You can put magnesium oil on your skin by rubbing it or spraying it using a spray bottle. However, there is not a lot of research on putting magnesium on the skin. We are not sure if using magnesium oil this way gives the same benefits as taking magnesium supplements by mouth.
Understanding Magnesium Oil and It’s Importance
Magnesium is a very important mineral in our bodies. Our bodies naturally make magnesium, however, we can also get it from some foods or take supplements. But here is a cool thing: you don’t only have to eat magnesium. There is something called magnesium oil that you can put directly on your skin by rubbing or spraying it. This way, your body can still get the magnesium it needs without having to eat or swallow anything. Magnesium oil is made by mixing magnesium chloride flakes with water. This creates a liquid that feels oily, even though it is not technically an oil. Magnesium chloride is a type of magnesium that the skin can easily absorb, and using this oil on the skin may increase magnesium levels in the body. Magnesium is really important for the body. It performs many jobs like:
- Helping nerves and muscles work right
- Supporting healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Keeping blood sugar levels healthy
- Maintaining good blood pressure
- Helping make and support protein, bones, and DNA
You can find magnesium naturally in lots of foods, especially in:
- Whole grains
- Prickly pears
- Dairy products
- Legumes (like beans)
- Nuts and seeds
- White potatoes
- Soy cheese
- Green, leafy vegetables (such as spinach and Swiss chard)
Some foods that are made in factories, like certain cereals, also have added magnesium. So, whether you eat foods rich in magnesium or use magnesium oil on your skin, you are helping your body get the magnesium it needs.
Forms of Magnesium
You can buy magnesium in different forms like pills, capsules, or oil. Magnesium oil is neat because you can put it on your skin by rubbing or spraying it. You can even make your own magnesium oil at home by mixing magnesium chloride flakes with boiled, distilled water. If you are curious, there is a recipe for making your own magnesium oil that you can check out here.
Benefits and Uses
Not having enough magnesium in your body has been linked to various conditions like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Most research on magnesium has focused on dietary intake and oral supplements. While magnesium supplements seem to offer significant benefits, there’s not much research on magnesium oil, which is applied to the skin instead of being taken by mouth.
There was a small study in the Journal of Integrative Medicine that showed applying magnesium chloride on the arms and legs of people with fibromyalgia helped reduce symptoms like pain. In the study, participants sprayed magnesium chloride on each limb twice a day for a month. Some people with fibromyalgia have too little magnesium in their muscle cells, and most of the body’s magnesium is in either muscle cells or bones. However, more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of magnesium oil for various health conditions.
Challenges in Magnesium Oil Spray Absorption Through Skin Application
Using magnesium oil spray or oils on your skin can be helpful for things like muscle and joint pains, migraines, anxiety, and sleep, as well as boosting energy levels. Research even shows that putting magnesium on your skin can ease nerve pain and help with muscle cramps. But, there is a catch. According to experts like Joaquin Villegas, MD, and Robert Glatter, MD, magnesium sprayed on the skin does not get absorbed as well into the body compared to taking magnesium pills. However, it could be a good option if you have tummy problems or find it hard to swallow pills.
Dr. Glatter points out that the outer layers of the skin don’t absorb magnesium well, especially into the deeper layers with lots of blood vessels. Even though the idea is that putting magnesium on your skin lets it skip the digestive system and go straight into the blood, magnesium oils sprayed on the skin don’t absorb much. Previous studies have found that this limited absorption might be a problem for using skin-applied magnesium as a treatment for people with low magnesium due to medical issues.
There is no solid proof that putting magnesium on your skin works as well as taking it by mouth. However, some data suggests that absorption might be better in skin areas near a bunch of hair follicles. Creams with magnesium might be a better choice for absorption, and scientists are still figuring out the best mix for these creams.
What to Look for In a Magnesium Oil Spray
Magnesium comes in different forms, but the ones often used for putting on the skin are magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate. Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, taken from seawater, and its dehydrated form (just called magnesium chloride) are common in creams, lotions, and oils because they dissolve in water. However, magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt, is another type used for soaking. Since most supplements are not FDA approved, it’s a good idea to look for USP grade ones. These are chemicals rated for food, drug, and medical use.
The concentration of oil sprays and how long they stay on areas with lots of hair follicles on the skin matter for magnesium absorption. According to studies so far, the absorption of magnesium oil spray on the skin is not very strong compared to taking magnesium by mouth, at least according to Robert Glatter, MD.
Dosage of Magnesium Oil Spray
Villegas advises that there is no set maximum dose for applying magnesium oil spray to the skin, but generally, it is they recommends not to exceed 350 milligrams daily when taking magnesium by mouth. However, using too much topical magnesium can sometimes cause skin issues. Villegas warns that if someone feels itching, dryness, or a burning sensation, they should stop using the supplement.
As for magnesium oil spray, the recommended number of sprays can vary, depending on the concentration of the spray. Dr. Glatter notes that researchers have not widely accepted guidelines for determining the appropriate amount of topical magnesium to use. Additionally, there is a lack of clear evidence from studies regarding the optimal dose and routine for elevating magnesium levels in the blood.
Before turning to magnesium supplements, Villegas suggests trying to get more magnesium from foods like nuts, seeds, dairy, and leafy greens. But if diet changes aren’t enough, adding magnesium supplements might be a good idea. While using topical magnesium every day generally isn’t risky, it’s crucial to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if there are existing health conditions like kidney problems or heart issues. They can help guide you on the right amount and form of magnesium that’s safe and effective for your specific situation.
Side effects and risks
We’re not sure if putting magnesium oil on your skin has the same benefits as taking magnesium pills or eating foods rich in magnesium. If you are worrying about not getting enough magnesium or just want more of it, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor or a nutritionist. If you choose to use magnesium oil, try a little bit on a small part of your skin first to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction. Some people feel a stinging or burning sensation.
It is a bit tricky to figure out how much magnesium oil to use. Still, it is really important not to use too much. The National Institutes of Health suggest that adults and kids over 9 years old should not go over 350 milligrams of magnesium a day. Taking too much magnesium can lead to stomach issues like diarrhea, cramps, and nausea. In extreme cases, it could even mess with your heartbeat and cause serious heart problems. So, it is better to be cautious and not overdo it.