Our nation's day spas and Etsy artisans were dealt a cruel blow yesterday when news broke that a drug called "bath salts" was behind the Miami "cannibal" attack. Now the Web is saturated with stories about the ultra-dangerous hallucinogens, which can cause the kind of violent delusions that led to Saturday's gruesome incident.

But what most of these stories fail to point out is that not all "bath salts" are created equal. Sure, both are best enjoyed in the nude, but that's where the similarity ends. Some will cause you to crave human flesh, and live in Miami, but others can help relax your muscles after a long day of sitting in a non-ergonomic desk chair. Some contain lavender, others contain Methylenedioxypyrovalerone.

In fact, the Wikipedia page for bath salts has attempted to address the confusion with this terse disclaimer:

This article is about salts used when bathing. For the stimulant drugs inaccurately described as bath salts, see Designer drug#Inaccurate descriptions.

So how are you to know which bath salts are which? It's a daunting question, but to help you, and the entire legitimate bath salts industry, we've created this handy primer to separate the good salts from the ones that make headlines.

BATH SALTSBATH SALTS
Small, salt-like crystals sold in pretty containers with names like Cloud Nine, Vanilla Sky, and Purple Wave.Small, salt-like crystals sold in pretty containers with names like Cloud Nine, Vanilla Sky, and Purple Wave.
Softens skin, creates sense of calmMakes heart explode
Found in spas, Duane Reades, Crabtree & Evelyns, and in decorative baskets filled with untouched body lotions & candles in your mother-in-law's guest bathroomFound in basement bathtub of that uncle your parents don't talk about
Creates craving for sensible saladCreates craving for any random person's face
Banned in houses with allergy sufferersBanned in the U.S.
Can be used for exfoliation by rubbing vigorously against skin Can be used for exfoliation by ingesting and rolling around naked in a gravel parking lot; results vary depending on size of gravel

This represents the entirety of human knowledge about both kinds of bath salts. From here, you're on your own. Try not to eat anyone.

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