Magnesium is an essential macro-mineral responsible for over 300 crucial functions in the human body. Magnesium deficiency is linked to many ailments, including gastrointestinal issues and kidney disease. Most Americans don't get enough of this important mineral, therefore supplementation is recommended. But, is it better to use oral supplements or apply a topical magnesium oil spray?
Magnesium is an essential macro-mineral used for over 300 functions in the human body.
Magnesium ensures that the heart, brain, muscles and nerves work properly.
Many people have a magnesium deficiency. Supplementing with a topical magnesium oil can help raise your levels and absorption.
Magnesium oil use bypasses the digestive system, delivering the magnesium into the bloodstream via transdermal absorption directly into the skin.
Let's explore the uses and benefits of magnesium oil, and if it could be the right choice for you.
What is magnesium oil?
Magnesium oil is a blend of magnesium chloride flakes and water. When these two substances are mixed together, you get an oily feel to the liquid. Magnesium oil is applied to the skin, allowing for faster absorption of this essential mineral.
What are the potential benefits of magnesium?
Magnesium is somewhat of a wonder mineral. Found in certain foods such as whole grains, nuts, and seeds and green leafy vegetables, it’s one of seven essential macro-minerals.
However, due to modern agriculture methods, magnesium in the soil is heavily depleted — which affects how much we can get from our diets.
Most people in the United States have lower than optimal magnesium levels. If we don’t get enough, then supplementation becomes necessary. Using magnesium oil can be a great way to ensure you have healthy magnesium levels.
We need magnesium for a number of essential bodily functions, including:
- Nerve and muscle function regulation
- Healthy blood sugar level maintenance
- Bone, protein and DNA manufacturing
- Maintaining balanced blood pressure
- Immune support
Magnesium oil uses
There are a number of ways you can use magnesium oil to build up and maintain healthy levels of magnesium. Because you apply the liquid directly to the skin, it’s called dermal magnesium supplementation.
Because magnesium aids in protein production, and protein is the building block of hair, it’s essential to have enough in order to have those healthy lustrous locks.
Applying topical magnesium to your scalp could help with hair growth because the magnesium chloride can bypass the digestive system and go straight to where it’s needed — your hair follicles. One German study found that applying magnesium oil improved hair growth. The participants showed a massive 59.7% increase in hair growth.
We all dream of a healthy, restorative sleep. Magnesium plays an essential role in nervous system function. Since sleep is largely governed by the nervous system — optimum magnesium levels and magnesium supplementation may have implications for healthy sleep.
Although research is still ongoing, there have been promising studies that show the potential of magnesium as a remedy for sleep issues. Participants reported improvements in sleep quality, duration, and relief from lack of sleep and insomnia.
Many people who use magnesium oil for pain report a reduction in symptoms. The transdermal application allows the magnesium to be directly absorbed by the tissues. Exercise related injury, arthritis, and even fibromyalgia could be helped by applying topical magnesium oil directly to the site of injury or pain.
If you choose to use magnesium topical oil for pain management, start slowly because it can make your skin tingle if you use too much too soon. Try 3 sprays at first and gradually build your way up to 8.
In order for your skin to repair and rebuild, you need healthy levels of certain enzymes which help DNA synthesis. Magnesium plays an essential role in the production of these enzymes, and magnesium deficiency leads to a slowing down of DNA synthesis and premature aging.
By using magnesium oil for face wrinkles, either in creams that contain magnesium chloride flakes, or adding magnesium topical oil to your skincare routine, you may be able to reduce those fine lines and wrinkles. Magnesium is also anti-inflammatory and can even out your skin tone — giving you a more youthful appearance.
In multiple studies and reviews, magnesium supplementation has proved itself valuable in the reduction of anxiety symptoms. Many people — including active people and female-bodied people — have suboptimal magnesium levels.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to the inefficient functioning of over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body, which are essential for maintaining homeostasis — a balanced body and emotional state.
Supplementing with magnesium oil provides your body with enough of this essential macronutrient and can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and cofactors, including depression.
If you are wondering where to spray magnesium oil for anxiety relief, try a few sprays on the wrists and temples. The act of massaging the oil into your skin can also provide a soothing sensation to your nervous system, calming down anxiety symptoms and reactions.
Headaches and migraines can be debilitating. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to the neurotransmitters and receptors that cause migraines. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can help reduce the frequency of migraines. Rubbing magnesium oil directly on your temples can be a great way to absorb it — plus the soothing effect of massage feels great too.
Diabetes needs to be managed effectively. Many diabetics suffer from magnesium deficiency, which impacts regulation of blood sugar levels. Poorly controlled diabetes leads to massive excretions of glucose in the urine, which in turn can drastically deplete magnesium levels — affecting insulin resistance.
Using magnesium chloride, either by purchasing it in pill form or buying magnesium chloride flakes and making your own oil, has been shown to improve fasting glucose levels after four months of regular supplementation.
Restless leg syndrome
Magnesium supplementation is often recommended for restless legs and leg cramps. Researchers believe that magnesium helps the muscles to relax, perhaps due to its calcium regulating properties. If the magnesium calcium balance isn’t optimal, calcium triggers nerves, which in turn can cause muscle movement.
Rubbing magnesium oil spray into the legs could help raise your serum magnesium levels, and help with the uncomfortable muscle contractions associated with restless leg syndrome.
How to use magnesium oil
There are multiple ways you can include the use of magnesium oil in your health and well-being care plan. The needs vary from person-to-person, so make sure you pick a method that feels right for you.
- Spray. Using a magnesium oil spray is the most common way of application. Make sure to use it after a shower before you put any other lotion or oil on your skin. Massage it into the skin and leave it to absorb for about 20–30 minutes. You might experience a slight tingling sensation in your skin the first few times you use it. This is normal and should ease after regular application.
- Massage. You can add magnesium oil to another carrier oil, such as almond or coconut oil. Use it this way for a longer self-massage into your skin after bathing. Or, you could ask a massage therapist to incorporate it into a treatment.
- Baths. One of the most relaxing ways to use magnesium chloride flakes is to dissolve them in a nice warm bath. You can soak up the magnesium while getting the calming effects of being submerged in warm water. This can be particularly enjoyable after a long workout session.
- Foot soaks. Adding magnesium chloride flakes to a foot bath is a great way of getting this essential mineral into your bloodstream. It’s great for busy, active people as you can fill a bucket with warm water, add the magnesium flakes, and soak your feet while you write up a report at your desk.
Magnesium oil side effects
As with any type of supplementation, it’s best to start slowly and gradually increase your dosage to minimize potential side effects. Magnesium oil can bring about an uncomfortable tingling sensation on your skin for the first few uses. If this happens, reduce the number of sprays. Once your magnesium levels have improved, the tingling should subside.
Because magnesium oil is applied topically, it’s hard to establish a recommended dose, as absorption rates can vary person-to-person. Don’t overdo it, and remember that the recommended oral dosage of magnesium for adults and children over the age of 9 is 350 milligrams per day. Common side effects of excess magnesium include diarrhea, nausea, and cramps. If you experience any alarming side effects, contact your doctor.
Does magnesium oil expire?
Pure mineral supplements like magnesium and zinc won’t degrade for many years. Magnesium is found abundantly in nature and is highly stable. However, other ingredients in supplements may have a shelf life. If you buy a magnesium oil, make sure you adhere to the use by date recommended by the manufacturer.
Which is better: magnesium oil or supplements?
Oral supplements come in the form of tablets or liquid. They’ve been used for many years to build up magnesium levels and improve absorption. However, more recent investigations are questioning whether transdermal application using magnesium oil could yield better results.
Applying magnesium oil spray topically bypasses the digestive system, allowing the magnesium to be delivered directly to the area that needs it most. This has positive implications for muscle recovery, skin health and also for those who have difficulty swallowing pills.
How to make magnesium oil
Unless your local health food store stocks it, or you find a reputable source online, magnesium oil can be hard to find. Making a magnesium oil spray is relatively easy and highly cost-effective, so why not try it yourself?
- 1 cup (0.24 l) of magnesium chloride flakes.
- 1 cup (0.24 l) of purified or distilled water.
- Pour the magnesium flakes into a bowl.
- Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the flakes.
- Stir until the flakes are completely dissolved.
- Allow to cool away from sunlight.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
Whether you choose to purchase a magnesium oil spray, or make a DIY topical magnesium at home, you can be sure that you’ll be helping over 300 essential functions of the human body operate more effectively.
If you are concerned about your magnesium levels, it's always recommended to speak to your primary healthcare physician before starting any new supplements.
Why does my skin burn when I use magnesium oil?
The stinging sensation can be caused by a magnesium deficiency. The more severe it is, the greater the stinging sensation. Start with a few sprays and build up gradually. When used consistently, your serum levels will improve and the reaction will lessen.
Can you use magnesium oil when pregnant?
Yes, magnesium oil is safe for use during pregnancy. It helps reduce the risk of premature birth, cerebral palsy, preeclampsia and eclampsia. Oral supplementation can cause digestive issues, nausea and cramps. Magnesium oil spray avoids this by bypassing the digestive system and can be easily absorbed through topical application directly on the skin.
How long should I take magnesium oil?
Magnesium oil is safe to use every day. You need a regular intake to ensure your serum levels are kept at an optimum. Once you’ve incorporated it into your daily routine, it will be an easy habit to keep up.
- National Institutes of Health. Magnesium.
- BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. Oral magnesium supplementation for insomnia in older adults: a systematic review & meta-analysis.
- Nutrients. Myth or reality — transdermal magnesium.
- Sleep Foundation. Using magnesium for better sleep.
- Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. The role of magnesium in pain.