What Is Transdermal Magnesium?

Why is Magnesium Important?   

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in our body. To name a few, magnesium helps regulate normal muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, and blood glucose control. It’s also necessary for the correct formation of our teeth and bones, and is required for reproduction, protein synthesis, and synthesis of DNA and RNA. It’s required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats. As you can see, magnesium is involved in some big time things happening throughout our body.

Do I Need Magnesium?

The initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be subtle. Most magnesium is stored in our tissues so leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle twitches and spasms can be the first sign, such as when the corner of your eye twitches. Other signs include constipation, nervousness, migraine, vertigo, and pregnancy complications (ie: mscarriage, premature labor, eclampsia).  

Conditions that can lead to low magnesium levels include alcoholism, poorly-controlled diabetes, malabsorption in the gut, certain medications (antibiotics, chemo agents, diuretics and proton pump inhibitors), renal disease, and endocrine issues (hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism).

What Is Transdermal Magnesium?

Transdermal magnesium is a form of magnesium rubbed onto or absorbed through the skin. Transdermal delivery bypasses the liver and stomach, and enters straight into the bloodstream. Topical applications of nutrients are known to be very beneficial because the nutrients absorb very well. Transdermal application of magnesium in the chloride form will raise magnesium levels within the body over a relatively short period of time.

Transdermal magnesium is most commonly found as bath flakes, lotion, oil, topical spray or gel

Benefits of Transdermal Magnesium

Applying magnesium topically is linked to many uses. People swear by magnesium oil for relaxation and improved sleep, and suggest putting it on before bedtime. Magnesium is also linked to maintaining a normal emotional balance, promotes relaxation, better stress management, normal muscle recovery and skin health.


One study found results using transdermal delivery of 56 mg Magnesium per day (1). Because everyone has different magnesium needs, one tip for determining how much to use has to do with gut transit time.

Oral magnesium acts as a laxative by causing a more rapid gut transit time. Transdermal Magnesium cannot cause GI upset because it’s not going through the GI tract like the oral dosing does. It's difficult to take too much transdermal magnesium because as the tissues saturate you absorb less topically, and as the tissues become saturated you might feel some fatigue from the topical dosing.

Ancient Minerals Transdermal Magnesium

I like the Ancient Minerals line of transdermal magnesium products.They're convenient and there's a little something for everyone.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil (8 oz topical spray)

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion (5 oz)

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Gel (8 oz)

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion with Melatonin (2.5 oz)

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods


1. Kass L et al. Effect of transdermal magnesium cream on serum and urinary magnesium levels in humans: A pilot study. 2017 Apr 12.  

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