I am not sure when or even why I started my weekly Espom Salt bath ritual (must have been something I read in a magazine, or that my grandmother told me about), but costing just pennies compared to some of the other expensive celebrity beauty treatments that are peddled, it's really one that's worth trying from both a health and beauty angle.
But soaking in a bath of Epsom Salts is nothing new. Traditionally used to help aid digestion, generations have been enjoying the benefits for many years. And now we have discovered they can help in a myriad of other ways, too.
So why should you try it? Firstly, Epsom salt can help to reduce water retention and tummy bloating, which may go some way in explaining why celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle Macpherson – who are forever having to slip into figure-hugging dresses on the red carpet – are such longtime fans.
But the benefits don't stop there. A bath full of Epsom salt will help relax your muscles, banish aches and pains, reduce swelling, relieve stress, soothe your muscles, improve circulation, soften skin and maybe even reduce the look of wrinkles. That's right, it's pretty much an all-round miracle worker.
I love it because, as a runner, it soothes away aches and pains after a long session pounding the pavement, relaxes my muscles and relieves the stresses of the week.
Want to give it a go? Just add two cups of Epsom salt to your bath, swish it around until it has all dissolved and relax for about 15 minutes to allow the magnesium to soak into your pores. Repeat this preferably three times a week.
There are alternative ways to use it that can help aid sleep, cure headaches, treat spots, add bounce to your hair and as a first aid treatment.
So what are you waiting for? It's time to go to your local chemist and buy a bag. Be warned – they are heavy to carry home. Take a strong man with you. Maybe Victoria will lend us David...