Magnesium Lotion For Better Sleep (and Healthier Skin)

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Magnesium Lotion For Better Sleep (and Healthier Skin)

I’ve posted before about how to make your own magnesium oil. But I wanted to come up with something that was a little more moisturizing and even more skin nourishing. This magnesium lotion/body butter hydrates skin and is a great way to get more magnesium in your skincare routine.

Benefits of Magnesium

Our skin absorbs what we put on it, which can be a good thing or a bad thing! Here we’re using it to our advantage. I take magnesium supplements because unfortunately our soil and food are depleted of this vital nutrient. And most of the population has a magnesium deficiency. I also like using topical magnesium on my skin, especially at night.

Our muscles (and many other things!) need magnesium to function properly. When we don’t have enough it can lead to leg cramps, migraines, and restless legs. I don’t give my kids melatonin, but I will rub this on their feet at night to help them get restful sleep. For some people, myself included, magnesium can be more energizing. So I use magnesium body lotion during the daytime.

Why Make Magnesium Cream?

I like making my own skincare products when I can because they’re often healthier and cheaper. Some magnesium lotion brands have sulfates and parabens, but we’re skipping those here. Other common ingredients are capric triglyceride, MSM, xanthan gum, and glyceryl stearate. Not really things I have on hand in my kitchen.

Magnesium Body Butter

This recipe uses all natural moisturizing ingredients to make dry skin soft and silky. Many people notice a tingling or burning feeling the first time using magnesium oil spray. Because this magnesium is blended in a thick lotion/body butter base I’ve found it’s more comfortable to use.

Some lotion recipes add glycerin and aloe, but I opted not to here. While they’re both great for healthy skin, too much glycerin can make skin feel sticky. And aloe really shortens the shelf life.

Magnesium Lotion Ingredients

I did use Coconut oil and shea butter, which both have a naturally mild SPF of 4-5. While it won’t work the same as sunblock, it does help the skin be more resilient. Our bodies also need magnesium to absorb vitamin D from the sun, so this magnesium lotion is great for mild sun exposure.

You’ll notice a few other unique ingredients in this recipe. Instead of beeswax to thicken, I use a blend of candelilla and emulsifying wax. Candelilla is a hard plant wax that thickens without being greasy. And the emulsifying wax helps the magnesium water combine with the oily ingredients.

If you don’t have either of those, you can use beeswax, but it’s harder to clean up and feels heavier on the skin. It’s also trickier to get the magnesium lotion to not separate.

Non-Greasy Feel

A lot of body butters can feel really heavy on the skin. This is more of a thick lotion consistency and absorbs faster. It uses a blend of waxes and oils that help it to not feel as greasy as some body cream and body butter options.

The Right Magnesium

There are lots of different types of magnesium, but not all of them will work in a lotion. Magnesium supplements (like magnesium citrate) will leave a gritty feel and don’t really work. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), can work if it’s dissolved enough, but it’s not ideal.

Magnesium lotion uses magnesium chloride as its magnesium source. I use these unscented magnesium bath flakes to make pure magnesium oil for the lotion. They’re made from Zechstein magnesium chloride harvested from ancient seabeds.

Basically, you want it to say magnesium chloride on the ingredients list.

Adding Essential Oils

A lot of my skincare recipes rely on essential oils for their scent and health-promoting properties. You could add whatever skin safe essential oil you prefer to the formulation for scent. I used lavender because it’s great for soothing irritated skin and helps the mind and body relax at night. I avoid using certain citrus essential oils because they can cause photosensitivity for daytime use.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, make sure the essential oil you use is pregnancy or breastfeeding safe. Or just leave it out and have an unscented version.

How to Use Magnesium Lotion

I use this or regular magnesium oil on my kid’s feet each night to help them sleep and boost magnesium levels. It’s also a great product to use for sore or restless muscles. You don’t need to use it all over like a body lotion for results, but you could if you wanted to. It may clog pores if used on the face though.

Because it has oils that help with vitamin D absorption and mild sun protection, I’ll use it before going outside in the warmer months. 

magnesium lotion
4.16 from 137 votes

Magnesium Lotion

All natural moisturizing ingredients make skin soft and silky in this thick lotion. Magnesium aids restful sleep, reduces muscle soreness, and boosts vitamin D absorption.
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time15 minutes
Cooling Time15 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Yield: 12 ounces
Author: Katie Wells



  • Place magnesium flakes into the mason jar and add the boiling water, stirring until the magnesium dissolves.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Put the coconut oil, shea butter, emulsifying wax, candelilla wax, and grapeseed oil into the top of the double boiler and turn on medium heat. You can also use a heat safe glass bowl on top of a pot filled halfway with water.
  • Stir frequently until the ingredients are melted and completely combined.
  • Pour the melted oil mixture into a mixing bowl or blender. Let the mixture cool until it's room temperature and slightly opaque. I put mine in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to speed up the process.
  • Add the essential oils and vitamin E if using.
  • Use a hand blender, immersion blender, or regular blender on medium speed to start blending the cooled oil mixture. You can also use a stand mixer.
  • While the oil mixture is mixing/blending, very slowly add the dissolved magnesium mixture. Start with just a few drops, and then pour in a very thin stream. Continue to mix until fully incorporated.
  • Transfer the magnesium lotion to a glass container.


  • If you have pre-made magnesium oil on hand, you can use ½ cup of that instead of the magnesium flakes and boiling water.
  • Store in the fridge for a cooling lotion, or at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to two months.

Storage and Shelf Life

Magnesium body butter doesn’t have any preservatives, so I make it in smaller batches. It keeps for up to two months without a problem. It can also be stored in the fridge for a thicker and cooling lotion. It’s great to use after sun exposure to help the body absorb Vitamin D. You can also add some vitamin E to extend the life of the oils and shea butter (though it’s not an antimicrobial).

Where to Buy Magnesium Lotion

If you’re short on time or just don’t feel like making it, you can buy healthy magnesium lotion online. This Magnesium Lotion Shop sells hand-crafted jars that everyone seems to love! They have a fragrance-free version or one with lavender essential oil.

Have you ever used magnesium oil or lotion before? Did you notice a difference? Leave a comment and let me know!

Magnesium is a vital nutrient for the body and this magnesium body butter includes natural ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter for healthy skin.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


517 responses to “Magnesium Lotion For Better Sleep (and Healthier Skin)”

  1. Michelle Avatar

    I bought some magnesium oil and it’s just too much for me to use (the whole itchy skin thing). Is there a way to substitute that in lieu of the magnesium flakes? I’d love to make something that I can easily use.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      You might be able to use the magnesium oil instead of the flakes dissolved in water (which is essentially just making your own magnesium oil). Maybe 1/2 cup of the premade magnesium oil would work here?

  2. Jeanette Lundell Avatar
    Jeanette Lundell

    If you’re adding the magnesium to body butter, are you still dissolving in water? Can you dissolve it in double boiler with butters, and coconut oil? I feel like the water would mess with the butter consistency.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The magnesium flakes need dissolved in water since they’re water soluble. The emulsifying wax is what combines the water and oil soluble ingredients together to make a lotion consistency.

    2. Laurie Avatar

      If I buy the topical magnesium through the link, will that also have a short shelf life? If yes, i am thinking maybe I should share it with another person.
      Unrelated to the magnesium, I thought I heard you say that progestin is better than taking estrogen-as it doesn’t cause cancer. I heard on antihero podcast that progestin has side effects and should be avoided. Am 62 and have issues with hormonal imbalance but don’t know what specific blood tests to do. (The podcast is Naturally Nourished-how to naturally increase your progesterone.)

  3. Adrienne Avatar

    I used the beeswax with another ingredient and it emulsified perfectly. (no emulsifying wax)

  4. Penny Welch Avatar
    Penny Welch

    I have made your recipe and loved it. I found it very greasy and sticky. If I could add arrowroot powder to your recipe. How much would be needed for this recipe?

  5. Chrissie Avatar

    Hi I’d like to make my next batch of this but a more thinner consistency as I’d like ease of application and store it in a sqezzy tube. Does anyone know how I could adjust this recipe that I love and use daily so that I can store it in tubes instead of a jar? Would I increase the liquid oil or reduce the wax? Thank you to any replies. I need to make next batch asap.

  6. Cyndi Avatar

    How much vitamin E should I add to cause it to the last longer?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Generally you would have the vitamin E be 1% of the recipe. In this case that would be about 1/2 teaspooon of vitamin E oil.

  7. Sonia Avatar

    Can this be stored in the tin containers, or should it only be glass?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The entire recipe has about 7.5 grams of elemental magnesium. How much you use depends on the individual, and how much their body personally absorbs. Generally, you’d apply a thin layer to the bottoms of the feet, legs, or any other desired area. Using too much if your body isn’t used to it yet can cause a burning feeling, so it’s usually recommended to start with a small amount on a smaller area of the body, not all over.

  8. Brandi Parkison Avatar
    Brandi Parkison

    I have been making this recipe for a few months now AND it is divine!
    I am a little confused though because it seems that you may have changed it a little bit.
    I have always adapted to use beeswax, but I don’t recall using a lighter carrier oil…
    I also think it was called butter not lotion.
    Have I missed a different recipe, have you changed it, or am I just loosing it, lol!
    I regrettably had not printed it out until recently AND I saw that you edited the post November 9.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The original recipe used 3 TBSP of shea butter and omitted the carrier oil. It also used only candelilla wax (with a beeswax option) instead of also using emulsifying wax. The new recipe is less greasy feeling, absorbs faster, and holds together better without seperating, but you can always use the older version if preffered.

  9. Lauren Kimbell Avatar
    Lauren Kimbell

    Hello, I would like to know How many milligrams of magnesium are in this lotion? Approximately

  10. Monica Avatar

    5 stars
    I just made this (so I can’t speak to its efficacy) but the consistency is great. I substituted beeswax (only wax I had on hand) and added 1 TBS of cocoa butter. I’m happy to have another supplement for magnesium besides magnesium oil.

  11. Milla Avatar

    Just made a batch and it’s separated next morning! 🙁 how can I salvage it?
    Also it is normal to experience itching/ burning after applying this?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Did you try stirring it really well? Sometimes that’s enough to get it to combine. Another possible option is to melt it back down, add an emulsifying wax, then try reblending. That may or may not work at this point though. If you’re new to using topical magnesium it can sting the first few times, either because of a magnesium deficiency, or too much is used at once.

  12. Lynne Avatar

    For the people who find the Magnesium oil to itchy, why not just put 1/4 cup in a bath or foot bath every day until your magnesium levels come up? And it is very hard to dissolve Magnesium chloride in that small amount of water, you should use equal amounts of salt and water.

    1. Glaucia Avatar

      2 stars
      Products that contain water need a preservative. Please, be careful. If you don’t see mold in it after a few days it doesn’t mean the product is safe from microorganisms like bateria that grow in products that contain water. You can use a natural preservative like Euxyl K 903. Keeping the product in the fridge will make it last probably a couple weeks.

  13. Lauren Avatar

    Hi there! I was searching in the comments to see if anyone else asked this question but I didn’t want to search through all 400+. Haha. My question is in regards to using the water with the magnesium, could the presence of water potentially grow mold in the final product? I was just asking because I’d like to make a sleepy lotion bar with a few other ingredients to promote sleep. Like cbd oil etc etc. So, I don’t want to end up wasting any cbd if it could end up moldy.

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