Clear, radiating skin is something that few people naturally have. For most of us, we’re stuck with a canvas full of discoloration, blemishes, scars, and what have you, so maintaining smooth, blemish-free skin feels like we’re constantly mid-battle.
We cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and hydrate to get smooth skin. But could all of your efforts fall short because of a nutrient deficiency?
Where skin health is concerned, a few nutrients offer a big bang for their buck—magnesium being one.
If you’re tired of trying to maintain good skin without a light at the end of the tunnel, we’re breaking down why adding some magnesium to the mix could be the gold at the end of your rainbow.
What Is Magnesium?
You’ve heard of magnesium—whether it’s in your sports drink, your salad, or loaded in your favorite dark chocolate.
Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral that is one of two intracellular cations, the other being potassium, where it plays an essential role in enzyme function and transmembrane ion transport 1.
Magnesium plays an active role as a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, primarily in ATP production 2. ATP is the body’s primary energy source and is required for virtually every biological function, including:
- Glucose metabolism
- Synthesis of proteins, fats, and nucleic acids
- Coenzyme formation
- Muscle contraction
- Neurotransmitter release and neurological function
- Vascular tone
- Cardiac function
- Bone formation
Although most people tend to opt for magnesium in supplement form, it’s widely available in many food sources. Some of the highest magnesium-rich foods include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brown rice
- Beans and legumes
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
Everything You Need To Know About A Magnesium Deficiency
Because magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, a deficiency can cause significant upheaval and interfere with various processes.
If you think you might be low in magnesium, watch out for these signs and symptoms 2:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Mood changes
- Brain fog
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Skin problems
- High blood pressure
Although magnesium is widely available in many food sources, deficiency is common.
It’s estimated that anywhere from 15-20% of the population presents with a subclinical magnesium deficiency—a type of silent deficiency that develops largely without awareness but alters physiological, cellular and biochemical functions 2.
While both a frank deficiency and a subclinical deficiency have profound implications, the latter runs rampant and is a lot more challenging to recognize, therefore often going unnoticed.
How Does A Magnesium Deficiency Develop?
While inadequate dietary intake is a big factor in low serum magnesium levels, stress also burns through magnesium—and it’s a vicious cycle.
There’s a fair bit of research suggesting that magnesium inhibits the neurotransmission of the normal stress response.
Chronic stress increases magnesium loss, which increases susceptibility to a magnesium deficiency 3. A magnesium deficiency increases the body’s susceptibility to stress, creating a never-ending cycle.
High stress can also aggravate skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, acne, and psoriasis. Psychological stress can do things like:
- Impair stratum corneum cohesion
- Disrupt the permeability barrie
- Alter antimicrobial properties of the epidermal barrier
- Delay or impair wound healing
- Compromise innate epidermal immunity
- Adversely affect cutaneous homeostasis 4.
As a result, immune function is shifted and favors infection, which has the potential to influence and exacerbate chronic inflammatory skin diseases.
But there’s a simple solution—increase your magnesium intake.
Magnesium And Skin Health: Why Should You Take It?
We’ve all heard about magnesium for muscle tension, but what about using it topically?
The link between magnesium and skin health isn’t often discussed, but it could be one of the best additions to your supplement stack if you’re sick of dealing with blemished, uneven skin!
Because magnesium is a calming agent, it has the potential to be an excellent supplement for treating skin conditions like rosacea, acne, eczema, and minor irritations.
Because of its role in muscle function, enzymes, protein production, and energy formation, it may play an important role in proper hydration of the skin and barrier repair, along with skin cell regeneration.
Let’s break down the benefits of magnesium for skin health:
- May reduce sun damage: If you’re struggling with hyperpigmentation and sunspots/sun damage, topical or oral magnesium could help. A rodent study published in Frontiers of Pharmacology found that treatment with inositol-stabilized arginine silicate complex (ASI) and magnesium biotinate (MgB) protected against skin damage caused by UVB rays 5. The ASI+MgB treatment helped improve the skin’s appearance, elasticity, inflammation, apoptosis (cell death), and overall skin health.
- Supports DNA repair and cell replication: Magnesium is required to activate the enzymes that regulate DNA replication and repair 6. Because of this role, it can help protect cells against harmful free radical damage and inflammation that lead to premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
- Treats dry skin: Suffer from flakiness? Magnesium may be your answer.
Because it’s essential to maintain a healthy skin barrier, magnesium could help protect against dry, damaged skin. The more magnesium you consume, the more hydrated and protected your skin is.
Studies find that magnesium salts bind to water, influencing epidermal (skin) proliferation and differentiation and enhancing permeability barrier repair 7. It also helps boost hydration of the stratum corneum and reduce skin roughness and inflammation.
Calms sensitive skin and rosace:
If you’re considering buying baby products to soothe your sensitive skin, you may want to consider magnesium instead. It’s a great natural alternative to soothe redness and inflammation, so it’s often used to treat acne and rosacea 8.
Improves skin’s overall appearance:
Whether you’re looking for more even skin, more minor blemishes, or less shine, magnesium could help to enhance the appearance of skin by regulating sebum production 9.
And the best part? Getting your hands on magnesium is easy.
How To Get Your Magnesium Fix
Want to boost your magnesium intake? Here are some foods to focus on:
- Spinach and other dark leafy greens, boiled
- Brown rice
- Black beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
And if you want to make sure you’re covering all your vitamin and mineral basis, why not make a magnesium super-stack?
NutriGenesis Multi supplies 17+ essential vitamins and minerals that help skin health—magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K—and overall body-wide performance. Complexed with cofactors to enhance absorption and utilization, Multi restores nutrient levels and supports hormonal balance.
And while you may be thinking a sleep supplement isn’t likely to support skin health, research shows that sleep is essential for the growth and renewal of several physiological systems, including your skin 10.
They confirm that poor sleep quality is linked to increased signs of ageing, reduced skin barrier function, and lower overall satisfaction with appearance.
So, if you want to get the beauty rest you deserve, Performance Lab® Sleep helps you do that.
Rather than mega-dosing synthetic melatonin like conventional sleep aids do, Sleep supplies natural low-dose melatonin and natural muscle-soothing antioxidants from CherryPURE® Montmorency Tart Cherry.
And with the addition of three forms of magnesium, Sleep promotes deep, restorative sleep better than any synthetic sleep supplement can.
It’s not hard to have beautiful, radiating skin with this stack.
- Rude RK, Singer FR, Gruber HE. Skeletal and hormonal effects of magnesium deficiency. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009;28(2):131-141.
- Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics. Clin Kidney J. 2012;5(Suppl 1):i3-i14.
- Pickering G, Mazur A, Trousselard M, et al. Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited. Nutrients. 2020;12(12):3672.
- Bin Saif GA, Alotaibi HM, Alzolibani AA, et al. Association of psychological stress with skin symptoms among medical students. Saudi Med J. 2018;39(1):59-66.
- Cicek D, Demir B, Orhan C, et al. The Protective Effects of a Combination of an Arginine Silicate Complex and Magnesium Biotinate Against UV-Induced Skin Damage in Rats. Front Pharmacol. 2021;12:657207.
- Vernon WB. The role of magnesium in nucleic-acid and protein metabolism. Magnesium. 1988;7(5-6):234-248.
- Proksch E, Nissen HP, Bremgartner M, Urquhart C. Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. Int J Dermatol. 2005;44(2):151-157.
- Nourbakhsh SM, Rouhi-Boroujeni H, Kheiri M, et al. Effect of Topical Application of the Cream Containing Magnesium 2% on Treatment of Diaper Dermatitis and Diaper Rash in Children A Clinical Trial Study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016;10(1):WC04-WC6.
- Lee WJ, Kim SL, Lee KC, et al. Effects of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate on the Expression of Inflammatory Biomarkers after Treatment of Cultured Sebocytes with Propionibacterium acnes or Ultraviolet B Radiation. Ann Dermatol. 2016;28(1):129-132.
- Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, et al. Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015;40(1):17-22.