Magnesium Oil Benefits Include Relief For Sore Muscles, Clear Skin & Boosted Immunity

Neuroscientist & Psychologist By Leigh Winters, M.A., M.S.
Neuroscientist & Psychologist
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.

Coconut, squalane, rosehip, argan—the list of wonder oils in wellness seems to be everlasting. There’s one more that should be on your radar if it's not already: magnesium oil. Magnesium has been lauded as a wonder element, and it’s easy to see why since the mineral is formed from the explosion of stars.

What is magnesium oil?

While it seems hard to top magnesium’s otherworldly creation, it can be overshadowed by its unparalleled 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. Additionally, magnesium is critical for healthy bone development, and its deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.

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. In fact, magnesium deficiency is conservatively estimated to affect 20 to 40 percent of the general population. The reason? Low dietary intake coupled with over-farmed soil chock-full of pesticides, lack of sleep, constant stress, and too much alcohol, caffeine, and sugar consumption.

Less than 10 percent of Americans meet the recommended dietary allowance. 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. 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.

Truth be told, 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. And, like copper, this mineral can cause some confusion when choosing the one most appropriate for skin and overall body care. Magnesium oil is simply magnesium chloride suspended in water.

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Is magnesium a trend?

Is magnesium a fad, or are there real benefits to this magic mineral? With many magnesium supplements on the market, you only absorb about 45 percent of it in the body. If you’re magnesium deficient, lathering on this mineral-infused oil can alleviate pestering body woes, like inflammation and sore muscles, and some even say it makes you feel more mentally grounded. One of the biggest perks of magnesium is that optimal absorption is achieved by dermal application. You can’t say that about too many other vitamins and minerals! The skin absorbs only the magnesium it needs and gets to bypass the complexities involved with minimal absorption due to gut or digestion issues.

Though it's an ancient mineral that we’ve relied on since the beginning of time, science is just starting to uncover the multitude of ways that atomic No. 12 can support modern well-being. Since many people are magnesium deficient, it's often beneficial to integrate this mineral into your diet and self-care routine. Not only is magnesium oil a nice bathroom cupboard addition for those who need better balance within the body, but it is also a go-to for those who have chronic pain, insomnia, painful period cramps, and migraines.

What are the benefits of magnesium?

Magnesium is nature's painkiller.

If any sort of body pain has you feeling out of commission, a magnesium oil massage may be just what you need. When applied topically, a healthy level of magnesium has been demonstrated to stave off nerve pain and help alleviate dull, aching chronic pain. Magnesium-infused bath salts and magnesium foot and hand lotions have grown ever more popular as some preliminary research shows that magnesium might help alleviate carpal tunnel pain. Even if you don’t have aches and pains, magnesium oil may catalyze the healing of injuries and improve overall athletic performance.

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Cramps no more.

Though magnesium is a potent analgesic, it’s also regarded as a natural relaxant. If you have bad cramping, be it charley horses that keep you up at night or painful menstrual cramps, magnesium oil can help to assuage intolerable pain. Magnesium is a natural antispasmodic. In the body, magnesium functions as an electrolyte that is critical for muscle function. Essentially, magnesium grants potassium entry into your hardworking muscle cells. Because of this interaction, it's vital for neuromuscular transmission and contraction. Therefore, when it’s lacking in the body, you may experience more frequent muscle spasms or cramping. While there is not much robust and methodologically sound research on magnesium’s antispasmodic properties, there exists evidence that supplementation relieves cramps in some patient populations, like pregnant women (of course, if you're pregnant and considering a change in your supplement regimen, talk to your doctor first).

Many proponents of magnesium suggest it’s worth experimenting with if you have predictably painful period cramps. In fact, magnesium may lessen PMS symptoms. But why just supplement when you can also get the added benefits of an abdominal massage? With the benefits of massage well-documented in the scientific literature, one study found that abdominal massage was effective in reducing dysmenorrhea, which would only strengthen the therapeutic benefit of any applied magnesium oil.

Sleep better and feel more Zen.

Analgesic and antispasmodic describe magnesium’s therapeutic actions on the physical body, but does it have any effect on the mind? Throughout history, magnesium has garnered a reputation for relaxation and bliss that makes it ideal for those with insomnia and anxiety.

The research supporting magnesium for sleep is fairly robust. 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. GABA is a neurotransmitter that promotes unwinding and slowing down. While many studies do not look at the effect of magnesium oil just yet, magnesium supplementation has been shown to greatly improve sleep quality in people who report having problems with falling or staying asleep.

Even if you’re not looking for more Z's, magnesium is critical in regulating the stress response. Recent groundbreaking research demonstrates that magnesium deficiency may wreak havoc on the gut and contribute to anxiety. But the Zen benefits don’t stop there. Magnesium has also been shown to have a harmonizing effect on mood and relieve depression.

And if you get tension headaches or migraines from being on-the-go or stressed, magnesium oil may help put a stop to it. Multiple studies have shown that magnesium decreases migraine frequency and severity.

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Better heart health.

With the brain and psychological benefits of Mg front and center in much research, an area worthy of greater exploration is magnesium's relationship to balancing and nurturing the cardiovascular system. If you suffer from high blood pressure, low Mg levels may contribute to the condition. Because magnesium is important for absorbing potassium and calcium in the body, healthy Mg levels are necessary for preventive heart health. While more research needs to be conducted to elucidate and replicate findings, some initial integrative research found magnesium to reduce blood pressure, which may help prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease. Beyond heart health, low magnesium levels can even contribute to insulin resistance. Getting magnesium daily helps blood sugar management and is found to decrease one’s risk for diabetes.

Well-balanced skin.

When topically applying magnesium oil to the skin, you are reducing the oil production of the sebum, which makes this "oil" a standout for those dealing with chronic acne and breakouts. 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 inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema.

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Boost immunity and natural healing.

And for those who suffer from autoimmune conditions, magnesium (in conjunction with other vitamins and herbal tinctures) was part of a recent research case study protocol that successfully managed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in five months. And if you’re looking to incorporate magnesium into some DIY besides oil, try making your own mouthwash or deodorant with the mineral. There are many ways and more research coming to light that demonstrates how to use this mineral to boost immunity and heal naturally.

How to make magnesium oil.

Making your own magnesium oil at home is simple and requires only two ingredients!



  1. Boil distilled water.
  2. Add the flakes to a bowl. Once the water is boiled, pour it into the bowl with the flakes.
  3. Stir until the flakes dissolve.
  4. Pour the oil into your container of choice (I use a spray bottle) and allow to cool.
  5. 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.

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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, too much magnesium can sometimes lead to an upset stomach thanks to its laxative-like properties. Also, 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.

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