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There are some things that are so classic you never really question why they go together—peanut butter and jelly, bread and butter, wine and cheese—and when it comes to your personal care routine, there’s one duo that stands out above the rest. A bath with Epsom salts is a simple yet consistently great way to chill—it’s no wonder it has been recommended to me by people like Lili Reinhart and Hannah Bronfman, and it’s been mentioned in The Wind Down seven times and counting. But what exactly do Epsom salts do?

“There are no real studies or evidence behind it,” says Tara Foley, founder of natural beauty retailer Follain. “But many people—myself included—add the salts to hot baths to enhance the experience and help relax sore limbs.” Epsom salts is technically a form of magnesium, a mineral known for its muscle-soothing abilities, so if you’re feeling the pain after you hit the gym extra-hard—or you gradually want to prep yourself for sleep—it can be a great help. Plus, if you opt for one that is scented with essential oils, you’ll get the extra benefit of aromatherapy, which will make your tub time feel a little more luxurious and give you peace of mind. 

Foley recommends using at least one to two cups of salts in your tub, but you can add less if you opt for, say, a foot soak over a full-body experience. She also suggests an alternate use: Mix some Epsom salts with body oil for an affordable DIY scrub. No matter how you choose to use it, this tried-and-true bath-time buddy can put you at ease without putting unnecessary strain on your wallet in the process. Now that’s a reason to sit back and relax. Ahhh.

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