We know better than anyone the benefits of botanicals like fruits and plants. But, we also know that you can find good-for-you ingredients from other sources. One often overlooked source of skin support also comes from the earth — quite literally. Minerals can offer a variety of positive effects for both your skin and your overall health. One of our favorites is something you’ve probably heard about quite a bit recently: magnesium.
You might be familiar with it from your high school chemistry days of memorizing the periodic table, but we’re betting you might need a quick refresher. “Magnesium is a mineral that plays a part in over 300 enzymatic reactions that take place in the human body, and is essential for overall body health, particularly bone health and muscle strength,” says Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
“For the skin, magnesium plays a part in maintaining the levels of fatty acids on the surface of the skin, which help keep the skin moisturized, and in maintaining collagen levels. Magnesium also regulates cellular repair and regeneration and is therefore helpful for protecting the skin from external damage.”
Unfortunately, our bodies do not produce magnesium on its own, meaning we need to look to our diets to get the recommended daily amounts. Foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fish are all great sources of magnesium, but unfortunately most people don’t eat enough of these to get the proper amount. In fact, nearly two thirds of the population in the Western world are magnesium deficient. Which is where supplements and topical magnesium come in.
When taken orally, magnesium may also be beneficial for specific skin concerns. “[Magnesium] may be helpful for acne because it can lower cortisol production,” says King. “It could also be helpful for eczema and skin allergies because it plays an important role in the immune system.”
“According to some research, applying magnesium topically is more effective than taking magnesium supplements because some supplements can’t stand up to the acidic nature of the stomach and they can lose their potency,” explains nutritionist Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD.
If you’d rather opt for magnesium-infused skincare over supplements, consider trying Glow Recipe’s latest launch, Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream. With banana, magnesium, turmeric and chia seed extract, this powerhouse potion will calm stressed skin and strengthen its barrier. Banana is a rich source of magnesium and potassium — the former helps to relax and rebalance irritated and inflamed skin caused by external stressors while maintaining barrier health, and the latter helps skin keep hydrated and moisturized, lessening dryness and irritation. Alongside our new moisturizer’s namesake fruit, it works with turmeric and centella asiatica to hydrate, soothe, and rescue stressed skin. And, for an even bigger magnesium boost, we added chia seed to the formula — according to Lockwood Beckerman, just two tablespoons of chia seed has been shown to provide 30 – 40 percent of your daily magnesium intake.
Speaking of stress, magnesium also helps to relax the body before bed. From the Nue Co’s Magnesium Easy Spray, to Luna Nectar’s Anti-Stress & Sleep Magnesium Oil, to Moon Juice’s Magnesium Supplement, this multi-use ingredient pops up everywhere in the beauty and wellness category.
And, if you’ve ever dropped some epsom salts in a bath to soothe your aches and pains, then you’ve also been experiencing the benefits of this stress-relieving mineral. A combination of magnesium and sulfate, epsom salts have been used for decades to help reduce muscle tension, making it great for anyone dealing with headaches or post-workout muscle pain.
Whether you’re looking to calm your skin, your body, or your mind, magnesium is an essential mineral that can work wonders for the perpetually stressed. Try it for yourself with the new Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream!