Monday Health & Wellness: Magnesium Lotion

magnesium lotion

I’ve been talking about magnesium for awhile now, and how necessary I think it is for many people.  (Check out my magnesium lotion, above — which I’m going to teach you to make!)

But I discovered something unfortunate: the magnesium “oil” spray (which is really a salt solution, not an oil) dried my skin out in these winter months and made it unbearably itchy.  Every night I was torn between using it — knowing I’d benefit with more restful sleep and a better mood — and not using it, so I could avoid the insane itching!  I’d use it for a couple nights, then skip a night or two, and so on.  It was helping, but not as much as if I were consistent.

I decided I had to find a new way.

Magnesium Lotion

I’ve made lotion before, and I know there are commercial magnesium lotions on the market.  They are expensive.  I decided it could not be that hard to make my own!

And it wasn’t.  I didn’t do anything fancy this time — I didn’t infuse any herbs or even add any essential oils.  This is completely unscented.  In fact, it’s sort of grayish and weird-looking, and it smells a bit like latex (because of the unrefined shea butter).  If you want to infuse some herbs or add some essential oils, try lavender, rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, comfrey, calendula, or whatever else you like.  In this particular case I was mostly after a nourishing lotion that contained magnesium and nothing else.

This is simple, requires only a few ingredients, and can be made in less than 15 minutes.


  • 1/2 c. double-strength magnesium oil* (1 c. magnesium chloride flakes + 1/2 c. water)
  • 1/2 c. avocado oil
  • 1/2 c. unrefined shea butter
  • 2 tbsp. beeswax

*Yes, that amount has been updated if you are checking back at the recipe.  It’s been doubled.  I have made this a number of times and I think the lotion is smoother, creamier, and has a way better texture with this amount.  Really, texture-wise, it’s the best lotion I’ve ever used.  And of course it doubles the amount of magnesium you’re getting so it’s really effective.  I seriously love this lotion.  Even if I were going for different properties — no magnesium, infusing herbs, etc. — I’d still use these same oils in these same proportions.  It’s just awesome.


Make your magnesium oil, if you haven’t already.  Find the directions here.  You will not use all of it for this recipe, so save the rest for another batch.

Melt the avocado oil, shea butter, and beeswax in a small saucepan.  (If you want to infuse any herbs, do it in the avocado oil alone, strain, then melt the infused oil with the shea butter and beeswax.)

At this point you could add some essential oils to the melted oil mix if you want, 10 – 12 drops.  I didn’t bother.

Pour the oils into a blender.  (Sorry for the crappy blender pics; it was dark in my kitchen and I couldn’t get these to shoot well.)

Turn it on low and stream in the magnesium oil.

Put the lid on and turn it up higher.  It will turn into an opaque, cream-colored liquid.  That is when the emulsification is complete, and you have your lotion!

Pour the lotion into a glass jar.  This makes around 12 – 13 oz. of lotion so I used a 16-oz. glass mason jar.

Allow your lotion to cool completely.  It will solidify and become very thick and creamy, more like a “body butter” than a lotion.  You might try using twice as much magnesium oil if you want a thinner lotion — I ended up liking mine the way it was, although I might try that next time.

Use as with any normal lotion, spreading especially over thin-skinned areas.  It absorbs very easily and fairly quickly and doesn’t dry out the skin.  It shouldn’t cause any stinging or tingling, like the plain oil can.  I like to use this just before bed, and I put it on my legs and belly.  It is nice for pregnant bellies too. :)

**This post has been entered in Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways.**

Have you ever used a magnesium lotion?  Did it work well for you?


  1. gretchen says

    I made the lotion and it worked great . But after a couple of weeks it separated and the liquid magnesium oil separated from the other ingredients.

    • Elise says

      Hi, to prevent separation, first pour the oils (excl the magnesium salt water) in the blender, let them cool to room temp (they will get a light-coloured cover on top). Then switch the blender to the highest setting, and start adding the magnesium water in a thin trickle, until the blender starts “coughing” and the emulsion thickens. Pour in jars and enjoy :)

  2. Melanie says

    I made this and it is fantastic. I seem sensitive to shea butter so I used cocoa butter. I also added 10 drops of wild orange EO. So…now, I not only feel better and sleep better, but I want to lick my skin! haha! Seriously though, the chocolatey orange smell is amazing and I get compliments all the time on the scent. While I’m so pleased that the cocoa butter and orange is such a fantastic combo, I am WAY more pleased that I do seem to get much more restful sleep and my sons are sleeping through the night now rather than waking up 2-3 times! I had suspected a magnesium deficiency in all of us and knew this would be a good thing to try. And, the boys love getting their feet rubbed with lotion at bedtime! :) SO thankful for you sharing this!

  3. Jenn says


    I have a question and I am just starting out with making my own skin care products, is it safe to use my normal every day cooking pots and blender to do this or do I need a second set? It would seem fine, but I wanted to be sure. Can’t wait to try this, so glad I found your post before buying a spray at the store I think i would have ended up with a lot of itchy skin.

  4. sabrina says

    I have searched high and low for magnesium flakes in my area and I can’t find any. Is there a replacement such as the gel that I can us instead?

  5. marjorie says

    So, the first time I shopped for ingredients I purchased Magnesium Oxide. Second trip I ended up with Magnesium Citrate and I can’t find any Magnesium Chloride locally so I think I will use these others and see how it goes. I’ve looked up all three and they seem to be quite similar… Do you happen know if these others will be less effective?

  6. Karen Elizabeth says

    I have a question: a friend sent me a bottle of ancient minerals transdermal magnesium oil. I love the sleeping aid effects I get from it, but it stings/ burns/ itches when putting it on. I’ve been wanting to make this lotion for quite some time now. My big question is: can I use the ancient minerals magnesium oil I already have in place of making my own?

  7. Dani says

    Hi, I’ve made this lotion twice now exactly as the recipe states. It works GREAT by the way, and I’m making some for my friends to try. I’ve been browsing through the comments and wondering what the shelf life would be. I’m guessing 1 year based on expiry of each individual component? But, I’ve heard that you need to include a ‘stabilizer’ to make it last longer. What would the shelf life be, as is? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Dani,

      At least a year. I have some that’s that old, but the oils in it are older and rancid (I’ve made new and actually need to get rid of it). Because there’s no “pure” water in this, just the magnesium water, that actually acts as a preservative, so it doesn’t need anything additional.

  8. katrina says

    Extremely happy to find this recipe. Made some avocado oil, since I didn’t have any, and my 5 year old helped me make the lotion. Now just waiting to cool

  9. Katie Jacobson says

    I have a question- your recipe above says that the Mg oil is 1 c. Mg. flakes + 1/2 c. water, and this is updated. When I went to the How To to make the oil, it still says 1c. Mg. flakes to 1 c. water. Is this just not updated? I made the oil from the other page, so mine might be diluted this time. I’m sure either works fine; from what I gather, the more concentrated oil will make it creamier next time. Thanks for all your blogs, recipes, and ideas!

    • says

      Hi Katie,

      You can use either the regular or double strength magnesium oil, and it will work out fine, the strength will be a bit different is all. In the original recipe, I called for just 1/4 c. of mag oil, but I doubled that to 1/2 c. The actual strength of the oil shouldn’t change the feel of the lotion.

  10. Stephanie says

    I made this for my toddler’s growing pains, but wanted to see if anyone else had used it for young children before I put it on him. Thanks!

  11. Abby says

    What is the consistency supposed to be like on this? Mine is rather sticky, and can be hard to spread, maybe from the beeswax? It also sometimes burns/itches/stings (maybe it was just stupid to put it on my legs after a shower!) Do you think I could melt it down and add some coconut oil? I think it is already helping my sleep, though! I am 28 weeks pregnant, and have been rubbing it on my belly at night.


  1. […] By the time I got serious about it, like, I really have to do this, I had already discovered I was pregnant again.  (This was July 2012.)  I immediately knew there was no more time to waste, so I got magnesium and began using it.  First, through baths (Epsom salts, initially, and later magnesium chloride), then magnesium oil, and finally magnesium lotion. […]

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