, I’m totally converted. Elle and Victoria really know what they’re talking about. And being such a cheap, versatile product, it’s worth buying a box just to keep for life’s little emergencies. Will you rise to the challenge, or are you still a little sceptical? Let us know…

We used Care Epsom Salts, which should be available in your local pharmacy or Sainsbury’s.

By Amy.