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 128 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. Linda Avatar

    I’ve made the body butter and placed it into the fridge for 15 minutes. When I got it out and began to re whip I found a lot of watery liquid in the bottom of the bowl that will not whisk in so I tipped it away, not sure where it came from . Is this normal?

  2. Jennifer Ostman Avatar
    Jennifer Ostman

    What do I do if it separates after being in the fridge? It looked beautiful when I whipped it the first time, but then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes and it got chunky and started separating. I left it out a room temperature, but it still won’t emulsify

  3. Emily Roque Avatar
    Emily Roque


    I was looking where to buy the wax since Amazon was out with the link here and came across a website recommedning Candellia Wax instead. Have you tried that? They say, “Emulsifying wax is made by adding a detergent (typically polysorbate-60 or steareth-20) to a vegetable- or petroleum-based oil. This process of adding the detergent to the oil to form the wax is called ethoxylation, which may give off 1,4-dioxane, a toxic carcinogen. The letters ‘NF’ after the term Emulsifying Wax, which indicates that it meets the standard of the National Formulary and is approved to be used in products prescribed as medicine in the U.S., are particularly misleading as to its safety.” –

    I want to avoid carcinogens but see you recommend using it in this recipe so I’m confused. Any insight appreciated!

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      Thanks for a great question! Candelilla wax wasn’t available when I first created this recipe and the emulsifying wax carried by mountain rose herbs was a vegan and natural alternative that was similar. I’d missed this link when I changed it out, but it’s updated now!

  4. Debby Avatar

    I’m confused. If you make magnesium oil you use 1/2 cup magnesium and 1/2 cup water but when you make the magnesium butter you use 1/2 cup magnesium flakes and 3 T water. Isn’t one liquid and one an applesauce consistency?

  5. Romy Avatar

    Curious if you can dissolve the magnesium flakes in coconut oil and forego the water?

  6. anna Avatar

    Hi Katie, can I add any essential oils for smell to magnesium body butter or will they react with magnesium?

  7. Robyn Avatar

    I make this recipe frequently and everyone I know loves it. I use Shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax and liquid magnesium chloride. I follow your instructions to the letter and it turns out great except the magnesium separates and forms little beads of liquid after it’s been sitting for a day or so, which get very messy. Does anyone know what causes this or if I need to do something different?

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      It has to be a specific form to be absorbable through the skin, and most powders would leave a chalky or salty residue on skin.

  8. Daina Avatar

    Love this recipe!!! Made it for the first time today:). I am a newby at making my own things. (So if I can do it, anyone can:)
    I doubled the recipe so my daughter could have some. I have hypothyroidism and wasn’t getting enough magnesium from pills but I noticed I felt better after a bath with the flakes. I don’t have time for a bath everyday so I looked up your oil and butter recipes.
    I did notice while adding the magnesium oil to the mix my mixer started getting warm. One drop at a time takes a while?. So I slowly started pouring it into the mix. Worked perfectly!!! No problems and it set up well. I am really excited to use the butter:)
    I also rubbed some on my arm and love it already!!! It felt a little stingy at first but after a few minutes it absorbed and left my skin very smooth!! No stickiness:) fan for life!!

  9. Summer Martinez Avatar
    Summer Martinez

    I am wanting to make this butter, can I use fractionated coconut oil?

    1. Milla Avatar

      I love your site to bits.
      Can I omit the wax? Will the recipe still work?

  10. Kay Avatar

    I have made this twice but my second batch separated. I thought I made it the exact same way as the first batch but this time after about 24 hours there is clear liquid in my jar that has separated from the other ingredients.
    What did I do wrong?

  11. sonal Avatar

    I have a powder that is an oral Magnesium supplement, dissolve in water and drink – Can I use that for the body butter? Do you think that will work as well as the flakes? Its such a large jar and I never remember to drink the supplement, wondering if it will work for skin care instead.

  12. Megan Avatar

    Can I leave this in the fridge over night before I blend it again?

  13. Carrie B Avatar
    Carrie B

    I just whipped up a batch of this, adding some essential oils and using a couple substitutions (what I had on hand) and it turned out perfectly! Thank you SO much!

    I have intense chronic pain from severe arthritis and degenerative disc disease, and to combat inflammation and pain, I’ve been relying on a magnesium cream that is quite expensive ($42 for 8 ounces). I’m running low on the cream, so I thought I’d give this recipe a try, and I’m so glad I did- this is even better than the magnesium cream I’ve been buying!

    Plus I added several anti inflammatory essential oils (ones I’ve been adding to the ready made magnesium cream anyway) to create something that is PERFECT for arthritis pain relief. This much more effective than the Rx anti inflammatories I’ve tried!

    Here are the changes/additions I made:
    – I used Dead Sea salts instead of magnesium flakes (since the expensive cream contains Dead Sea salts as the source of magnesium)
    – I used beeswax (because I had it on hand)
    – I used cocoa butter (because I had it on hand)
    – I added 1 Tbsp organic aloe vera gel (an ingredient found in the ready made cream)
    – I added about 1 Tbsp lemon juice (since the ready made cream has citric acid, I thought lemon juice might help act as a short term preservative)
    – I added a total of 15 ml (approximately 300 drops) of a blend of organic anti inflammatory essential oils:
    Copaiba, Frankincense Serrata, Lavender and Clary Sage (I mix the essential oils myself, in approximately equal amounts). Adding 15 ml of essential oils results in a safe 5% dilution when mixed into this recipe.

    Thank you for this recipe, and for all the recipes and information you share with us! You’ve helped me learn how to stay healthy and save money!

    1. Carrie B Avatar
      Carrie B

      Replying to my own comment to edit: I realize now your recipe actually calls for Dead Sea salts. Initially, without clicking on the link for “magnesium flakes” within the recipe, I misunderstood this to be Epsom salts.

      So please disregard the note about Dead Sea salts in my list of substitutions. 😉

  14. Kelly Avatar

    How can you tell how long one of your products last? Do you have a test? Is there an article or more information somewhere I can learn how to do it myself if I want to create my own recipe for diy products?

  15. Tina Avatar

    I love all of your recipes, but have a coconut allergy. Is it ok to substitute almond oil for the coconut?

  16. Alexandra Avatar

    How many mg of magnesium is in this cream? Per jar or per dose?
    Thank you

  17. Susan Avatar

    It seems like everyone loves this recipe so I was surprised that it didn’t turn out right. Mine did not emulsify. It separated badly. After doing some research on making body butters, I tried heating the whole thing again and then blended it every couple of minutes until it cooled. Came out silky smooth. I’m not sure why your recipe instructs to combine room temperature oils and water. It works much better to do it when heated and blend as it cools.

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