Why Jessica Biel’s Met Gala prep included an Epsom salts bath

Jessica Biel recently shared her pre-Met Gala ritual on TikTok, which involved soaking for 30 minutes in a bath with 20 pounds of Epsom salts. While many commenters suggested Biel used an unusual amount, these kinds of baths have been around for centuries to promote relaxation and overall well-being.

“The way she didn’t explain the benefits of using that much is a crime,” one user commented. But don’t worry, Jessica, we’ve sorted this out for you.


While the kids are out partying, I am in soaking 🛁 #MetGala

♬ original sound - Jessica Biel

Epsom salts, named after the English town where it was first discovered in the early 1600s, has been used for hundreds of years to treat constipation, eclampsia and other ailments, “though most evidence backing up those early claims was only anecdotal,” Dr. Jesse Bracamonte told USA Today.

The Cleveland Clinic explains that when Epsom salts are dissolved in warm water, it is thought to allow magnesium and sulfate to be absorbed through the skin. Dr. Teal’s, the company Biel used, recommends on its website to use 2 cups of the salt in a bath and soak for 20 minutes, stating it “enhances every bath to a relaxing self-care soak, with some great benefits.”

Magnesium is a vital mineral that plays a role in sleep and stress management, according to Healthline. And despite being the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, many people don’t get enough of it.

Although it has not been scientifically proved, Epsom salts baths are still commonly recommended for people experiencing muscle pain and mental stress, Healthline reported, because magnesium is believed to be absorbed through the skin in sufficient amounts.

Generally, there are no side effects when taking these “self-care soaks,” but according to the Cleveland Clinic, Epsom salt baths aren’t recommended for people with severe skin inflammation, infections, open wounds or severe burns becuase of irritation. Additionally, ingesting Epsom salts can cause serious side effects in bowel behavior, which can lead to dehydration and discomfort.

As with any new self-care practice, the Cleveland Clinic recommends consulting with a health care provider before incorporating Epsom salt baths into your routine, especially if you have concerns.