Regardless of your feelings on modern-day wellness, it’s becoming increasingly clear that sound baths and supplements — appended to good ol’ fashioned diet and exercise — are no longer a sequestered trend. Case in point: Supplements are showing up in skincare, and skincare ingredients are showing up in supplements. (Two examples that come to mind: melatonin skincare and drinkable retinol.) Magnesium, an essential mineral, seems to be the latest buzzword blurring the line between the supplement and skincare aisles.
As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement. Retinol shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.
Health-wise, magnesium is crucial for numerous chemical reactions and cell functions, including those related to the muscles, bones, and heart. It’s also essential for keeping neurotransmitters in check, and may even help you sleep. If you’re into supplements, you may have noticed that magnesium is increasingly blended into OTC sleep supplements.
Almost half of all Americans don’t get as much magnesium in their diets as they should — which might explain why the mineral is getting so much attention in the supplement sphere. As far as skincare is concerned, magnesium has become a burgeoning trend. Below, discover why magnesium might just be worth supplementing into your skincare routine.
What magnesium benefits for skin are there?
According to Christine Chang, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Glow Recipe®, “[Magnesium is] a natural ‘chill pill’ for your skin.” Applied topically, it can calm skin irritation — whether from environmental factors, or from inflammatory skin conditions like acne or eczema. By soothing skin and reducing inflammation, magnesium can ultimately tamp down on associated skin redness, too. (Find it paired with other skin-soothing ingredients, like turmeric, in the Glow Recipe Banana Moisture Soufflé, $39.) “When used in skincare, magnesium [helps] calm [redness], soothes sensitive skin, and decreases acne breakouts by reducing inflammation and skin sebum levels,” adds NYC-based acupuncturist Dr. Travall Croom, L.Ac, who holds a doctorate in acupuncture.
Another way magnesium-infused skincare can improve the skin’s overall appearance — regardless of whether you’re inflamed or not — is by increasing skin’s hydration levels. “[Magnesium] improves and strengthens skin's natural moisture barrier,” Chang explains. (Read more about the importance of the skin barrier here.) And, ultimately, hydrated skin translates to glowy, healthy-looking skin.
On a similar note, magnesium is a key component of many people’s morning-after hydrators; bevvies like coconut water and Powerade® are chock full of electrolytes — minerals like magnesium that, in short, deliver energy to cells so that they can function optimally.
While getting your electrolytes through ingestion is an option, another way for skin to receive magnesium (and its benefits, skin-related or otherwise) might be from slathering it on. According to Sarah Lee, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Glow Recipe, recent studies have shown that topical magnesium application may be a way of getting magnesium into your body. Supplement brands such as The Nue CoTM have created products like the Magnesium Ease SprayTM ($55) — which claims to deliver 45 mg of magnesium per three sprays — for this very reason.
As it pertains to glowing, healthy-looking skin, specifically, “Magnesium [is] vital for skin cell regeneration,” Lee says. And, adds Croom, “Magnesium supports the enzymes that regulate cell repair, and [can] help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.” For all of these reasons, it’s hardly surprising that skincare brands are tapping into magnesium as a skincare ingredient.
Which skin types benefit from magnesium?
People with eczema or acne-prone skin will see the most noticable differences from the soothing properties of magnesium-based skincare, says Croom. Yet, “All skin types [may] benefit from magnesium-infused products,” he adds.
That said, it’s worth noting that magnesium comes in different forms — some of which are better-suited for specific skin concerns. For instance, “A person with dry skin should look for products with magnesium PCA,” says Croom, as this form of magnesium is a humectant and will help skin to retain more moisture. (Find it in Paula's Choice® Water-Infusing Moisturizer, $35. It’s bolstered with two additional electrolytes, calcium and potassium.) “Magnesium carbonate, on the other hand, is great at balancing the skin’s pH,” adds Croom; it’s also ideal for acne-prone skin. (Find it in the DHC® Clarifying Pore Cover Base, $19, which creates a perfectly matte canvas for makeup.)
Given its bountiful benefits for a range of skin types, magnesium is one ingredient you might want to supplement into your skincare routine — regardless of how deeply entrenched in the wellness world you might be.
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