Beauty bi­ble

Lisa Arm­strong on Ep­som salts

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents - Lisa Arm­strong

I’VE JUST SEEN the fu­ture, beau­ty­wise – and it looks re­mark­ably like some­thing from the ’50s. I’m talk­ing about Ep­som salts. Not that any­one calls them that any more, not in the health and beauty in­dus­try. Maybe it sounds too dated. Be­sides, the ex­cit­ing in­gre­di­ent isn’t Ep­som, but magnesium, which is be­com­ing so buzzy it can’t be long be­fore it has its own Youtube chan­nel.

Here are some of the things magnesium could do: sig­nif­i­cantly ease joint and mus­cle pain, dra­mat­i­cally in­crease your ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium, sta­bilise hor­monal im­bal­ances and lower cor­ti­sol pro­duc­tion, thereby po­ten­tially help­ing to re­duce acne.

I say ‘could’, which sounds au­tious, but be­ing a min­eral sup­ple­ment rather than one of those scorched-earth drug com­pounds, it won’t per­form all these ser­vices for ev­ery­one. It did won­ders when I was di­ag­nosed with spondy­lolis­the­sis, a sneak­ily painful con­di­tion in which one bone in your ver­te­bra slips for­ward over the bone be­low un­til all hell breaks loose. It’s com­mon among mid­dle-aged women ap­par­ently. Not that this is in any way con­sol­ing.

I mas­saged Life-flo Pure Magnesium Oil Spray (£16.50 for 236ml) into my skin, soaked in Life-flo Magnesium Bath Oil (£14 for 473ml , both vic­to­ri­a­health. com) and flung in Ep­som salts for good mea­sure (Ep­som salts are as cheap as, well, the bad table salt none of us is sup­posed to buy any more. I got mine on Ama­zon), then waited for noth­ing to hap­pen. It was just magnesium, af­ter all. How could it do what cor­ti­sol in­jec­tions hadn’t man­aged? But it did – 95 per cent pain di­min­ish­ment. So, I’m a con­vert. (It did noth­ing for my mother, how­ever.)

At the Mar­ion Gluck Clinic, where they spe­cialise in out-of-whack hor­mones, Mega­mag Mus­cleze (£31.25 for 162g, nu­tri­ad­vanced.co.uk) is a favourite half an hour be­fore bed­time for pro­mot­ing sleep. I now take it with 1-3mg of mela­tonin to com­bat jet lag – Gabriella Pea­cock’s Fly Me kit (£9.99, gp­nu­tri­tion. com) has the cap­sules and mag­ne­sium­con­tain­ing pow­der drinks you need for three days of long-haul, and all are per­fectly palat­able. Al­though I’ve yet to achieve any­thing like eight hours, I feel far more laid-back about be­ing awake. You could also take Neal’s Yard Raw Ca­cao Pow­der (£2.50 for 50g, neal- syardreme­dies.com), which is high in magnesium, as a kind of healthy hot cho­co­late. Un­less you en­joy ex­tremely bit­ter drinks, you’ll need some kind of sweet­ener, though.

We shouldn’t for­get magnesium’s tra­di­tional show­stop­ping role as a lax­a­tive (if you’ve been to the Mayr Clinic in Aus­tria, you can tes­tify to its awein­spir­ing ef­fec­tive­ness). We won’t dwell on this as­pect, al­though it’s a use­ful ad­di­tion to the first-aid box.

As for its beau­ti­fy­ing prop­er­ties? Trans­der­mally, magnesium can sooth and smooth. Glossier’s Su­per Glow Serum (£24 for 15ml, glossier.com) can be used all over the face to zhush up tired skin, and just be­low the eye­brow to add a sub­tle sheen. The ex­cel­lent Ren has magnesium in its At­lantic Kelp

Magnesium is be­com­ing so buzzy, it can’t be long be­fore it has its own Youtube chan­nel

Hand Balm (£14 for 50ml, ren­skin­care. com), while Omorovicza’s deluxe and ef­fec­tive Ther­mal Cleans­ing Balm (£48 for 50ml, omorovicza.com) is rich in cal­cium and magnesium. As many as 80 per cent of us are said to be de­fi­cient in the stuff. My ad­vice – take this lit­tle mir­a­cle worker wher­ever you can find it.

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