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Does Magnesium Help When Applied Topically to the Skin?

Question:
Do magnesium creams, sprays and oils really work?

Answer:
Topical magnesium products such as MagPro, Fibro Flex and BetterYou are often promoted as easy, effective ways to get magnesium and to reduce muscle pain and cramps, improve flexibility, and promote relaxation and sleep. However, there is little reliable clinical evidence showing these products are effective and topical magnesium products may cause skin irritation, itching and rash. This is discussed in the Magnesium Creams, Sprays and Oils section of the Magnesium Supplements Review.

Be aware that some companies claim this irritation is a sign of magnesium deficiency, but this is not scientifically supported.

If you need supplemental magnesium, see our Top Picks among the magnesium supplements that have passed our tests of quality.

Learn more about magnesium:



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I've read that magnesium deficiency is rare but also that most people don't get enough magnesium. How can these both be true? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

Tim and Joe16595   March 16, 2018
I am a competitive athlete (Scottish Highland Games), and the events that I participate in are high intensity - long duration events that have athletes crawling off the field of competition after 8-10 hours of competition. needless to say, there is a lot of muscle soreness at the end of such a competition. To keep this short, I won't bore you, but I experimented and used mag oil on only leg after competition. The next two days had a markedly difference between the two legs. no soreness on leg that I used the mag oil, normal soreness & tightness on the leg without. I use it after EVERY competition now.

Mildred16560   March 11, 2018
Regarding your report on topical magnesium products: my elderly mother suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome and when it hits (about every other night) the only relief she can get is by using spray-on magnesium (salts). True that it tends to dry the skin, but the relief is remarkable. Usually within 30 minutes, or less, she is back to sleep with no further RLS.--

ConsumerLab.com   March 12, 2018
Hi Mildred - Thank you for sharing this. You may be interested in our CL Answer about supplements for restless leg syndrome https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/do-any-supplements-help-for-restless-legs-syndrome/supplements-restless-legs-syndrome/.

Lesley16557   March 11, 2018
" little reliable clinical evidence showing these products are effective " doesn't mean they don't work. After years of exposure to pesticide (over 20 years ago now), I now get cramps in my feet and up the front of my shins only if I've inadvertently been exposed to pesticide again or, interestingly, those plug-in room deodorisers. Magnesium oil rubbed onto the spot will give almost instant, complete relief and I know many elderly people who wake in the night with horrible cramp, who have the same result magnesium oil.

ConsumerLab.com   March 12, 2018
Hi Lesley - Thank you for sharing your experience with magnesium oil.

gail16554   March 11, 2018
I have a genetic muscle disorder that causes my muscles to painfully contract and not release. I do get botox injections every 3 months and that does help but I am limited to how much botox I can receive at one time. This being the case, I have the injections in my upper traps since they are the worse.

I found out about magnesium oil some years back and it has been able to give me relieve in my other muscles that are contracted.

It's important to buy magnesium oil with no water added, just magnesium chloride.

I know for a fact, from my personal experience, that this type of magnesium oil works. Since my muscles are so tightly contracted, I don't spray it on but pour some into my hands and apply it generously. I then wrap the area with saran wrap. I do this at night while watching tv and remove it before going to bed.

I know that this sounds extreme but desperate times call for desperate measures!

I hope that this helps someone out there :)

daliya 16566   March 12, 2018
thanks for the tips. I think the saran wrap keeps it warm and that might be a lso healing
can you have baths with magnesium sulpate befre bed. Sorry for your struggles. I tale 1000mg of magneuim and tumeric and berberine and bone borth and that seems to help as well .

ConsumerLab.com   March 19, 2018
Hi Daliya - Thank you for sharing this; however, that is a large dose of magnesium. Please see the What to Consider When Using (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/magnesium-supplement-review/magnesium/#using) and Dosage (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/magnesium-supplement-review/magnesium/#dosing) sections of the Magnesium Supplements Review.

Patty16552   March 11, 2018
Regarding effectiveness of topically applied magnesium, I was surprised and abit dismayed you did not review the work of Dr Norm Shealy. This slightly shakes my faith in your process.

ConsumerLab.com   March 12, 2018
Hi Patty - We discuss Dr. Shealy's research and the issues with it in the Magnesium Creams, Sprays and Oils section of the Magnesium Review: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/magnesium-supplement-review/magnesium/#spray

Patty16565   March 12, 2018
Thank you.

ConsumerLab.com   March 12, 2018
You're welcome Patty!


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This CL Answer initially posted on 3/10/2018.
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