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.
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.
- Blender, immersion blender, or hand blender or a stand mixer
- ½ cup magnesium flakes
- 3 TBSP filtered water (boiling)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 TBSP candelilla wax (can also use beeswax, but it becomes more difficult to mix)
- 1 TBSP emulsifying wax
- 1 TBSP shea butter
- 2 TBSP grapeseed oil (or any liquid carrier oil)
- 15-20 drops lavender essential oil (optional, or other essential oil of choice)
- ½ tsp vitamin E oil (optional)
- 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!