Soothing Magnesium Foot Scrub

Soothing Magnesium Foot Scrub Recipe

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Ever gotten cracked heels? I’m pretty sure my husband can set some records with his!

In fact, I’ve woken up at night to scratches on my legs from his heel-knives (my loving term) and I’ve even created a specific salve for his cracked heels.

Another thing that seems to help a lot is using a foot scrub regularly. This homemade magnesium scrub is a a perfect solution for cracked heels and dry skin. I love using it to exfoliate feet, but it can be used on face and body as well. It leaves skin tingly and smooth and is completely natural.

Why Magnesium?

Soothing Magnesium Foot Scrub Recipe - so relaxing and leaves skin silkyExperts estimate that 80-95+% percent of adults are deficient in magnesium, and this can have dire consequences since the body uses magnesium in the processes that regulate heart health, mental health, blood pressure, and during pregnancy. In fact, magnesium is one of the most-needed minerals in the body and is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions.

I personally use a magnesium spray on my skin each day to help optimize my magnesium levels, but this soothing foot scrub is a great way to get a gentle (and relaxing) magnesium boost.

DIY Magnesium Foot Scrub Recipe

Epsom salt or magnesium salts would be rough on their own, but the addition of a few other soothing ingredients creates a scrub that is both exfoliating and moisturizing with a cooling sensation to ease dry skin and irritation.

A liquid oil like almond or olive oil moisturizes skin, while the roughness of the magnesium exfoliates. This scrub is naturally unscented, though a variety of essential oils can be added for scent and additional skin benefits.

A pinch of cinnamon powder and a few drops of peppermint essential oil make a festive scrub, or rose petals and lavender oil make a floral version. Some other great combinations would be:

  • 10 drops lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 drops citrus essential oil and 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil and 5 drops rosemary essential oil

If you don’t want a salt/magnesium based scrub or are getting magnesium from other sources, sugar can also be used in place of the salt to make a simple sugar scrub with many custom options for scent and color.

Magnesium Foot Scrub Ingredients

Magnesium Foot Scrub Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients and add essential oils or scents until desired scent is achieved.
  2. Store in an airtight jar and use a teaspoon sized amount to exfoliate feet or body as needed.
  3. Rinse after use.


In general, scrubs are some of the easiest DIY beauty products to make, but there are so many options and customizations that I often get these questions:

How long does it last?

It depends. Without the liquid soap, it lasts indefinitely, as both oil and epsom salt have a shelf life of several years. The liquid castille soap changes the formulation and introduces a liquid element, so I don’t keep it longer than 6 months in this case (though it usually gets used up long before 6 months anyway!

Best time to use it?

I prefer to use any type of scrub just before a shower for the easiest cleanup, and magnesium is especially helpful for some people at night, though this can be used at any time of day.

Can I use magnesium oil in place of the olive oil?

Technically Magnesium Oil isn’t an oil at all but a liquid salt solution, so it works differently than an oil would but it can definitely be used in a scrub like this. Over time, some of the epsom salt may dissolve, as there is technically liquid in magnesium “oil” but it would provide a much stronger source of magnesium since it isn’t diluted by the oil, and would be safer for drains and septic systems. If you want to try this version, I’d recommend making in smaller amounts and using 1 tablespoon of each magnesium oil and epsom salt. Here is a tutorial for making magnesium oil and this is the brand I purchase and use.

What kind of liquid castille soap is best?

Whichever one you prefer! In the small amount in this recipe, any brand and scent of liquid castille soap will work and it helps make cleanup easier and skin softer. It isn’t necessary and can be omitted if you don’t have it. My personal favorite brands are this bulk unscented one and peppermint Dr. Bronners.

Can I use sea salt instead of magnesium?

Absolutely! This will technically make it a salt scrub and not a magnesium scrub, but it will still make skin silky and soft.

Can I use sugar instead of magnesium?

Sure! Again, it will no longer be a magnesium scrub in this case, but sugar is great for skin (just not so much when consumed internally!)

Can this be given as a gift?

Of course! Homemade gifts are my favorite, and I’ve given this scrub to friends, especially pregnant friends, as it seems to help ease the leg cramps that can come with pregnancy. Just make sure that it has an expiration date or leave out the liquid soap to make sure it lasts a long time.

Where do you get cute jars?

Everywhere. My name is Katie and I am a glass jar addict. I have a whole cabinet of jars that I’ve purchased online, at thrift stores, antique stores and even rescued from friends kitchens when they were going to throw them out. I always prefer to reuse a jar if possible and give many gifts in mason jars. I also have some of these cork top jars with a wooden spoon that are perfect for DIY gifts like this and homemade bath salts, clay masks, etc.

Is this safe for drains and septic systems?

Yes and no. Of course, check with your specific system if on septic before using this or any product that goes down the drain, but I’ve never had trouble with it clogging drains or messing up our septic system and I think the soap helps this.

Ever make a foot scrub? What did/would you use? Share below!

This homemade foot scrub is easy to make and super moisturizing and exfoliating. It contains all natural ingredients and provides magnesium.

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Reader Comments

  1. What do you think about adding magnesium oil to this?

    • You definite could, or you could also just rub magnesium oil on the feet after using while the pores are really open and just put socks on over it.

    • How long would this foot scrub last…

      • Hi Sherry!!! Wellness Mama said that with the castille soap, it should last around six months. However, without it, it should last almost indefinitely! 🙂

  2. Can Dr Bronners Tea Tree liquid castille soap work in this recipe?

    • I’ll bet it could – but I think the tea tree scent would overpower any essential oils and smell kind of medicinal. Up to you if you like that scent.

    • Since I have a huge bottle of Dr Bronners Tea Tree liquid castille soap, I’m gonna give it a try. I plan on making a double batch (one for me and another for my hubby ’cause he’s a scrub fiend =) ). For half the batch I’ll add in sweet oil essential oil and I’ll add peppermint essential oil to the other.

      • Would probably be really good for toenail fungus that may be trying to set up shop- especially if you use fractionated coconut oil!

  3. I just tried this scrub on my feet. I used Dr. Bronner’s almond liquid castile soap and lavender essential oil. It felt so good and soothing, and my skin is so soft. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    • How long can I expect this recipe to hold up? I would like to give it as a gift and need some sort of “expiration” date

      • Mine is still holding up after 5 months. This is the first time I have made it, so I don’t really know how long I can expect it to last.

  4. Hi can you tell me how long this scrub lasts and the best way to store it?

  5. I love this idea. I’ve tried sugar scrubs on my heels in winter but they just aren’t quite “hearty” enough. I think the Epsom salts would work great! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! By the way, one of my readers linked this post on my Meet & Greet Monday link-up. I asked that everyone link their favorite Eco-friendly posts and this article was a favorite. 🙂

  6. Yum. I just made a variation of this recipe and it was delightful.. I had a 1/2 cup of an oil mix that I used for a massive sugar scrub gift exchange (1 cup of each, sweet almond oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil plus 1.5 tablespoons of vitamin E oil. To that I added, two cups of Epsom salt, two teaspoons of Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Liquid Castille Soap and 30 drops of peppermint essential oils. I have to say that this combination is fabulous for the feet. My feet feel soft and clean at the same time. Most products (or projects) do either, but not both. Thank you for sharing your recipe. For small batches, I may add coarse cornmeal (or polenta) to the mix. It really exfoliates your skin.

    • I was thinking of making these as gifts. Would you happen to know how long they would last?

  7. Regarding the essential oils, can they be any one or do they have to be a specific type (like for skin; can you recommend where to buy them?)? For scent, can I use an extract like the ones I use to bake?

  8. Can I use glycerine instead of the liquid Castile? & also can I add vitamin E oil in the scrub? any answer would be appreciated thank you!

  9. Can I use coconut oil?

  10. where is the magnesium in the recipe?

    • The epsom salt is the magnesium source.

  11. I love this recipe but would like to make into scrub bars. Any suggestions?

  12. I used lavender scented Epsom Salts. Smelled really good.

  13. What do you think of using sea salt instead of epsom salt? I dont have epsom salt in supply so I’m looking for a quick substitute. Would sea salt still work?

  14. Hi, I have awful toenails and wonder if this would help with nail thickening.
    Thank you.

  15. Where can I find adorable jars and best price for amber glass containers?

    • Hobby Lobby carries glass jars with cork tops and small wooden spoons that hook on to the side of the jar that work perfectly for salt scrubs. They also have colored decorative jars with lids and corks, some have embellishments or a vintage look. And to make these options even more attractive, they frequently have 50% discounts on their glass decor. Other craft stores like Michael’s, as do discount stores like Walmart, carry similar jars in their craft departments.

  16. How long do I leave the scrub on?

    • As long as you want, really. I usually just scrub really well for a few minutes and then rinse.

  17. I made up a batch of some and find its best to store in the short wide mouth canning jars for a good seal to prevent drying out. This combination works great!

    1 cup Epsom salts
    2 cups coconut oil
    Peppermint essential oil

  18. My husband is concerned that puttin epsom salt down the drain will hurt the septic system. Is this true?

  19. Thank you so much for the recipe.
    Can I used a fragrance oil (musk) instead of essential oil, or do I risk a chemical reaction with the olive oil/almond oil here ?

  20. What does the castile soap do for you? I have all the ingredients except the castile. Is it essential? 🙂

  21. just tried a similar recipe that called for Dr. Teal’s milk and honey epsom salt. Don’t do it! the perfume level in it put me into major overload and am all stuffed up. if you have any allergies to chemicals etc. read the labels. Unfortunately i bought the salts online and didn’t know it was loaded with a perfume.

  22. Am I missing something? The link is for magnesium foot scrub but there’s no magnesium in the recipe.

    • Wellness Mama said in an earlier post that the Epsom salt was the magnesium source.

  23. I have suffered from cracked heels for years. My Podiatrist said it was caused by not wearing fully covered in shoes. Now I wonder if the cause is some of the problems you mentioned as I have had a lot of illnesses over the years. I will certainly give all these remedies a try. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Just one thing. ALL dr. bronner contain Palm Oil.

  25. Can I use mg citrate powder? What else helps against dry feet? Vinegar seems to be helpful, any recommendations?

  26. Can I use glycerine instead of the liquid Castile ?

  27. does the Discover Ease mag spray you use itch? I have sensitive skin… most magnesium oils I’ve tried itch like crazy!

  28. What’s something I could add to help fight athlete’s foot/fungus?

    • Try a bit of oregano oil

    • Yes tea tree oil and coconut oil. Lavender, oregano, and rosemary would be other ideas, but tea tree is a classic anti-fungal. Coconut oil also has a lot of anti-microbial properties and is nourishing.

  29. Dear Katie,
    I just want to say, what a truly inspirational woman you are. I love reading all your articles and tips etc. I can’t wait for your new book on hormones! Thank you for all that you do…

    Frustrated post menopausal 50+ in Manchester UK. ?xx

  30. I purchased a magnesium oil spray but find it very irritating on my skin, even bringing up a rash, is this usual. Always find your emails interesting, many thanks.

    • Check the ingredients, it is possible to be sensitive to magnesium, but there could be another ingredient in there that is causing problems.

  31. I mix brown sugar, solar oil and magnesium oil together for a complete body scrub.

    I also mix rosehip oil and magnesium flakes or epsom salt (I grind a little first, either in a small electric coffee bean type grinder or I use my large bowl mortar and pestle to grine up the epsom salt chunks so they don’t tear your skin, just exfoliate it. This is wonderful if you have a rash of any kind because you only need to put it on and barely rub to get the exfoliation working.

    Rosehip oil and rose rock salt are also a great combo for itchy backs, and it’s also wonderful for your face because rosehip oil soaks into the skin thus using it on your face is the answer when you want quick absorbtion.

    For a nice facial, I mix rhassoul clay, rather finely ground sea salt (you could use mag oil too, if you wish) and either solar oil, rosehip oil or avocado oil. Beautiful. Leave on 10-15 min, rinse off. No need for lotion/face cream afterward.

    Rhassoul clay, kaolin clay or french green clay are all good to mix with filtered water into a semi-thick paste and place it in your armpits to help detox if you are sick. Of course, this needs to be done in the shower because as it dries it will fall off in bits and pieces.

    There are hundreds of things you can use to exfoliate but I try to incorporate magnesium or epsom salts in all of my concoctions. I also usually try to avoid adding essential oils (except frankincense which has enormous skin healing properties). There are numerous other ways to use essential oils where you aren’t rinsing them down the drain after 10 minutes or so. They can be expensive, so I only use them for specific applications. You can order “fragrance oils” online, and those might be a better, cheaper answer if you simply want them for scent purposes.

  32. I make a foot scrub (or elbow or hand or face etc) out of coconut oil, used, dried coffee grounds and EO. I like rosemary, peppermint or lavender. This really helps with itchy or smelly feet. I soak my feet, pat dry, scrub (sometimes if my feet are really itchy or dry I use a brush to help scrub) rinse and pat dry. I sometimes slather on more coconut oil or just put on some aloe and socks. I have happy feet!

  33. Can I crush up magnesium pills to do this?

  34. Doesn’t Magnesium help ease Restless Leg Syndrome? If so, I wonder if this was used on the legs if it would help with the annoying RLS symptoms???

    • Wow. That sounds like a good idea. I usually spray on Magnesium oil at night, but this might a nice variety.

  35. I have a question. Won’t magnesium flakes dissolve? In which case, they won’t be “scrub-y” anymore?

  36. Wellness Mama – thank you for all this wonderful information! Last night I took in a bath with magnesium flakes, Himalayan salt, and vanilla as your recipe suggests. After soaking for 20-30 mins. is it alright to use soap? Just wondering. Thanks again.

  37. Perfect for dry unsightly cracked feet. Awesome recipe. Will definitely give this a try. Thanks for sharing =)

  38. Why are the ingredients blocked out in the instructions?? I’d love to try this, but need the full recipe!

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “blocked out”. If you can see the ingredients, maybe try refreshing the page or updating your browser?

  39. Hello, Wellness Mama,
    I’m massaging my feet with magnesium gel every evening. I also love to prepare my own natural scrubs. Never thought of using magnesium salt 🙂 Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  40. I think castile soap is used as an emulsifier since the liquid base is oil in this recipe.

  41. Very nice tip, thanks for sharing!

  42. Feet are an important part of our body, and it is due to them that we are able to walk and run. Therefore, proper care needs to be taken to avoid any problems. If at all some problem happens, we need to cure it as soon as possible before the situation aggravates.