Perhaps the most overlooked mineral in our body that plays a part in over 300 enzymatic reactions inside of us is magnesium. Everybody needs magnesium. It synthesizes proteins, passes signals in the nervous system, controls blood glucose levels, and is responsible for proper bone development. In fact, magnesium deficiency is linked to chronic inflammation which leads to aging, obesity, and chronic disease. It is best known as the body’s mineral powerhouse yet nearly 80% of the population is reported to be magnesium-deficient.
In relation to our skin, magnesium does a kick-ass job at fighting nearly all major underlying causes of acne. What’s more, is that magnesium fights anxiety and stress. You know how your skin frantically breaks out into acne and pimples in times of stress over a school assignment, getting that job interview, and/or even managing your kids? Yeah, me too. When we’re in a state of stress our cortisol levels build-up, causing the skin to secrete more sebum which worsens acne and causes damage to your skin. Consider magnesium as the superhero in this fight against stress and clogged pores. Essentially, magnesium regulates the adverse effects of stress hormones and earns its nickname as the “relaxation mineral’. Your body will be better able to manage anxiety and stress when increasing your magnesium intake because it stabilizes hormonal imbalances that would have otherwise caused acne. It is essential for your life and everyday beauty routine as it encourages healthy skin tissue growth. This isn’t to say that you should rely on magnesium to get rid of your stress; you’ve got to play an active role in trying to self-manage it too.
Magnesium also assists with DNA repair and replication. It protects the skin from harmful free radical damage and inflammation which lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, it aids in skin recovery when it is disturbed and under attack, acting as a shield against external skin damage. Those with magnesium deficiency most likely exhibit a lack of moisture in their skin which leads to dryness, and lack of tone because of the lower levels of fatty acids on the skin. As such, the lack of magnesium can make us age faster.
So, where can you find magnesium and how should you use it to improve your skin’s overall health?
For starters, magnesium can be found in the form of supplement capsules, bath salts, oils, and over-the-counter medications—like antacids and laxatives. It is also naturally available in many foods and can be ingested or used topically. Magnesium-rich foods are great for the skin, and its highest concentrations are found in dark green leafy vegetables, spirulina, fish, avocado, whole grains, legumes, dairy products, pumpkin seeds, black beans, and even dark chocolate.
It is important to also be aware of the quantities of magnesium intake. Like everything in life, balance is key! It is recommended that women between the ages of 19 and 30 have a daily dose of 310 mg, and those between 31 and 50 are supposed to take 320 mg. Ensure you don’t overdo it. Ingesting too much magnesium can cause diarrhea, cramps, and nausea, so it is important to consult with your doctor or nutritionist if you are worried about these potential risks.
The bottom line is that every cell in your body contains magnesium and needs it to function – it is essential for maintaining good health and glowing skin!
Written by: Adi Tzadok