083: Can Magnesium Give You A Rash?

Have you ever tried spraying your skin with magnesium oil spray only to end up super itchy? Or maybe your skin feels like it burns…

Magnesium is a pretty popular supplement suggestion. And so is this topical route!

But there can be a downside to it.

So the question is… is it normal to experience this type of reaction?

And does it mean that you’re sensitive to something in the spray?

In today’s episode, I wanted to explore why you might want to avoid magnesium oil spray on rashed skin.

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In this episode:

  • Quick overview about the importance of magnesium for health
  • Why magnesium oil may not be the best option
  • What does magnesium oil mean if it burns?
  • Alternative options to magnesium oil that won’t flare your skin

Quotes:

Magnesium is critical to the proper functioning of your body and is necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. It can help you relax and fall asleep while certain forms can have the exact opposite action during the day by waking you up.

If magnesium oil triggers what feels like a rash or a flare, you may want to stop it. Nobody really knows why magnesium oil causes itching or burning. Some people say that this reaction means you're deficient in magnesium, but there is literally no science to support that claim.

Food sources of magnesium

Can Magnesium Give You A Rash? (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome to Episode #83 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today’s episode, I want to talk about magnesium.

Here's the thing with magnesium…

Anytime you've got a health issue, it's one of the first suggestions people will make. When it comes to your skin, magnesium is very important.

But here's the thing – the form of magnesium that you take matters. It should be specific to your symptoms and issues going on.

Because this is a little bit complicated, I’m going to break this topic into two parts. Within this article, I’m going to solely focused on topical magnesium.

I’m asking the questions like “which is the best option for you?” Or “what may be a better form than another more commonly recommended option?”

First, it’s worth mentioning a few of the benefits.

Magnesium is critical to the proper functioning of your body, especially on a biochemical level.

In fact, it's necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body.

It can help you relax and wind down at night and fall asleep.

Surprisingly, certain forms can have the exact opposite action during the day by waking you up.

It can reduce muscle cramps and restless leg syndrome.

And it can also help you poop.

Magnesium and other essential oils

Can Magnesium Oil Help Your Skin?

One of the first suggestions that people will commonly make, especially if you're in like a Facebook group online, is to try magnesium oil.

The reason is that there can be gastrointestinal side effects with certain forms of magnesium when taken orally.

Magnesium oil seems like a much less risky version of magnesium that can be absorbed through your skin.

Sounds great, right?

Well, there's a couple of problems that I have with magnesium oil.

The first issue has to do with the quantity of magnesium that you’re actually absorbing. If you are truly deficient in magnesium, which I often find in clients, you have no idea how much magnesium your body is actually absorbing through your skin.

There’s no clear way to tell which makes it difficult to know if you’re truly putting a dent into a deficiency.

The second issue has to do with this side effect of using magnesium oil. If you haven’t tried it yet, know that it can cause your skin to become either itchy or feel like its burning.

I don't know about you, but the idea of making my skin itchier or to cause it to burn is really not ideal. It’s not a great idea to trigger yourself to start scratching because once you start to scratch, it can be difficult to stop.

If magnesium oil seems to trigger what feels like a rash or a flare, you may want to stop it.

Nobody really knows why magnesium oil causes itching or burning. Some people say that your skin will have this reaction if you're deficient in magnesium. But there is literally no science to support that claim.

A second idea, which seems slightly more plausible, has to do with the differences between the pH of the type of magnesium used in magnesium oil and your skin.

These magnesium oil products use Magnesium Chloride.

As you might remember, your skin's pH should be at around 4.5.

Well, dysbiosis happens on the skin when there is an imbalance of the microbiome and you can end up with leaky skin.

One factor triggering all of this is a change in your skin's pH.

According to some articles I've found, they state that the pH of Magnesium Chloride is around a 7.5 pH whereas others put it closer to a pH of 6. Either way, that’s a pretty sizable pH jump from 4.5 and could be disruptive.

But again, there’s no research on this so this might not be the reason that magnesium oil causes your skin to get itchy or burn.

Wooden spoon full of epsom salts

What About Epsom Salt For Your Skin?

All is not lost if you’ve still like to get magnesium through your skin!

Epson salt which contains Magnesium Sulfate is a little bit closer to the natural skin pH — around 5.5 to maybe 6.5.

Maybe that partially explains why Epson salt baths do not seem to trigger the same type of reaction as magnesium oil.

My suggestion?

Ditch the magnesium oil, especially if it causes itching and burning.

And definitely don't spray it directly onto rashes if you end up finding that the area just becomes more irritated.

Instead try is a magnesium bath using Epson salt in warm water.

You can also add some colloidal oats. Click here for the directions on how to make your own colloidal oats.

And you can even add some of your favorite oil to the water. You can use a little drizzle on top of the water’s surface before getting into the bath to help support your skin.

Good options could include avocado oil, hemp seed oil or maybe even jojoba. For wintertime, sesame seed oil could also work.

The magnesium that dissolves into the water will absolutely be absorbed.

So if you know for sure that your magnesium stores are low, the ideal situation is to use a combo of magnesium baths and supplementation.

I'll discuss oral supplementation of magnesium in Part 2 of this series!

Magnesium can be a wonderful thing, but you've got to make sure that you're taking the right form for you. That way, you don’t end up with GI problems like diarrhea, bloating, and gas.

If you've had any experience with applying magnesium oil, I would love to hear about it. Share with us all what you think and if it has helped you in the comments below.

As always, one of the things I ask is that you share this information with someone you know, whether it's a person or a community of people seeking out other options to try.

Sharing is a critical piece to us expanding this movement of demanding better for our skin.

I deeply appreciate you tuning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Woman reading reference book in library

REFERENCES

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-looks/why-does-magnesium-spray-make-me-itchy/

https://sciencing.com/physical-chemical-properties-epsom-salt-7217842.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25252874

https://www.chemguide.co.uk/inorganic/period3/chlorides.html

Magnesium is critical to the proper functioning of your body and is necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. It can help you relax and fall asleep while certain forms can have the exact opposite action during the day by waking you up.


Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.


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