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Magnesium and itching: Why does Magnesium Oil Sting?

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"Why does magnesium oil sting?" is a frequent question amongst first-time users of magnesium oils and sprays. As a mineral that is critical to over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, topical magnesium oil can be an effective method of boosting your serum magnesium levels. 

To prevent the commonly-experienced magnesium oil stings, read on below as we explain simple and effective ways to combat the discomfort of using magnesium oil, even if your skin is sensitive. 

Magnesium and itching: Why does Magnesium Oil Sting

Importance of Magnesium in Health

Magnesium is a mineral that is imperative for our overall health and wellness. From migraines to sleep disorders and skin problems, magnesium may help remedy countless health and skin conditions. Due to the heavily processed diets of today, magnesium deficiency is common as it is depleted from the food sources. Magnesium deficiency can lead to a multitude of detrimental health issues that can easily be avoided by simply boosting your levels.

There are many ways you can boost magnesium levels in your body. One of the most effective methods is via topical magnesium application; using magnesium sprays or oils directly on the skin. However, some users report experiencing a stinging sensation on the skin after application.

Why does magnesium oil burn? Is it a good sign or a bad sign? How can you avoid this irritating sensation? 

Reasons Why Magnesium Oil Stings

There is a very strong link between low levels of magnesium in the body and the stinging caused by magnesium oil. In most cases, people who experience this burning sensation during or after applying magnesium spray believe that their skin is sensitive to magnesium oil. However, this is not always true. The reasons why magnesium oil can cause skin tingling can be any or the combination of the following:

  • Severe deficiency
    Magnesium oil causing itchiness can be the sign of low levels of the mineral in your body. Therefore, the more severe the deficiency is, the more severe the sensation. Itchiness is often a side effect when magnesium deficient skin is first introduced to Magnesium Oil. This "urgency reaction" causes the blood vessels to open quickly, creating friction under the skin. This sensation and other side effects should subside when the product is used consistently and the body no longer has the "urgency reaction".
  • Too much magnesium at once
    Slapping a ton of magnesium oil on your skin can be tempting if you are deficient, however, it is not always the best idea. Suddenly ramping up the amount of magnesium oil you apply may contribute to the stinging sensation. Gradually get your body get used to the topical magnesium oil, especially if you are a first-time user.
  • Vasodilatation
    Magnesium oil acts as the vasodilator that relaxes muscle cells and increases blood flow in capillaries. This may also cause a stinging sensation.
  • Salt residue
    Technically speaking, magnesium oil is Magnesium Chloride Brine, i.e. salt water. Once the oil has been absorbed into the skin, it may leave behind a slight residue, which can trigger itchiness for individuals with sensitive skin.

How To Boost Magnesium Levels

The prevalence of magnesium deficiency has sky-rocketed in today's world. As a result, many more individuals are suffering from health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, constipation, heart disease, fatigue, etc. In fact, studies reveal that up to 80% of Americans have health problems related to inadequate magnesium levels. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can relieve a deficiency and benefit from replenishing your magnesium levels.

Food Sources

Magnesium Rich FoodsHeavily processed food is depleted from magnesium. Raw, fresh foods contain the highest amounts of magnesium. Incorporate plenty of these foods into your everyday diet: 

  • Kelp
  • Chard
  • Millet
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Legumes
  • Whole Grains
  • Fatty Fish
  • Dark Chocolate

Oral Supplements

With a mind-boggling variety of magnesium supplements in today's market, it can be tricky to choose the most beneficial product. However, it must be noted that not all products contain the same form of magnesium.

Although oral magnesium supplementation can be a possible way of boosting your magnesium levels, they often come with irritating side effects for many:

  • Stomach pain
  • Laxative effect
  • Nausea
  • Gastric discomfort

It is also believed that only 20-50% of oral magnesium is absorbed effectively by the body, and can be as low as 4% from cheap supplemental products (1). In comparison, transdermal application of magnesium bypasses the gut and is easily absorbed by the skin cells, allowing for a larger percentage of magnesium to reach the blood (2). Therefore, if you find it difficult to swallow tablets and have a sensitive gut, you may wish to consider topical magnesium as an effective and viable alternative.

If you still wish to consider an oral magnesium supplement, always invest in a high-quality magnesium supplement. Make sure to consult your doctor before consuming them, and check for interactions with any medication you are taking. Some of the most bioavailable magnesium supplements are:

  • Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate & Bisglycinate: This chelated form of magnesium is bound to amino acid molecules, this form is quite stable and has a good absorption rate compared to cheaper forms.
  • Magnesium Taurate: A popular choice for cardiovascular support, magnesium taurate is bioavailable and has a calming effect.
  • Magnesium Citrate: This fully-reacted magnesium supplement has the highest bioavailability in the oral supplementation range. However, it also has the lowest concentration of magnesium and may have a laxative effect.

Topical Magnesium 

Less Itchy Magnesium Oil

Topical intake is one of the easiest and the most effective ways to get all the magnesium required for bodily functions. Compared to other methods, topical magnesium may be more effective. It fosters quicker absorption of magnesium and keeps the skin hydrated and well-nourished.

By topical application, magnesium can easily reach deep into the bloodstream and support the cells that need it the most. Moreover, transdermal magnesium oils and sprays contain concentrated amounts of magnesium that will not cause harmful side-effects.

On the contrary, oral supplements may have poor absorption rates and can sometimes cause gastrointestinal issues. Thus, oral supplementation may not be beneficial for individuals with a sensitive gut.

Thinking of topical magnesium and have sensitive skin? Here are different magnesium products you can try that will not burn your skin:

Magnesium Oil Sprays

The magnesium spray is one of the most preferred ways to take magnesium through the skin. If you suffer from sensitive skin, the Seven Minerals Magnesium oil with Aloe Vera spray is ideal, due to the calming and soothing effects of aloe vera. It is a 100% absorbable magnesium solution, which reaches deep into the body and offers guaranteed results. After just a few days of application, you will begin noticing positive results.

Magnesium Salt/Flake Bath

Nothing is more relaxing than a warm bath after a long day. If you enjoy taking baths, why not sprinkle some magnesium bath flakes to remedy your deficiency and experience a myriad of health benefits? From relieving stress to promoting heart health; magnesium salt baths are uplifting and rejuvenating, and good for you! Always invest in premium quality bath flakes, which is made of 100% natural ingredients and are free from toxic and harsh chemicals that may cause side-effects.

If you'd like to have a luxurious experience and enjoy all the benefits that a magnesium bath may offer, try the Seven Minerals New Deep Relaxation Magnesium Chloride Flakes. In addition to magnesium chloride, it also includes Roman chamomile oil and clary sage oil to help reduce anxiety, stress, and headaches. 

Foot Soak

Foot soaking is another way you can use magnesium salts and flakes to increase the level of this mineral in your body. The soak can tackle other issues such as toenail fungus, severe foot pain, muscle pain, swelling, redness, etc.  Anyone can try this method in the comfort of their own home and is especially recommended for individuals with the sensitive skin.

"Zero Sting" Magnesium Bath Flakes

9 Tips to decrease the magnesium oil itching, burn and sting

The sting or burning sensation caused by magnesium spray may sure feel uncomfortable for a while. However, once you have increased the magnesium levels in your body, the discomfort will slowly fade away after a week or two of regular application. 

But, if you feel excessively bothered by the sensation, then there are ways to reduce magnesium itching skin. Here’s what you can do:

#1 Choose a magnesium product more suitable for sensitive skin
Instead of directly applying magnesium oil to your skin, you can choose a product that may be more suitable for sensitive skin, such as magnesium flakes or magnesium oil with aloe vera. Another alternative is to dilute the pure oil with water and slowly increase the magnesium ration in this mixture as your body gets used to topical application.

#2 Use a magnesium blend tailored to help with a specific condition
Not only using a magnesium oil blend may be more beneficial to sensitive skin, the efficiency can be better and you can feel the relief faster. Seven Minerals magnesium oil blends are specifically formulated with your health goals in mind, by combining pure magnesium oil with supporting essential oils. Not only will using a magnesium oil blend prevent itching, as the percentage of magnesium is reduced, you will also experience therapeutic effects from the aromatic oils.

#3 Rinse the oil off 15-20 minutes after application
During that time, the majority of the magnesium ions will be absorbed. This will prevent the salt residue to stick to the skin, which may cause irritability and itching in some individuals.

#4 Never use magnesium spray before or after sunbathing
Prolonged exposure to the sun can affect skin sensitivity levels, which may increase the severity of the itching sensation experienced after topical magnesium application.

#5 Don’t use magnesium oil after taking a hot bath
Hot temperatures open up the pores of your skin, and can cause vasodilation, sensitivity, and redness. Always finish off your shower with lukewarm water to calm your skin down.

#6 Do not apply magnesium oil after shaving your legs
After shaving, your skin is likely to be irritated. Wait at least a few hours before applying the oil, and use a diluted form. If you experience razor burn during shaving, soothe your skin by applying a cool compress and moisturize the area. To prevent magnesium oil burn your skin, avoid spraying irritated area.

#7 Use Magnesium oil before the shower
Get into the habit of using magnesium before taking a shower each day. Applying magnesium oil 15 to 20 minutes before the shower allows enough time for absorption. Showering will wash out salts from your skin and prevent itching.

#8 Apply Magnesium on the less sensitive skin area
If your magnesium body levels are very low and your skin is extremely sensitive, you can start with topical application on the least sensitive area on your body - the bottom of your feet. Once your magnesium levels are up, you should feel more comfortable spraying magnesium on your legs or hands. 

#9 Moisturize your skin after rinsing off the oil
Apply a thick lotion after rinsing off the oil to replenish and sooth skin, whilst locking in moisture.

When to avoid topical magnesium application

Magnesium oil itchingThere are some conditions when topical magnesium intake is not recommended:


  • People suffering from kidney failure or other kidney disorders
  • People suffering from heart issues must consult their doctor before using any of the magnesium products.
  • People who have excessively sensitive skin.


Magnesium is excellent for fighting various health disorders. You just need to remember a few guidelines to relish its benefits without experiencing the dreaded sting or burn. Once your body has received an adequate amount of this mineral, magnesium oil itching will disappear naturally after a few days of use.


1) Bernstein, L. Improving Magnesium Absorption and Bioavailability. Geriatric Times. 2002;3(1). Available at: Accessed February 10, 2010.

2) Kass, L., Rosanoff, A., Tanner, A., Sullivan, K., McAuley, W., & Plesset, M. (2017). Effect of transdermal magnesium cream on serum and urinary magnesium levels in humans: A pilot study. PLoS ONE12(4), e0174817.

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