Magnesium is the eighth most common element in the Earth’s crust and plays a vital role in the health and well-being of plants, animals, and humans. This magic mineral is essential for so many bodily functions (more on that later), but it also has a massive role in the health and appearance of our skin. Unlike other vitamins and minerals, magnesium is not produced naturally by the body, so we need to get the bulk of our intake from our diet.
In this blog post, we’re taking a deep dive into the importance of magnesium for skin health and how you can add magnesium to your diet.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral essential for our body’s overall health and function. It plays an important role in over 300 enzymatic reactions and bodily functions, helping support the nervous system, bones, cells, DNA, a healthy heartbeat, and so much more.
Benefits of Magnesium for Skin
Magnesium is truly a superstar supplement with some fantastic skin benefits.
Regulates cellular repair and regeneration
One of the most important benefits of magnesium is that it helps regulate cell metabolism, support DNA replication, and repair damaged or weakened cells. This active state of repair and regeneration ultimately helps keep our cells strong, healthy, and protected from weakening forces like free radicals.
Calms sensitivity and inflammation
If you’ve ever taken a magnesium bath to soothe sore, aching muscles, then you know how calming this mineral can be. Magnesium is known to help alleviate skin issues like dryness, sensitivity, redness, and inflammation.
Improves overall skin appearance
Because magnesium is involved with so many processes, it helps boost the skin’s overall appearance. For one, low levels of magnesium are linked to skin deficiencies in essential fatty acids, which are necessary for maintaining skin moisture and elasticity. Healthy fatty acid levels help magnesium regulate sebum production, which can tone down excess oil and acne breakouts. Magnesium also helps lower cortisol levels, leading to fewer signs of skin stress.
Treats and prevents dryness
Part of magnesium’s skin magic is that it’s a necessary component of a healthy skin barrier. It teams up with calcium to enhance barrier repair and can prevent dryness by maintaining the skin barrier and preventing moisture loss.
Reduces sun damage and hyperpigmentation
Magnesium may also be beneficial in reducing the skin effects of sun damage. A 1996 study found magnesium to have a protective and anti-inflammatory effect on UVB-induced skin damage. And because magnesium assists in cellular repair and regeneration, it can help protect skin cells from external damage like sun exposure.
How to Add Magnesium to Your Diet
About 99% of the body’s magnesium content is stored in bone, muscles, and soft tissue, but we need to regularly consume magnesium to prevent deficiency. The Institute of Medicine recommends adult women take in around 310 to 360 mg of magnesium a day, while adult men should have about 400 to 420 mg daily.
Getting your daily magnesium levels from whole foods is vital for hitting those daily goals. Find some of the best magnesium-rich foods to incorporate into your diet below.
Chlorophyll and green vegetables
- Leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens are all rich in magnesium. Consider chlorophyll-loaded vegetables to be a prime source of magnesium.
Legumes, nuts, and seeds
- Beans (like chickpeas, black, edamame, lima, navy, and pinto), soy, tofu, tempeh, flaxseed, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and cashews are all high in magnesium.
Fiber-rich whole grains
- Unprocessed grains like quinoa, wheat, oats, buckwheat, and barley are excellent sources of magnesium.
- Dark chocolate (70 to 85% cocoa) contains about 64 mg of magnesium per ounce.
- Mineral waters can be great sources of magnesium, though how much magnesium depends on the source.