By David Saunders | UPDATED: 05:28, 28 January 2020
Influencers and celebrities alike have long championed selfcare and this month taking a daily bath is a hot topic amongst the elite, with Gwyneth Paltrow stating she; “Can’t sleep without my evening bath first”.
When it comes to taking a full body soak, many of us turn to bathing ‘salts’ for a renewing experience – but how many people actually know what they’re soaking in and whether it contains the best ingredients for optimal relaxation, remineralisation and as a natural aid to good quality sleep?
The most well-known bath time additions are Epsom Salts and Magnesium Flakes, both of which contain magnesium compounds – yet in different forms. Magnesium is world-renowned for its health benefits such as aiding sleep quality and relieving muscle tension.
Here, natural health brand BetterYou – experts in transdermal (through the skin) magnesium – has created a guide to help identify the key differences between Magnesium Flakes and Epsom Salts for those taking Paltrow’s advise of making bathing a priority.
Epsom Salts, the name given to Magnesium Sulphate, is one of the most common forms of magnesium, with the vast majority being synthetically manufactured for mass market.
Whilst Epsom Salts can also be sourced naturally from open water such as the Great Lakes, Dead Sea or naturally occurring springs, these sources can be exposed to man-made pollutants which can contaminate the resulting crystals.
These pollutants include aluminium and mercury, which can have a negative effect on health if allowed to build-up over time.
In contrast, Magnesium Chloride bath salts – known as Magnesium Flakes due to their large, flat appearance – are mined from a rich seam one mile below ground such as the Zechstein mine in Northern Holland.
This source has been protected and purified for over 250 million years and is the richest and most naturally pure source known.
While both compounds contain a similar level of elemental magnesium, a key difference between Magnesium Chloride (flakes) and Magnesium Sulphate (salts) is their rate of absorption within the body.
Because it is wholly soluble, Magnesium Chloride will efficiently elevate cellular magnesium levels when exposed to the skin.
The science? This high solubility is vital to allow the compounds to break their bonds and travel into the pores, through the dermal layers and into the bloodstream. Ultimately, Magnesium Chloride can be more easily absorbed and utilised by the body, compared to when using Epsom Salts.
Andrew Thomas, Founder and Managing Director of BetterYou, says; “The intense muscle recovery and relaxation experienced when adding Magnesium Flakes to a warm bath is second-to-none.
“What’s more, studies have shown that raising magnesium levels using the Chloride form specifically has a beneficial effect in preventing calcium build-up in the body tissues, meaning calcium can be utilised correctly for bone building and support.”
Find your magnesi-zen
But beyond these health benefits, taking a bath provides an opportunity to relax the body and reboot the mind. Championed by A-listers and health practitioners alike, this quiet period of contemplation can help you to find your ‘zen’, supporting creativity and mood, whilst allowing the super mineral that is magnesium to work it’s ‘magic’.
For optimal absorption, BetterYou advises you to take a magnesium bath two or three times a week to increase and maintain your levels.
BetterYou’s transdermal (through the skin) magnesium range also includes body lotion, butter and sprays, all containing magnesium chloride, for a complete skin health and wellbeing regime.
The BetterYou range is available from Boots Pharmacies instore and online, Holland and Barratt, Ocado, Lloyds Pharmacy, online at www.betteryou.com and in all good independent health stores.