Magnesium Oil Benefits Include Relief For Sore Muscles, Clear Skin & Better Sleep
But, there’s one more that should be on your radar if it's not already: magnesium oil.
What is magnesium oil?
Magnesium oil is the result of dissolved magnesium chloride flakes in distilled water. Magnesium oil is really a misnomer. It’s not really an oil at all but gets the moniker from the slick, oil-like feeling that this highly saturated mineral oil leaves on the skin. It can either be rubbed into the skin or added to a spray bottle to help with application. Magnesium oils can be purchased at store, but it's not meant to be ingested like magnesium supplements.
Forms of magnesium supplements include
Some foods naturally contain magnesium
Many foods are natural sources of magnesium. Magnesium-rich foods include:
- Whole grains
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Soy (and soy products)
- Leafy green vegetables
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in many biological processes of the human body.
In fact, the interaction between phosphate and magnesium ions make this mineral essential to the functioning of all cells in all living organisms.
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions that contribute to healthy metabolic and immune functioning.
You might be asking yourself why magnesium seems to be cropping up everywhere. It’s because magnesium deficiency, known medically as hypomagnesemia, is pretty common.
Most with magnesium deficiency may not even know it because they have no symptoms or minor ones.
Despite the fact that this condition often flies under the radar, some health experts believe that magnesium deficiency is one of the largest and most under-addressed health problems.
The symptoms vary from person to person and can range from general anxiety to restless leg, to headaches, to muscle cramping. So be sure to ask your doctor if your magnesium levels are normal because it may be the root cause of any neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and metabolic dysfunction.
What are the potential benefits of magnesium?
While there still needs to be more research done on magnesium oil specifically (at the moment most of the research is about magnesium glycinate supplementation) here are some ways magnesium deficiency affects the body and what magnesium oil or a magnesium supplement might do to help.
Magnesium oil may help ease minor aches
If any sort of body pain has you feeling out of commission, a magnesium oil massage may be just what you need.
Some preliminary research shows that magnesium might help alleviate carpal tunnel pain.
It may help with cramps
When magnesium is lacking in the body, you may experience more frequent muscle spasms or cramping.
In the body, magnesium functions as an electrolyte that is critical for muscle function, as it grants potassium entry into your muscle cells. Because of this interaction, it's vital for neuromuscular transmission and contraction.
Anecdotally, magnesium oil is considered to be a natural relaxant for mild pains like cramps. With the benefits of massage well-documented in the scientific literature, one study found that abdominal massage was effective in reducing dysmenorrhea11, which would only strengthen the therapeutic benefit of any applied magnesium oil.
Magnesium deficiency disrupts sleep, so oil may help
In fact, it’s now widely accepted in the medical community that sustaining healthy magnesium levels often leads to better sleep thanks to magnesium’s vital role in maintaining appropriate GABA levels.
It acts as a humectant, keeping the skin hydrated. While there is no clinical evidence showing that magnesium helps with skin irritation, like rosacea, it’s believed to help because of the many benefits it has in regulating the body’s biological processes and stress response.
Plus, its role as a powerful anti-inflammatory makes some think that magnesium oil may alleviate inflamed skin.
How to make magnesium oil
Making your own magnesium oil at home is simple and requires only two ingredients!
- 1 cup magnesium chloride flakes
- 1 cup distilled water (must be distilled)
- Boil distilled water.
- Add the flakes to a bowl. Once the water is boiled, pour it into the bowl with the flakes.
- Stir until the flakes dissolve.
- Pour the oil into your container of choice (I use a spray bottle) and allow to cool.
- To use, spray or lather on your skin like any other oil.
How to use:
When just starting to use the oil, five or just a few sprays a day will be enough to get your body used to the Mg.
Over the span of a few days or week, gradually add more sprays—I do not suggest using more than 15 to 20 sprays on the body per day.
While this leaves an oil-like feel, it’s not always adequate hydration, so feel free to lather on another body oil or lotion after.
Side effects of using magnesium oil
Magnesium citrate is often used in supplements because it absorbs well internally, but this type of magnesium is too irritating for the skin and can leave a film. Make sure that you are only using magnesium chloride flakes for your body oil.
While this spray is regarded as safe, dermal magnesium supplementation may have side effects. If you have any problems, consult a doctor.
One of the most common side effects is skin inflammation—itch and rash. If any unpleasant skin irritation occurs, stop use and check in with a health professional about your reaction.
Additionally, ingesting high doses of magnesium can sometimes lead to an upset stomach thanks to its laxative-like properties. And be wary of any heart palpitations or noticeable blood sugar changes, especially if you take heart medication or have a cardiovascular condition.
Overall, many have minimal issues using magnesium oil.
Most of the research on magnesium oil for health centers on supplementation or dietary intake of the mineral. There's really not a lot of research on the benefits of magnesium oil applied topically (which can cause rashes and side effects on the skin).
Leigh Winters is a neuroscientist, psychologist and natural beauty expert. She received her M.S. in Neuroscience and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. She is the founder and CEO of Leigh Winters Beauty, and has previously contributed to NBC News, Allure, Health, and Shape, and worked as a researcher at Columbia University’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute researching mindfulness and biobehavioral health.