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Can Magnesium Cross The Skin Barrier?

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Ahhh, the skin. It’s the body’s largest organ. And it plays a big job. It keeps everything that  needs to stay in, in. And it works to keep most of the “bad stuff” out. 


Different figures and percentages about what the crosses the skin barrier have been thrown out. Some say that 60-70% of what goes on the skin makes in into the blood stream. (1) But the truth is, what makes it into the body depends on a whole host of factors.


So let’s break it down. 


Do things cross the skin barrier?

In short, yes. That’s why certain patches and gels are used to deliver medicine transdermally. 


Does everything cross the skin barrier?

No. Absorption rates vary depending on: what is put on the skin, how often it’s put on the skin, where on the skin it’s applied, and what other chemicals it’s mixed with. Even an individual’s unique chemical makeup can impact the rate at which something absorbs through the skin. (1) 


What does this mean for topical magnesium supplements?

Magnesium has long been used as an oral supplement to help with a variety of health conditions. But while it needs to be studied more, topical magnesium isn’t really a new phenomenon. The Dead Sea and mineral hot springs have been used to promote healing for centuries.


As of late, studies have been conducted to determine the scientific feasibility of absorbing magnesium through the skin, rather than just relying on anecdotal proof of the benefits.


What are the findings?

This study involved a daily application of 56 mg of topical magnesium over a 14 day period. When compared to the placebo group, the group that used the magnesium cream showed a larger increase in magnesium levels from pre to post treatment when looking at serum levels and urinary markers. However, the increase was only statistically significant when looking at the magnesium level increase for the non-athletes in the group.(2) 


This study concluded that the amount of magnesium that makes it across the skin barrier depends on the concentration and amount of time allowed for absorption. In addition, it found that the presence of hair follicles plays a significant role in improving the skin’s ability to absorb magnesium.(3)


This study found that soaking in a magnesium bath improved the function of the skin barrier while improving skin hydration, and reducing skin roughness and inflammation. (4) 


The bottom line?

Some studies are making promising strides towards putting more “numbers” on the benefits of supplementing with topical magnesium. In the meantime, we think our customer reviews help make up the difference.


Our recommendation? 


Give it a try!


Our products make trying topical magnesium super easy. With our magnesium oil you can easily control the amount of magnesium that you’re applying to your skin (there’s 18 mg of elemental magnesium per spray). And with our magnesium bath flakes you can boost a warm bath by turning it into a whole body magnesium soak.


1. https://askdrnandi.com/how-much-does-your-skin-absorb/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5389641/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27624531

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15689218

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