The latest wellness trend on our radar: magnesium oil spray. Instagrammers love it, but if the concept of spray-on nutrients has you scratching your head, you’re not alone.

Magnesium (number 12 on the periodic table of elements) is a vital nutrient that keeps your body functioning on fleek.

It helps regulate muscle and nerve function; create and support protein, DNA, and bone health; and maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

You’re probably getting some of your daily recommended magnesium from food, but many people fall short. Magnesium oil spray might help with that. It also might be a bunch of baloney. Here’s everything we know about magnesium oil spray.

How much magnesium do I need?

If you have a vagina you need about 310 to 320 milligrams of magnesium a day. Pregnant peeps should get an additional 40 to 50 milligrams a day. Those on #TeamPeen require 400 to 420 milligrams a day.

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Vitamin C gets so much credit. Magnesium is also vital for a healthy body. Magnesium deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms. Even a slight magnesium deficiency can cause:

  • muscle cramps
  • appetite changes
  • difficulty sleeping
  • mood swings, irritability
  • anxiety and depression
  • fatigue, lethargy, and weakness
  • nausea, vomiting, or constipation

More severe symptoms

In extreme cases, magnesium deficiency can bring on:

  • seizures
  • heart arrhythmias
  • pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia

Magnesium is extra important for mamas. It helps support a healthy pregnancy and lactation.

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Magnesium supplements

Magnesium isn’t a one-size-fits all supplement situation. It comes in capsule, tablet, or powder form. The two most popular options are magnesium citrate and magnesium chloride.

What’s the difference?

Magnesium citrate is found naturally in citrus fruits. Its synthetic form is used in the food industry as a preservative and flavor enhancer. It helps increase magnesium levels and treat constipation.

Magnesium chloride is a magnesium salt that’s a great multi-purpose option. It can bump up magnesium levels while treating heartburn and constipation.

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Magnesium in food: Where to find it

You don’t have to look far for magnesium. It occurs naturally in lots of foods.

Top foods with magnesium

Some breakfast cereals and energy bars also contain magnesium — check the label for deets.

  • legumes
  • nuts and seeds
  • dairy products
  • dark chocolate (score!)
  • fish like salmon, mackerel, and halibut
  • spinach, kale, and other leafy vegetables
  • soy milk, soy cheese, and soybeans (hello, edamame)
  • whole grains (e.g. brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat breads)
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Epsom salts

Epsom salts (aka magnesium sulfate) is great if you want to marinate in minerals.

A nice epsom salt bath is a relaxing way to perhaps soak up a little extra magnesium. However, there’s no substantial evidence (yet) showing that it can be effectively absorbed through the skin. Still, doesn’t hurt to give it a whirl.

Of course, magnesium is not actually an oil — magnesium “oil spray” is just dissolved flakes of magnesium chloride in purified water in a handy-dandy spray bottle. When mixed it has a slightly oily feel, but isn’t actually an oil — but the name stuck.

You’ll find dozens of varieties of magnesium spray online. You can also DIY it.

What you can use it for

  • Spray where it hurts. Magnesium spray might help relieve cramping and pain. One 2015 study showed that topical magnesium helped relieve pain for 24 women with fibromyalgia.
  • Magnesium might zap your zits. The spray may help treat acne and reduce inflammation.
  • Some peeps apply it to their scalps for a fuller head of hair. But there’s not a lot of science to back this.
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Keep in mind, there’s not a whole lot of research on magnesium spray. Despite this, social media is chock full of folks claiming it helps with:

  • PMS symptoms
  • workout recovery
  • anxiety and irritability
  • intense headaches and/or migraines

PSA: Always listen to science over social media gurus. It’s still unknown if magnesium spray can efficiently absorb through the skin and enter your bloodstream.

Using magnesium in spray form is super easy. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make sure your skin is free of other oils and lotions.
  2. Spray or rub magnesium “oil” on clean skin.
  3. Wait at least 30 minutes before showering it off.

Def do a patch test before slathering yourself up with it. You may get some tingling, stinging, or burning with topical magnesium. But those side effects should be pretty mild and short-lived. Don’t use the spray on open wounds or rashes.

Magnesium overdose

Magnesium overdose is rare but possible. Certain meds can increase your risk. These include medications for:

  • low blood pressure
  • kidney disease or dysfunction
  • anti-anxiety

Have a chat with your health professional before giving magnesium supplementation a whirl.

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Magnesium spray isn’t a cure-all — and like all nutrients, you don’t want to overdo it. Start with magnesium-rich foods as part of a balanced diet. Then, if you still want to slay spray all day, check with your doctor first. Once you get the OK, give it a whirl and see what happens!