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.


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

  1. Sarona-Lee Avatar

    I see you aren’t using a preservative in your recipe, have you considered it?

  2. William Avatar

    The value of Magnesium is undisputed.
    However, the claim it can be absorbed through the skin has been thoroughly discredited.

  3. Karen Rodriguez Avatar
    Karen Rodriguez

    Looking forward to good results with magnesium lotion on my quadriplegic son’s legs reducing his muscle spasms. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. Margie Avatar

    Hi! I made this lotion using magnesium flakes (following your recipe) but the magnesium oil did not incoperate into the other ingredients! Can you advise me what I may have done wrong?

    1. Carrie B Avatar
      Carrie B

      Margie, I had the same issue initially because I added the liquid magnesium oil a little too quickly. So I poured off the liquid that wasn’t properly blending in, and then added it back VERY slowly this time, blending well until completely emulsified before adding in a little more. I added back about 1 tsp between each round of blending, and then the emulsion came together correctly. Hope this helps!

  5. Nela Avatar

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE! but I also played around by adding a little bit of all natural lotion to help make it a little smoother and increase some of the bulk (made a larger batch for presents) and adding some arnica oil. I’ve had issues finding a 1. good blender and 2. getting it to an airy consistency, because it gets REALLY REALLY stiff. any tips? Thanks!

    oh and I’ve also been cutting the shea with cocoa butter because I like the smell more.

  6. lisanne Avatar

    Hi, I read emulsifying wax is bad for you… Do you agree with this Amazon reviewer?:
    “This is not vegan. It is cruel to people which is worse than cruelty to animals–depending on your definition of cruelty. Polysorbabe 60 is one ingredient you can look up on the web. PEG-150 is in the “Peg” family of chemicals. PEG’s usually have a number following them, and they are a large family. There are multiple cancer risks including breast, leukemia (blood), bladder, brain, esophagus, stomach and pancreas. PEG’s may also contain PAH’s which have been known since the ’60’s to cause breast and other cancers. (PAH = polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) Can be in children’s shampoos and many many lotions and creams and personal care products. Additionally, this will not be on the label: 1,4 Dioxane …which is also in agent orange herbicide used in jungle warfare to kill the brush so the enemy cannot hide. It is related to liver, lung, gallbladder and skin cancers. The only way to know the company is up on this is to call them and talk to a scientist and ask if they have stripping of their ingredients and see what they say. If they are clueless, you know the answer. Sometimes, if a product only has one of these, like the polysorbates, it is most likely not too harmful. But mixing all these together, and with multiples, I wouldn’t touch it. Some companies make formulas for the US with the harmful and for EU without them since Europe has stricter cosmetics laws there. For other information, try Hope you are doing well. PEG’s dissolve oil and grease and strip skin of natural moisture, harming natural immunity.”
    By Jan Wimberley on August 18, 2016

  7. Angelique Avatar

    Do you need to use a preservative since you have used water to make the Mag Oil?

  8. Cheng Avatar

    Hi Katie, can I use magnesium oxide powder instead of chloride? I have a whole bag of it and trying to look for something to do with it!

  9. Megan Avatar

    Mine came out grainy and sticky – I thought I had disolved all the magnesium but maybe I didn’t.. what reasons could make it sticky though? Did I maybe use too much magnesium?

  10. Piper Wilson Avatar
    Piper Wilson

    I made this for the second time today. I’m a novice at diy stuff, and the clean up was more than I could motivate myself to deal with again, even though I loved it. But I still had all the ingredients and I wanted more.

    I found a Hamilton Beach Drink Master – – at Goodwill. I figured that cleaning a one cylinder thingy-ma-bobber would be easy AND that the mixing would go faster. I was so right!

    The mix started to turn white almost right away!! It was really loud though.

    Thank you for the recipe. I love it!!

  11. sharon Avatar

    Wondering if there are substitutions for the coconut oil? I would like to make this for my husband. He is allergic to coconut. I think he will be OK with the emulsifying wax (he is allergic to beeswax) but i could also try candellia wax (which he is fine with).

    thanks so much

  12. Carolyn Allen Russell Avatar
    Carolyn Allen Russell

    I was SLOWLY adding my 1/2 cup of pre-made magnesium oil to my oil mixture in our Kitchen-Aid when it started seeming like WAY too much liquid to add to that small amount of oil. I quit at about the 1/4 cup mark because it clearly was getting worse instead of better. When I was rereading the recipe I noticed that you can use either 1/2 cup of oil OR mix 1/2 cup of flakes with 3 tablespoons water to make your own. If you make your own, how much liquid do you end up with? It seems like it would be a pretty small amount, right? So is the 1/2 cup of premade oil incorrect? Or did I (like another commenter mentioned) whip everything up too much while trying to incorporate the oils slowly?

  13. Brooke Avatar

    I love shealo butter, it’s thick, moisturizing, but doesn’t stay greasy, (aloe Vera juice and Shea butter from Camden grey). I did 1/2 cup shealo butter, 10 drops wintergreen, 8 drops clove, 6 drops helichrysum, 4 drops copaiba and 2 drops peppermint. (Or young living panaway and copaiba) I’m very sensitive to magnesium oil straight (makes my skin itch/burn), so i added just a tablespoon of the magnesium flakes/water i mixed up (i only mixed up half the recipe) and will add more if i tolerate the tablespoon well. I stirred the essential oils into my room temp butter with a spatula and then the magnesium oil next. Didn’t need a blender or mixer all, it’s very fluffy and creamy.

  14. Sue Avatar

    Susha, I have made this and added Lavender, Frankincense, and Cedarwood Essential Oils. I don’t count the drops, just add slowly until you get the scent you like. Hope this helps!

  15. Susha Avatar

    Hello, sorry if this has already been asked, but can you add essential oil and if so what would you recommend and how much? Thank you, I’m new to this and really enjoy your site ?

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