Taking Magnesium for Skin Disorders & Problems

Magnesium Benefits for Skin

Magnesium is a cofactor in more than three hundred reactions occurring in your body. It's required for energy production, gene maintenance, protein formation, muscle movements and nervous system regulation. But did you know you could also benefit from taking magnesium for skin?

From acne to aging, magnesium and skin disorders go hand-in-hand. Studies show that magnesium is essential for relaxing the body, and that includes the skin. If you suffer from oily skin, acne, or any other specific skin conditions, magnesium may be the answer you've been looking for.

That relaxation extends to other parts of your health. Without sleep, stress levels in your body increase, which also elevates your cortisol levels. Because of this dangerous cycle, inflammation becomes worse and you could aggravate already existing acne conditions. And a lack of sleep may even compromise your immune system, which reduces the ability to fight off any bacteria from the acne.

While your body will benefit from ingesting magnesium solely through your diet, magnesium oils, serums and ointments can also be applied topically, directly to the skin. This unique ability raises a lot of questions, like can you absorb magnesium through the skin or should you receive it orally, instead?

If you believe there’s a link between magnesium and your skin health, consider your diet first. You may simply not be eating enough magnesium-rich foods. However, if you have a magnesium deficiency, it’s important you answer the questions posed above before attempting to use magnesium for skin conditions, as there are so many magnesium supplements for skin in both capsule and topical forms.

Magnesium Chloride Uses for Skin Care

While there are many forms of magnesium, most topical products contain magnesium chloride. This naturally occurring mineral is water-soluble, which makes it easier to combine with other substances.

Magnesium chloride is often sourced from seawater or brine. It can be used topically for skin-care applications and to increase the amount of magnesium in your body.

Magnesium oil for skin is produced by mixing magnesium chloride flakes with distilled water — and sometimes other ingredients. The oil can be applied directly to the skin. Some of the top magnesium chloride skin benefits are using it to combat oily skin, acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.

Oily Skin

Using magnesium for oily skin isn’t any different than using other skin creams and ointments: it’s designed to remove the dead skin cells that block pores. And instead of containing several dozen ingredients, magnesium oil is typically only magnesium chloride flakes mixed with distilled water.

More specifically, studies show magnesium oil breaks up the protein that holds dead skin cells to the surface of your skin, allowing the sebum to drain correctly. This process reduces how oily your skin is while decreasing the chances of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples from developing.


The magnesium oil benefits for skin include one of the most common skin problems: acne. But, magnesium oil doesn’t only help keep your pores clean; it can even combat hormonal acne.

Studies show magnesium lowers cortisol production, which reduces acne resulting from a hormonal imbalance — a common reaction to stress. So, instead of worrying about an acne outbreak every time you start to feel stressed, you should turn to magnesium chloride for skin health.


Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that tends to affect women more than men. It causes redness, swelling and bumps to form on your face, as well as an enlarged nose. Research shows magnesium can reduce the facial inflammation caused by rosacea and benefit the entire body.


This skin condition is typically characterized by red, itchy and dry skin. Magnesium deficiencies can cause the body to become more sensitive to stress, which can aggravate eczema conditions.

Magnesium deficiency may also result in more histamine production, which causes the blood vessels to swell and leak fluid into the skin. What you are left with is red, blotchy and itchy skin.

One study shows water containing high levels of magnesium ions may effectively treat inflammatory skin diseases, such as eczema. If you have eczema, you may want to consider taking some form of magnesium for your skin, especially if you already suffer from a deficiency.


Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder that affects the skin. While there are plenty of medications to treat this skin condition, many of them include chemotherapy drugs and steroids. One was even pulled off the market because it caused fatal brain infections. With these factors in mind, you may want to consider magnesium oil for skin care. It may be a safer and more cost-effective alternative.

Psoriasis goes beyond skin care, however. This health condition is caused when T cells mistakenly attack your healthy skin cells. To combat it, you must consider your diet. Research shows Vitamin D and magnesium are both essential nutrients that help promote better overall cell function.

Benefits of Using Magnesium Topically

Why would you use magnesium topically rather than ingesting it orally? Many people choose to use magnesium oil for skin problems topically because it's easy to do. You don't have to worry about remembering to take any capsules and you avoid the potential digestive side effect of taking magnesium on an empty stomach. All you have to do is rub your magnesium oil directly on your skin.

Transdermal magnesium is also a proven way to increase magnesium levels in the body. Most magnesium for skin health products rely on magnesium chloride, which is easily absorbed topically.

In addition, some forms of oral magnesium aren't absorbed well by the body. This not only increases your chances of experiencing digestive issues; it may result in your body not getting the amount of magnesium it needs and you won’t receive the magnesium skin care benefits you’re looking for.

Magnesium absorption and bioavailability have been heavily studied, showing that you can experience magnesium absorption through the skin. Let's look at the science behind how this process works so you can feel confident about using magnesium for skin problems.

Can magnesium be absorbed through the skin?

Substances enter the body through the skin with ease. Think of your skin as a piece of woven fabric. When you look at it from far away, you can't see the pores, but up close, you can see all the pathways leading into the body. The porous nature allows toxins to escape, but it also allows substances to enter.

Dermal absorption allows substances to pass through the skin's outer layers, right pass the vascular and lymph systems to enter the bloodstream directly. While it's unclear why this is possible, there are plenty of studies that have shown that transdermal magnesium is an effective solution.

One of the pioneer studies occurred in 2000. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. determined that the benefits of magnesium that entered the body transdermally could be seen after only four to six weeks, whereas oral supplementation could take months before the benefits became apparent.

While some substances are filtered out by the body and excreted through your body's detoxification system, magnesium is one element that appears to be welcomed by your cells and absorbed through the skin with ease. This process allows you to receive magnesium cream benefits for skin health.

Taking Magnesium Supplements for Skin Care

What does this mean for your skin? This essential mineral is good for restoring elasticity, elevating moisture and supporting collagen synthesis. All of these factors prove the magnesium supplement benefits for skin health.

Now that you know more about magnesium for skin care, you might decide that a topical solution is right for you. However, you may try this avenue and find that the results aren’t as you hoped for. In that case, you may want to consider upping the amount of magnesium you’re getting orally.

It's best to increase your magnesium intake through healthy dieting. You can get more magnesium by eating dark chocolate, legumes, avocados, nuts, seeds, whole grains, tofu and leafy greens.

However, considering studies show most people in the Western world don't get enough magnesium, you may need to take other steps, like taking an oral magnesium supplement to benefit your skin.

The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends most adults receive between 320 and 420 mg of magnesium daily. However, you may require more depending on your health care needs.

Taking magnesium supplements is considered safe in most situations. However, we always recommend that you speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement. This discussion is especially important if you have underlying health conditions. For example, it might not be safe for you to take supplements if you are prescribed antibiotics, or if you’re taking heart medications or diuretics.

There are only a few magnesium side effects that most people experience. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. However, these side effects usually only occur if you take a form of magnesium that's difficult to absorb or you take large doses of a supplement. If you have kidney disease, you are at a higher risk of side effects, as your body won't remove excess magnesium the way it should.