Magnesium Oil 101: How to Make and Use It


Nutrients applied to the skin are efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream. That is why we shouldn’t put anything on our skin that we don’t want coursing through our blood. And that is also why this homemade magnesium oil works so well: it’s a supplement we take through the skin.

What is magnesium oil?

Actually, it’s not an oil. It feels slippery like oil, but it is a solution of magnesium chloride flakes in water. (I recommend Ancient Minerals magnesium flakes.) You can purchase magnesium oil, but making it yourself provides a WAY more economical option. It provides the benefits of magnesium supplementation in an absorbable form.

Additionally, the body will only take what it needs through the skin. Whereas taking some supplements orally can cause an over-abundance in the body, this is not usually the case for transdermal therapy.

Benefits of magnesium oil

Magnesium deficiency is widespread and the use of magnesium oil can restore healthy magnesium levels in your body. Dr. Sircus, a leading magnesium researcher and author of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, says

After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies, vitally important yet hardly known. It is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and regulates all three of them. Millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.

Another interesting connection Dr. Sircus makes is how excessive thirst often signals magnesium deficiency and mineral imbalance. I wanted to point this out to you because I’ve had many readers ask why they suffer from excessive thirst:

In fact there happens to be a relationship between what we perceive as thirst and deficiencies in electrolytes. I remember a person asking, “Why am I dehydrated and thirsty when I drink so much water?” Thirst can mean not only lack of water but it can also mean that one is not getting enough nutrients and electrolytes. Magnesium, Potassium, Bicarbonate, Chloride and Sodium are some principle examples and that is one of the reasons magnesium chloride is so useful.

These are just some of the vital roles magnesium plays in the body:

  • Necessary cofactor for more than 300 enzyme reactions in your body
  • Needed for the relaxation of muscles so it is a key treatment for muscle cramps
  • Required for stable blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. Consumption of refined sugars deplete magnesium.
  • Vital for cardiovascular health
  • Key for balancing hormones for both men and women because it supports balanced minerals in the body
  • Needed in increased quantities during periods of increased emotional or physical stress, since stress burns through magnesium stores
  • Essential for mood regulation, particularly reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of wellbeing

How can you benefit by using magnesium oil? These are a few of the ways magnesium oil therapy works to improve symptoms by reducing the magnesium deficiency in your body:

  • Supports overall health and a suitable supplement for most individuals
  • Reduces (and should eventually stop) muscle cramping, including menstrual cramps
  • Improves sleep, because magnesium is a “calming” and “soothing” mineral
  • Very helpful in reducing symptoms of PMS including bloating, mood swings and breast tenderness
  • Widely helpful for headaches and even migraines, according to Dr. Sircus. Many individuals have reported profound improvement in migraines when they use magnesium oil regularly.
  • A key part of any hormone-balancing protocol, because magnesium helps balance the other minerals and hormones in the body
  • As an anti-stress agent in the body, it often promotes a sense of peace and wellbeing. It is very helpful in depression and anxiety.

Magnesium Oil Recipe

  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup magnesium chloride flakes
  • Spray bottle
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a non-aluminum saucepan. Turn off the heat and stir in the magnesium flakes until dissolved. When cool, pour into your spray bottle. No refrigeration is necessary.
  2. Spray it on to the body (details below) and lightly rub it in. It may still feel a bit greasy or moist on the skin. For me, it is fully absorbed without a residue within a few minutes. Use anywhere from 10-30 sprays per day. 

How to apply magnesium oil

Expect a tingling sensation when you first start to use magnesium oil. If this is your first time using magnesium oil, apply it to a small test patch first, to gauge the intensity of the tingling. (P.S. – I’m using the term tinglingas a euphemism for stinging.)

Many people say that the tingling will decrease over time, as your body becomes less deficient in the nutrient. This was definitely true for me, although it still feels slightly unpleasant for a few minutes after application. But the health benefits are totally worth it!

Although it varies from person-to-person, there are general areas that are less sensitive to the magnesium oil and make better application sites. In my experience, areas with more adipose tissue (a.k.a. the plump areas) are less sensitive. Try the thighs, hips and belly. Shins and forearms also work well for me. Try to avoid the creases of the elbows, behind the knees, creases of the bottom, and the neck if you are experiencing tingling. These areas are usually more sensitive.

Do NOT apply magnesium oil to your legs after shaving them – ouchie! I recommend waiting at least 12 hours before applying to shaved legs. If you experience no tingling when applying magnesium oil, you may be able to tolerate post-shave application.

Dry brushing makes the skin more sensitive to magnesium oil. (Dry brushing is a practice to simulate the lymphatic system and improve skin tone). I dry brush in the evening, before my shower, and I find that applying the magnesium oil immediately post-shower creates intense tingling. So, I wait until the morning to apply magnesium oil, which gives my skin a period to “de-sensitize” from the dry brushing.

You may notice a slight white film or powder on your skin after the magnesium oil dries. You can wipe or rinse this off, or briskly rub your skin and it will disappear.

Wait at least 30 minutes before showering or bathing after applying magnesium oil, to ensure that the magnesium has absorbed into the skin and will not be rinsed off.

Additional magnesium oil uses

  • Homemade magnesium oil makes a cheap and non-toxic deodorant! Again, if you experience any tingling with the oil on other body parts, do not apply it after shaving your pits.
  • Get beachy waves by spritzing your damp hair very lightly with your magnesium oil. This doesn’t work for all hair types, but if you have a natural wave to your hair, magnesium oil can add volume and beachy texture. You’ll probably notice your hair looks like you just came back from an ocean dip.
  • Take your bottle of magnesium oil with you to a massage. The masseuse can use then oil as a massage lotion and you will get a double whammy of relaxation from the magnesium and body work. Only do this if you are not having tingling after applying the oil or request that the oil only be massaged onto non-sensitive areas, such as the thighs.
  • Dr. Sircus says that magnesium oil boosts healing after a sports injury. Applying it anywhere will support muscle healing, but you can also apply it to the area of a sore muscle.
  • Muscle cramps? Immediately reach for your magnesium oil! Frequent muscle cramps will disappear as you use magnesium oil long-term and improve mineral balance with unrefined salt. But immediate application of magnesium oil can help instantly reduce a muscle cramp. I keep a small bottle of magnesium oil in my ballet bag, just in case I experience a calf or foot cramp.
  • Add magnesium oil to your bath. However, it’s easier to just add the magnesium flakes directly into your bath instead of first making magnesium oil with it. Use the equivalent of 1/2 cup (or more) magnesium flakes per bath. Magnesium in the bath is absorbed into the skin and magnesium baths are deeply soothing and relaxing before bed.

Do you use magnesium oil? Have you noticed a difference after using it? 

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